How to get notifications on the lock screen of your Android device like iOS


Android’s notification bar is definitely among the key strength of the OS. The expandable, actionable notifications and the ability to access them from nearly anywhere in the system is a major usability win. However, if there was one thing that I wished Android stole from iOS in the notification category was how the latter displayed notifications right on the lock screen.

On Android, to view notifications from the lock screen, one would have to pull down the notification bar from the top. While this makes sense from privacy and security viewpoint, an option to display notifications directly on the lock screen would not have really hurt anyone.

Anyways, thanks to Android’s openness, it is actually pretty easy to get this feature provided your device is running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean or higher. Follow our guide below to know how you can display notifications directly on your device lock screen.

Step 1: Head over to the Play Store and download NiLS widget on your Android device to show all your incoming notifications on the lock screen.

Step 2: Start the app and then tap the ‘Service’ option. If you are running Android 4.3 or higher, you will need to provide Notification access to the widget for it to work properly. This option, however, will only be presented to users whose device(s) are running Android 4.3 or higher, since it makes use of the new Notification Listening API.


Step 3: Tap the ‘Service’ option again to change the behaviour of how NiLS handles the incoming notifications. By default, the widget will wake up the device and screen on every new incoming notification. This option can be disabled from the Service sub-menu though.

Step 4: Finally, you will need to replace the stock lock screen widget on your Android device with NiLS. If you don’t know how to add lock screen widgets, you can follow our guide here. Do keep in mind that there is no need to enable lock screen widgets if your device is running Android 4.2 or Android 4.3. The option only needs to be enabled in Android 4.4 KitKat though.


Step 5: If you don’t want notifications from certain apps to be displayed on the lock screen, make sure to untick that app from the ‘App Specific Settings’ option in NiLS.

And that’s about it. You can now view all your incoming notifications right on your lock screen. NiLS is a highly customisable widget and you can play around with its appearance, opacity and more from options. Don’t forget to check them out.

7 Responses to “How to get notifications on the lock screen of your Android device like iOS”

  1. tskwierc

    Since I don’t use a lock screen i have been this on my home screen as a widget with the clock feature off. ( I have a different clock/weather widget I prefer instead) Pretty nice when you don’t always address your notifications right away, you can set it to remain visible until dismissed etc.

  2. Dave Evans

    NiLS is especially useful (to me) in being able to scan through my WhatsApp chats without updating my “last seen” time; stealth-WhatsApping!

  3. Got this to work with my EBay but doesn’t seem to work on sky sports???

    Do you have to install an app to make the notifications work on android??


Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>