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Cover for Android brings contextual awareness to your lockscreen

There are plenty of ways to add shortcuts to your lockscreen already, but Cover sets itself apart by using time and location to determine your shortcut list. Keep reading for more details!
October 24, 2013

Many manufacturer skins and 3rd party lockscreen replacements already make it easy to add shortcuts to your favorite apps right on your lock screen, but what if you are looking for something smarter? That’s exactly what the start-up Cover promises to do with its newly launched, invite-only lockscreen app.

With the Cover app you not only get easy access to many of your most used apps, but the lockscreen also becomes contextually aware and modifies the list of apps depending on where you are at or what time of the day it is.

This means that if you’re in your car you might be presented with navigation apps and other useful tools for helping you out while on the road. At work your listed apps could be things like a Calendar, Gmail and an office suite. Finally at home, your screen could be replaced by your favorite games and entertainment apps.

What makes Cover different from the competition is that the company isn't interested in taking over your Android experience, they simply wanted to enhance it.

The same thing applies to time of day. The apps that show up first thing in the morning (weather, news) might differ from what you’d use in the evening. While the screen only lists six icons at a time, you can easily find more icons by swiping on the right side of the display.

Even more intriguing, Cover allows you to “peek” into apps without fully unlocking your screen. It also has its own easy to use app-switching feature, too.

We’ve already seen quite a few companies attempt to redefine the Android experience with custom launchers such as the not-so-successful Facebook Home and the well-received newcomer Aviate. What makes Cover different from the competition is that the company isn’t interested in taking over your Android experience, they simply wanted to enhance it.

According to Cover’s CEO Todd Jackson, the company didn’t want to replace user’s home screen with a full launcher alternative because most folks already have the layout and widgets the way they want them. Instead, the team felt there was plenty they could do to make our lockscreen experience a better one.

Cover is very much a work in progress and is not yet ready for a wider release, but it’s actually pretty stable in its current form. The app also doesn’t seem to use a whole lot of resources and apparently does a pretty stellar job when it comes to figuring out where you are at.

One question some folks might have is security. Cover is a contextual app that knows your location and what apps you use, making it a potential security risk. To that end, the company promises that all data sent to and from your phone to Cover’s servers is encrypted. You can also provide your email address in order to let the app sync across multiple devices, but this is strictly optional.

How much will Cover set users back when it rolls out to Google Play? Absolutely nothing.

The start-up’s first priority is to get the app into the hands of as many people as possible and aims to make its money through other means down the road, including app spotlights and other methods.

What do you think, interested or not? For more information, you’ll want to head over to Cover’s official website.