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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Smart settings can be tailored to the user, allowing you to set your ringer volumes according to your location and time.
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.
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)