I'm looking for some sort of way that will show part/all of my text messages, emails, tweets on the screen when the phone is locked.

I just gave up my iPhone and this is something I'm really missing.

To me it is annoying to have to click on a message just to see if the person responded "ok" or something that could easily be displayed on the screen.

Here is a screen shot of the messaging. I want to be able to read the text.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Best not to put multiple questions in a single question post. Also, questions that ask how to solve a problem will do better (and are much preferred) rather than questions asking to find an app that does some specific function.
    – ale
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 13:41
  • @AlEverett Updated. Thanks for the suggestions.
    – Kyle
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 13:43
  • Doesn't the S4 come with a whole bunch of widgets? Have you tried any of the built-in lock-screen widgets? (Sorry, I don't have an S4 so I don't know specifically what's available.) Have you tried looking on the Play Store for lock-screen widgets? There must be something there for messages.
    – ale
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 13:45
  • Don't know about emails and tweets, but for text messages see this previous question android.stackexchange.com/questions/4427/… which includes the SMS Popup app in the answer, which is what I use for this.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 13:57
  • This may be helpful: androidcentral.com/…
    – ale
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 12:49

9 Answers 9


The S4 does have this option. Open the SMS app (Messaging) and go to Settings (using the drawer button on the bottom left of your phone). Within Settings, scroll down to notification settings and check the "notifications" box and the "preview message" box.

Note that to see the notification option in Settings you must access settings from the main screen of the Messaging app, not from within a conversation within Messaging. This is one of those apps that has different menus for "settings" depending on which screen you're currently viewing.


If you were to download and use an alternate lockscreen like WidgetLocker, this would be possible. It would enable you to place a widget on your lockscreen that shows you unread messages, though you might have to get that widget separately if you're not using a third party SMS app already. If you're just looking for a count of unread messages, you could use something like Ultimate Custom Clock Widget too.


You can use SMSPopup which will allow it to show up on top of any application, including your lockscreen (it can even turn your phone on for a few seconds so you can see the pop up).

Handcent also has a SMSPopup like ability. And GoSMS too.

  • gosms is my personal fav :) Commented May 24, 2012 at 13:05
  • Popover lockscreen for SMS is exactly why I use and love Handcent.
    – Zooks64
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 13:37

You don't need any third party app for this. To preview text messages in the lock screen go to setting in the messages app. Check "preview messages". Now the actual text of the message will show on your lock screen.

  • This is likely an option specific to your phone's version of the Messages app. Mine doesn't have this ability natively, at least. Is your phone the same as the Questioners, a Galaxy S4?
    – Stephen S
    Commented May 16, 2013 at 22:43
  • 1
    This does seem to be applicable to the S4, at least according to one S4 owner.
    – Mr. Buster
    Commented Jun 13, 2013 at 17:01

NiLS Notifications Lock Screen will display all notifications on the lock screen. In the case of an SMS message, it displays the content of the SMS message in the lock screen notification.


I use Handcent SMS that allows me to view my messages when the phone is locked.


This can be done via Widget Locker App. There are many customizations on lock screen using widgetlocker app.

If you need only SMS items to displayed there are several Apps in market.

Alternatively, there is a option in settings to preview the whole sms in the notification bar


If you're coming to Google's platform from the iPhone, one of the most jarring changes is that receiving text messages doesn't turn your display on so you can see what's being said.

SMS WakeUp (Free/Pro) fixes this problem.

The app has a very simple purpose: when you receive a text message, the display will turn on for a moment, showing a pop-up that allows you to jump directly to the message itself. Alternatively, with the pro version ($0.99), you can disable the pop-up so you'll only see your lockscreen, where you'll be able to watch the regular Android notification as it scrolls past in the shade, completely hands-free.


Enter the Messaging app and open the settings menu. You'll find an option that says Preview Message under the Notification settings. Checking this will allow you to see what the test says on the lock screen and in the notification bar.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .