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WP7 User Idea: Single App Pinning To Lock Screen

April 20, 2011 No Comments

Over the last couple of months we have stated time and time again that we believe developers are key in the future of Windows Phone 7. We have had a few great interviews along the way like the interview with our friends at Amused Sloth (Chickens Can Dream), our sitdown with Psydian Interactive (MyBookie app) and our awesome talk with Halfbrick (Creators of Fruit Ninja).

Another thing that is key to Windows Phones success are the users. Xbox grew to be arguably the best console in the market – one huge reason being that it had an amazing community around it, feeding it suggestions. I should know I was one of the original Beta testers for Xbox Live  🙂

So from time to time I will post the best ideas for WP7 from the community. Here is Dan Glenn’s Idea for allowing a single app to be launched from the lock screen. He makes a valid point about such apps like ICE.


‘Windows Mobile 7 (WP7) should be programmed to allow a single application (app) to be pinned to the lock screen.

So much information is available on our cell phones these days. Our contact’s name, addresses (both home and work), phone numbers and email addresses (both home and work) is on our phones. Access to our online personas via applications such as Facebook and Twitter are on our phones. Even our bank accounts, via the web, are on our phones.  Security experts have warned us to always lock our cell phones when not in use least this information fall into the wrong hands. Currently my phone goes into ‘lock mode’ after three minutes.  This security feature gives me the peace of mind I want and I’m not bothered by having to put in my four digit pass code to access my phones features, because WP7 programmers have wisely enabled me to access key media features, such as ‘pause’, ‘play’, and ‘volume control’ from the lock screen as well allowing me to quickly access my cell phone’s camera for that sudden photo opportunity that I might otherwise have missed.  In accordance with federal regulations, I (or anyone, really) can pick up my cell phone and dial 911 with the phone in lock.  That’s where we are now, but what about the information on my phone that I want emergency service providers to have access to should I be unable to unlock my phone for them?

In August of this year I’m turning fifty. I know, even as I type that sentence it amazes me.  I currently live alone in California with my dog, an Aussie/Belgium Sheppard mix, named Roo.  My seventy-three year old father lives in Arizona, and my, now fifty year old, sister lives in Tennessee.  My mother passed in ’86. So we’re all pretty well spread out. I recently downloaded the app, ICE Alert, so that emergency services responders could have the information they needed to care for me should I not need be in a position to communicate with them myself.  It’s a really great app, and there are a few others presently on Marketplace, but I liked this one and it holds such information as: my ICE contacts, medications, conditions, allergies, and a place for personalized notes. Once I got all this important information into the app I pinned it to my start menu; however, I soon realized that once my phone went into lock mode that this app, along with the information, was no longer accessible.

I’ve noticed that on the WP7 lock screen that there is a blank tile. This tile becomes the backspace key once a number is entered, but thought it could be used as a pin point for a single app, thus I could pin my ICE app to the tile and emergency service responders could access my ICE information while I still protect my other information.  Other users may not wish to use this new feature for their ICE app, but imagine that soccer-mom whose no longer afraid to hand her son her phone so he can play his favorite XBOX Live game cause she’s pinned it to the lock screen for him and he can now no longer screw-up her calendar.  Or that teenage girl who locks her phone, but wishes she had a quick way to jump to Zune or XBOX Live.  Certainly there could be items pinned to the lock screen that would defeat the purpose of having the phone locked in the first place, but that would be a choice for the user to make, and isn’t all about making a choice. Right now, users have no choice.  And emergency service responders don’t access to my medical information. Think of how many lives we might save, if WP7 had this feature.’

Thanks Dan for the awesome idea.


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