Cover the smart lockscreen is no longer invite-only, now available on Google Play

Cover now available on Google Play

It was back in October when we gave you guys the whole spiel on Cover, an upcoming contextually aware lockscreen app for Android devices — available only by invite. Today, Cover is making its Play Store debut, giving all Android users (4.1 and up) the ability to make their lockscreens “smart”. Cover hopes to do this in 4 unique ways:

  1. The right apps at the right time – Cover will change app shortcuts displayed on the lockscreen depending on your location (or when driving), and according to how frequently you use them
  2. Peek – By swiping on an icon, you can quickly “peek” on the other side of the lockscreen where the app will already be opened and ready for you.
  3. App switching tray provides shortcuts that can be accessed using a user customized gesture swipe from the top of the bezel (left or right), allowing you to jump quickly between your most frequently used apps.
  4. Smart settings can be tailored to the user, allowing you to set your ringer volumes according to your location and time.

Cover beta for Android

Still a work in progress, this is made evident by the use of the “beta” tag in the Cover’s title. So far in our experience with the app, we found it works out quite well. We love the idea of a lockscreen that changes based on location, but at the same time, icons that were always shuffling around (based on frequency of use) proved difficult to adjust to when it came to quick muscle memory. If only there was a setting to turn off that specific feature, we’d love the ability to pick and choose our own favorite apps to be displayed on the lockscreen manually.

Cover beta bugs

Also, there were some strange performance and graphical glitches. Some apps — like Hangouts pictured above — would display a loading toast notification while it opened. Not exactly the seamless app jumping shown in the concept video. It also appears that cover needs to be better optimized for Android 4.4 KitKat, specifically when dealing with the transparent home and nav bars which show everything going on behind the lockscreen.

There’s still plenty of room to grow, and we’re sure the Android-only developers from Cover will accommodate for some of these concerns and more in future updates. There’s no denying there’s a lot of potential here, and we’ll be following Cover’s progress closely.

Cover is available for free for Android 4.1+ users in the US, Canada and Europe. The download link can be found just after the video below. Don’t forget to chime in and let us know what you think. Is it everything you expected? Any features you’d like to see in future updates?

Download on Google Play: Cover (beta)

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  • StargateNH

    Turn it landscape and the camera icon pops up, Nice!!!

    • gtbarry

      I was about to say this feature wasn’t working to you. But then I checked one last time and boom there it was

    • No_Nickname90

      I have the Google Camera installed as well and it was defaulting to that with no way to change it. =.[

      I had to disable it. I’ll just re-enable it when I want to take Photospheres again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lucyparanormal Daniel Tiberius

      Yeah it gives me the option for two different google cameras but not the Sony camera. Hopefully there’s a fix for this eventually.

  • Jonathan Diaz

    its definitely a cool app and is very useful.

  • CerealFTW

    I think lock screens aren’t needed as much as before with the more sensitive touch screens that used styluses. the only reason I still use one is because it displays the time. I’m not bashing the app, I think the peek feature is pretty cool but it seems like lock screens are becoming more like home screens, which defeats the purpose imo

    • No_Nickname90

      I’ve noticed that too. You are starting to be able to do so much with lockscreens to the point that your homescreen isn’t even needed.

      I like the idea since it changes. It’s like it’s swiping the home screen for me. LoL!!

    • Del373

      Lock screens are used predominantly for security nowadays…since, as you said, we don’t have to worry too much about touch screen sensitivity anymore.

  • worldclassflame

    “and it’s only for Android” lol love it

  • No_Nickname90

    Got the email today. It’s pretty nice. Though every now and then my default lockscreen will be there, then I have to unlock that to reach the Cover Lockscreen, even though Lockscreen is disabled in my security settings.

    Oh well, that’s not going to stop me from using it. And it’s still in beta. I like this idea. It’s already learning my apps from like an hour of using my phone. It knows I text, Facebook and Google Plus a lot on my phone at work. =.3

  • blest

    I’ll keep an eye on it. When we can choose default apps

    • No_Nickname90

      This is true. I like how apparently I use my messaging apps while I’m in Car mode. LoL!!

      • blest

        Lol at least they’re trying

        • No_Nickname90

          They outta line for having Candy Crush as one of my apps for work, though. LoL!!

  • Dan

    Honestly, if you’re looking for this much functionality from your lockscreen, shouldn’t you just turn the lockscreen off and have the phone jump right to your homecreen when you push the button?

    • No_Nickname90

      At first I was agreeing with you. However, there have been times when my phone would turn on from either random bugs or the power button somehow got pressed.

      The lock-screen prevented any accidents from happening. So if I’m going to have a lock-screen, I’d like it to be pretty functional. I actually have more stuff on my lock-screen because I like my home screen to be as empty as possible. My dock bar is swipe-able. My lock-screen helps with reaching apps quickly. It’s just my home screen dock can hold folders.

      I kinda don’t need my app drawer. LoL!!

      • Dan

        But if you have a lockscreen that can be activated in different ways from pretty much every different part of the screen, does it really do anything?

        I don’t know, I know people love lockscreens, but I’ve not used a lockscreen on any of my devices for years and I’ve never had an issue. I don’t think I use them in any special way as to avoid accidental button pushes any more than the next guy.

        • No_Nickname90

          It’s probably because to open the apps or use the widgets on the lock screen it requires some type of swiping. I’ve never had a lock-screen that required me to just tap.

          Once my phone was unlocked in my pocket and a game opened. LoL!!

          I do have different home-screens I swipe to with other content. It’s just a cosmetic purpose as to why I like my home-screen empty. I do the same with my Desktop. I only have 3 icons, Recycle Bin, My Computer and a folder called “Errthing”. LoL!!

          My reasoning are just cosmetic and not functional. I completely understand your way of thinking, though.

          I was thinking of having no lock-screen at one point, but I got so used to swiping that I once unlocked my phone and swiped to the next home-screen. LoL!!

          IDK… Cover seems to be the perfect lockscreen for me. Just show me a few apps that I’d use and the time.

    • http://www.romanmestasphotography.com/ Roman Mestas

      I look at it like if it wakes to the home scree then it takes one tap on the power button to let my phone activate and with the lock screen (any lock screen) it takes a push of the power button and a swipe which is less likely to happen.

  • catlett

    I agree with Dan. I installed it and tried it and probably less than an hour later it was forever banished. It made it harder to get to what I really wanted to do instead of making it easier.

  • Del373

    I like the little quick-menu thingy that you access from the notification bar area and the rest of the lock screen was okay, but it’s the only thing that every caused me any sort of problem on this GNex Kitkat rom (it would constantly freeze and cause the phone to reboot) so I’ve cut it loose. If they fix that major issue, or if they release the quick bar as a stand alone (also without the major issue) then I’ll give it another go.

  • http://www.romanmestasphotography.com/ Roman Mestas

    I really like this lock screen so far.. it would be awesome if we could get the option to make default apps even make like one or two default and the others let Cover choose. Either way I dig this app.. I like the quick menu when dragging from the top right while on your home screen.. its kinda like history or recent apps but without having to double tap home.

    I was playing with it and if you drag the quick menu down and then to the left it locks your screen.. that’s kinda cool. Keep up the good work Cover, I cant wait for some awesome updates.