Microsoft’s Windows Phone is still playing catch-up with the competition, but it does have some benefits that even iOS and Android can’t quite manage to put together. Windows Phone’s Joe Belfiore has tweeted about one new feature that is on its way to Windows Phone and that can now be added to any Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone via a downloadable app.

The Live Lock Screen BETA app is now available to download for free from the Windows Phone Store, and it’s actually quite a nice little addition. When installed, users will get 6 new lock screen layouts that will add a little variety to the lock screen experience. New notifications, redesigned dates and times as well as unique unlock animations are all part of the fun, too.

Windows Phone lock screen

What’s more, users will be able to have the lock screen cycle through a range of background images throughout the day, or if you so wish you can have your phone go and get the latest image from Bing every morning. In short, your lock screen need never grow old again. Unless you want it to, of course.

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The new features brought by the Live Lock Screen BETA will no doubt eventually be rolled into Windows Phone proper, but until then this new app will be the only way to give it a try. Remember though, there’s a reason that there is the “beta” tag on this and as a result, all kinds of strange things could be happening behind the scenes. Don’t be too concerned or indeed surprised if something seems amiss once this is installed!

From the Windows Phone Store:

Want to truly personalize your lock screen? Live lock screen lets you choose from 6 new lock screen layouts to add a distinctive touch to your Windows Phone. Each layout has a revamped design for the time, date and notifications, as well as a unique unlock animation. You can also cycle through multiple background images throughout the day to keep your lock screen fresh – or just get the latest incredible image from Bing every morning.

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New features or not though, Microsoft knows that it has some catching up to do when it comes to Windows Phone and its competition. Things like this are a good start, but hopefully we’ll be seeing more additions to the user experience as time rolls along.

(Download: Live Lock Screen BETA for Windows Phone on the Windows Phone Store)

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