I could start this out with something cheezy. A joke, or a riddle, or one of those fun facts from the top of a Snapple. Nothing grans, just something to make you smirk now and have forgotten by the end of the article. If I did, I’d be just like Hiq (Pronouced High-Q) Lockscreen.
Hiq Lockscreen is a new app for Android and Iphone that fundamentally changes the way you unlock your phone. Instead of putting in a passcode or pattern, the lockscreen asks you a question, then gives you a range of choices to choose from! It’s a concept that is both refreshing and welcome in a world where nobody seems to have time to do anything anymore. This is a way to inject a little learning into your life without actually taking away from any of your free time/ other activities. It is also a nice change to the lockscreen itself (at least for me) because if you don’t really have anything to hide, a lockscreen is usually just a waste of time.
And the fact that it’s free deserves its own little paragraph.
I downloaded it about a week ago and have been testing it for a few cardinal things that I though may be a problem, and just to see if there are any kinks that I’ve run across. Here’s the breakdowwn of what I’ve learned:
- The app starts off by allowing you to pick a single pack of questions to begin. Packs include different languages (there are 17 as of this post), math, vocabulary, engineering (for whatever reason), trivia and even an option to make your own custom questions.
- Then it allows you to choose the difficulty. Though you only get one pack to start, you unlock all of the said difficulty settings for said pack, so it’s not like they’re forcing you to spend money.
- Once your all set up and you run through a quick tutorial they start you off with 200 coins. Coins can be used to purchase additional packs (the vocab one seems to be the most at 3,000, all others being 1,500) and for just $3 you can purchase all of the packs.
- The lockscreen is initially set for 15 minutes of inactivity, though you can change that. Then, once it’s set, each time you get a question right you get a single coin. Getting a question incorrect does not come iwth a penalty, but does not allow you to get the coin.
All that being said, Hiq Lockscreen works like a charm. It’s quick, easy, educational, affordable and has a seamless UI. Probably the greatest thing about the app is that it was actually made by a couple of college kids in Minnesota.
Then I checked Hiq Lockscreen for some other factors that could still make or break the app. Firstly, I would like to say that I have not seen a single advertisement. I wasn’t looking (who does?) so I may have missed them, but rest assured Hiq Lockscreen is not going to bombard you with them. Secondly; the strain on your phone’s battery is minimal. I have a Galaxy S5, and it has (seemingly) lasted just as long running Hiq Lockscreen as it did before I downloaded it. Always a plus. the final thing I looked for was whether or not it worked intandem with a native phone lockscreen. There was at least one complaint on the Play Store saying that as long as Hiq Lockscreen was on, the normal phone lock did not function. That could pose a problem because most people appreciate the security a lock provides, and Hiq Lockscreen unlocks whether you get the question right or wrong. Using the app these last few days though, my native fingerprint scanner lockscreen has always come up right after the Hiq Lockscreen, so my phone is just as secure as before. Maybe this is because the Hiq one is set for 15 minutes, and the fingerprint scanner for 10. I don’t know for sure. all I know is that you can run the two simultaneously. (I also have a regular passcode, and when I disabled the fingerprint scanner the passcode lock worked as well.
I personally only have two gripes…well, one and a half. The first is quite simple: The lack of consequnces is disconcerting. I realized quite quickly that when not up to the challenge of thinking for a second, I can just swipe to any answer. Yes, I usually get them wrong in this scenario. But so what. I don’t lose coins, I don’t have to wait a short time, I don’t have to try a second question. Any one of those three penalties (even if they weren’t defeault but I could set them if I wanted) would be a nice incentive to think everytime I unlock my phone. As is, I’m not really too inclined to think about the answer. My second gripe (and this one is difficult to articulate because of the sentiment, so bear with me) is that I don’t feel like I’m learning. To extrapolate: I chose thelanguages package because I suck at learning new languages, and I chose french because I took french for three years and am familliar with it. By using the app, a few things (like how to tell a verb from a noun by the ending of the word or what the pronouns look like)have come back to me. But sometime in the midst of writing this app I unlocked my phone. The word was bank. I can tell you truly I have no idea how to say bank in french at this moment, though I distinctly remember getting that question correct. It’s hard to retain knowledge when there’s no reinforcement, and this app, which markets being able to teach you a new language, does nothing in the way of reinforcement. In a year or 7 I might just master french using this app. But I could difinitly learn it multiple times faster if there was even a hint of reinforcent, like typing in the french version of the word if I get it correct.
Hiq Lockscreen on the Google PlayStore