Locket pays you to make your Android lock screen a billboard

What’s worth more to you—a bit of pocket change or a better experience on your Android phone?

That’s the question posed by Locket, a free app that will pay you to replace your Android lock screen with one that shows advertisements. Every time you turn on your phone and swipe to unlock, Locket rewards you with a penny, with Locket currently capping payments at 3 cents an hour.

Say hello to Locket and its advertisements, but goodbye to your lock screen’s functionality.

The idea, of course, is that those payouts add up over time. Assuming you take full advantage of Locket’s offer, and you’re awake with your phone nearby for 16 hours of the day, you could earn 48 cents each day. That’s a maximum of $175.20 per year if you’re extremely dedicated to the task.

Users can also earn extra money by referring friends to the app, at a current rate of $1 per friend. Locket also says it sometimes gives bonuses to loyal users. Once you’ve accrued $10, you cash in on your big payday via Paypal.

There’s just one major catch: Locket is a full-blown lock screen replacement, not just something that floats on top of your existing lock screen. Whatever lock screen features you get from your current phone get overridden by Locket.

For instance, you can’t use app shortcuts on the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 to jump directly into your phone’s camera, email or browser. For phones running Android 4.2 or higher, using Locket means giving up lock screen widgets, so you can no longer glance at weather, notifications, or other information. You can no longer control music from your lock screen, and if you have a phone that opens directly to your PIN or security pattern, Locket will appear first, adding an extra step to unlocking your phone.

If none of those things matter to you, then maybe you can make some extra cash with Locket. Just keep in mind that by adding some advertisements to your lock screen, you’re also giving up some of Android’s usefulness.

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For comprehensive coverage of the Android ecosystem, visit Greenbot.com.

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