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What is needed to access a phone dialer from the lock screen, without unlocking?

Resultant dialer app wouldn't show Contacts, just be able to dial phone numbers directly.

I love being able to sync calendars and play games and all that, but really this thing is (supposed to be) a phone first. Unlocking, opening a dialer, searching contacts, and then making a call is such a pain compared to my old "dumb" flip phone.

Non-root method preferred, but if that's the only way to go it'll have to do.

  • Just a note: there are some good options below but if you are running 5.0+ (Lollipop) there are no lockscreen widgets, AT ALL. So you won't be able to do this on newer devices/firmware. – RossC Feb 23 '15 at 13:36
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There is "Simple Dialer Widget" on the Play Store. By description and some popular blog posts it fits the bill perfectly, up to KitKat.

After install Simple Dialer can be configured to all or a portion of:

  • Dial number pad
  • Favourite Contacts, Contacts with numbers, or All Contacts
  • Call history (log)

...on a home screen widget.

From Android v4.2 to v4.4 KitKat the widget can be added to the lock screen as well, but in v5 Google did away with lock screen widgets altogether.

Caveats: Simple Dialer was acquired by My Color Screen and there hasn't been an update posted since 2013. Some reviews in 2014 report excessive CPU use and battery drain; perhaps an interaction bug with newer android versions.

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