Android power tip: Put your dialer on your home screen (or lock screen)

Android Dialer Home Screen

Android is all about customization -- and with the ever-expanding array of innovative apps out there, there's always something new and interesting you can do with your phone.

Exhibit A: How 'bout putting the full phone dialer right on your device's home screen? Or lock screen, even? A neat little app called Simple Dialer Widget lets you do it with ease.

All you've gotta do is snag Simple Dialer Widget from the Google Play Store -- it's a free download -- and then drop the widget onto one of your home screen panels. What you get is a resizable, customizable and fully functional dialer that fits and sits wherever you want.

Simple Dialer Widget lets you dial numbers without having to open the Phone app; it also has tabs that let you scroll through and interact with your missed calls and list of contacts (the app shows all of your contacts by default but can be set to show only your favorites if you prefer).

Android Dialer Home Screen - Missed Calls

The widget has a sleek Android 4.x-style design, but if that isn't your cup of tea, you can adjust practically every facet of its appearance to make it fit with any home screen setup you happen to be rockin'.

If you've got an Android 4.2-level device, you'll also find a lock screen widget available in your list of options (from your lock screen, swipe your finger to the right until you see a large gray plus sign; tap that plus sign and then just look for Simple Dialer Widget). The lock screen widget has the same functionality as the home screen widget, letting you dial calls, browse through and return any missed calls, and scroll through and call any of your contacts without having to unlock your phone or take any additional steps.

On a lock screen, of course, the concept presents some important security considerations: If you can perform those sorts of actions from your lock screen, so too could anyone else who gets a hold of your phone. If you use a pattern or PIN to secure your device, you'll obviously want to think carefully before putting an active phone dialer in an unsecured area.

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Simpler Dialer Widget is a simple but powerful tool -- and yet another example of how you can make your Android device work the way you want.

More Android tips and tricks:

How to make the hottest Android home screens yourself

Get a world clock on your Android 4.2 lock screen

Rediscovering the custom Android launcher

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