The reason we password-protect our phones is simple: If it gets stolen, the thief can’t access all our data. But there’s a flipside: If your phone is lost, or you’ve been injured and someone is trying to call your family, there’s no way to access your ICE (In Case of Emergency) info.
Add some ICE to your lock screen — specifically, to the wallpaper that appears when you tap a button. For this tutorial, the focus is on iPhones, but there are virtually identical tools and/or methods available for Android and Windows Phone also.
Proceed with the assumption that you already have a lock-screen image you like — a photo of the kids, the dog, your spouse, etc. — and want to modify it.
For a fast and easy solution, it’s hard to beat ICE (In Case of Emergency), a $1.99 app that, among other things, adds emergency info (your name, any medical conditions, an emergency contact, etc.) to your lock screen. And it does so using a transparent overlay that still allows you to see the image underneath. However, if you prefer a free, DIY option that gives you control over what info goes where, I recommend Over (iOS).
This app’s sole purpose is to add text to your photos, and it provides a wide range of fonts, colors, orientations, and so on. Here’s how to get ICE-y with it:
Step one: Install and run the app.
Step two: Find your current lock-screen photo from the library, tap it, and then tap Add Text.
Step three: Now type your text, keeping in mind you’ll be able to modify the look and location later. It is recommended, short emergency-contact info like: “ICE: Jane Smith 248-555-1234.” You can also choose a color from the accompanying selector, ideally something that will contrast well against your backdrop.
Step four: Tap ‘Done’, then put your finger on the text and drag it to roughly the area you want it. Now swipe from the right to bring up Over’s tools, then choose Edit. Here you can modify the size of the text, but don’t shrink it so much that a casual viewer will overlook it.
An important tip – make sure to place the text somewhere it won’t be obscured by the time, date, slide-to-unlock bar, or any other lock-screen elements.
Step five: When you’re done, swipe the tool wheel out again and then tap Save. Don’t worry — Over will preserve your original image while saving this modified one to your Camera Roll.
Step six: Open the Photos app, navigate to Camera Roll, tap your new lock-screen image, and then tap the Options icon in the lower-left corner. Swipe the bottom row to the left and choose Use as Wallpaper. Then just follow the usual last couple steps to save as your lock screen.
In the end, you keep your prized lock-screen photo, but adorn it with a crucial piece of information. Sounds like a win-win!