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Problem: I just upgraded my phone software, and the lock screen PIN buttons have changed appearance! They are now shifted up, smaller (circular with spaces in between them, instead of square and using the whole screen area), and less responsive. This seems like a terrible idea from a UX standpoint- completely messing up my muscle-memory; now every time I try to log in to my phone, I screw up the pin at least twice. Very annoying.

Examples: Before the lock-screen PIN had something like this, with square buttons, except they were larger & took up the whole the middle of the lock screen: Square-button PIN example

Now, this is the awful new lock-screen PIN layout:

New circle-button PIN example

Phone Specs:

  • Galaxy S10e (SM-G970U)
  • Android Version 11
  • ONE UI version 3.0
  • New Software Version: G970USQU4FTLN / G970UOYN4FTLN / G970USQU4FTN

What I've tried: When I try to look up this issue, most of the responses will be about changing my PIN lock-method to a password / pattern, etc. lock method, or changing the PIN itself. Those Q&A's I've found addressing the appearance / behavior of the lock screen tend to say it's inbuilt to the system & nothing you can do except for really cracking your phone software. I also don't see anything in Accessibility options, but maybe I'm missing something. Any ideas, or is this really something I'm going to have to put up with (until I get mad enough & just throw it in the trash)?

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  • Edit: Some additional info, it looks like the lock-screen is its own app now? It's Samsung Always On Display, and the recent (annoying) update was to 6.2.11.3, which people are already complaining about in the reviews. I tried to uninstall back to factory version, but strangely that did not help. – Colin Stewart Feb 27 at 19:40
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There are Apps in the Play Store that provide an alternative lockscreen. Have a look at this page to see some. But from a perspective of security, I would personally avoid using an alternative lockscreen app, as you give your whole security and privacy into the hands of one app. But that's a decision you should make on your own. Android itself does provide the functionality to let other apps handle such important things using Device Administrator rights.

Other workarounds would include using an alternative locking method like Smart Lock or installing another ROM, for example LineageOS. I personally would try getting used to it.

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  • I think you're right that using a 3rd party lock screen app would be unsafe. I tried uninstalling back to factory version of Always On Display and that didn't seem to help, and Google Play store doesn't host older versions of apps. The best work around I tried was to switch lock method to password. Typing an additional letter on QWERTY and then switching the keyboard to the pin-pad type (first example in OP) is ironically waaay faster & more reliable than using their terrible new lock screen PIN pad. – Colin Stewart Feb 27 at 19:45

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