With the arrival of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, the Good Lock experimental app may have become more integral to the Samsung customer's user experience than ever. The new foldable flip phone has a larger 3.4-inch cover screen (Flex Window), and while users can't run every app on the Flex Window out of the box, they can enable this feature and run any app they want as long as they're in a market where Good Lock is available.
Samsung seemingly has its own vision for what the Galaxy Z Flip's cover screen should allow users to do through Widgets, even if this means limited app support. And that's fair enough from a design perspective. If Samsung has a pure vision for what it wants to accomplish, it's free to put that idea into practice and see where it leads.
On the other hand, Samsung knows that a portion of its userbase will want to run any app on the Flip's cover screen, if not for convenience, then for the novelty of it. And attempting to satisfy these customers, Samsung's compromise was to add all-app support to the Galaxy Z Flip 5's cover screen through Good Lock.
You probably know our stance on the Good Lock experimental platform and that we ask Samsung to stop region-locking it with every opportunity we get. But with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 becoming official, we think Good Lock needs worldwide availability now more than ever.
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All of Good Lock should become a standard Labs feature
The point of the Good Lock app is for Samsung to try out new and experimental features without making them a part of the standard One UI experience, only for the company to later decide that it's best to remove some of those features (whether for optimization purposes or whatever the case may be) and leave some of its customers disgruntled by the change.
It's an ingenious solution to a design problem and the notion that people are generally prone to be dissatisfied when features are removed, even if said features are outdated or better alternatives already exist within One UI. In a way, Good Lock allowed Samsung to tinker with new ideas while continuing to optimize, streamline, and beautify One UI for the average customer.
However, with the Galaxy Z Flip 5's announcement, it feels like Good Lock now plays a more important role than ever, and it doesn't feel quite right for the cover screen all-app functionality to stay region-locked for reasons that have nothing to do with the Z Flip 5 itself.
We believe a better solution would have been for Samsung to make the option of running any app on the Z Flip 5's cover screen available through the Labs section in One UI. Better yet, why not make Good Lock itself a Labs feature available worldwide?
The baked-in Labs component of One UI contains settings that are experimental in nature and expand upon Samsung's proprietary Android skin in interesting ways. By that definition, it's the perfect place for Good Lock to exist on every Galaxy device worldwide. Good Lock could very well be a toggle within Labs which, once enabled, makes the app accessible through the apps drawer.
But even if worldwide availability for Good Lock is not possible, we're hoping that, at the very least, the option to run any app on the Galaxy Z Flip 5's cover screen will eventually be listed under “Labs” rather than remaining bound to Good Lock. That way, users who are satisfied with the out-of-the-box Widget experience curated by Samsung can continue using the Galaxy Z Flip 5 as is, while those who want to tinker with their flip phones can do so through Labs and not worry about region-locking or relying on APKs or third-party solutions.