I have many different apps that require security, so I obviously do not want to leave my phone unlocked. However, when using Map My Run or other apps, it is incredibly difficult to unlock the phone when I have to access the app (especially after running 5 miles and winded). Is there a way to make some apps accessible without having to unlock the phone?

1 Answer 1


An app only can mark itself to be shown on top of the lock screen. In detail there is the flag FLAG_SHOW_WHEN_LOCKED respectively the method setShowWhenLocked that allows to mark a certain activity/screen to be shown on top of the lock screen.

This allows to use the screen without having to unlock the device. However this has to be done by the app itself. External apps can't enable this. If your favorite apps does not support this feature you can ans the app developers if they add this feature.

And also the Android system does not allow to mark apps to shown above the lock screen. May be because this would cause a serious problem: With the app shown on top you can't unlock the device and therefore can't change back the "app on top" setting so that your device reverts to the regular state.

Alternatively there are ways to temporarily disable the automatic device lock (Google calls it "automatic unlock"). This can be achieved e.g by defining a trusted Bluetooth device that acts as a "key". If the key is next to the phone it does not lock.

See more details here: https://support.google.com/android/answer/9075927?hl=en

  • You can certainly unlock the phone while an app is running (like Google Maps works while the phone is locked). Using the fingerprint reader to unlock the phone will show a small popup when trying to unlock on my S9+ and will unlock the app switcher for example.
    – GiantTree
    Sep 19, 2019 at 19:02

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