Cover: An Android Lockscreen That Learns Your Habits
Remember our coverage of Aviate Launcher a few weeks back? We now present to you the perfect companion app for Aviate; a lockscreen that learns your habits and dynamically changes as you do throughout the day.
Cover was just released on an invite-only basis this morning as a beta, but in the few hours I have had to use the app, it already is starting to impress me. Sure there’s some work to be done (as is the case with any beta), but Cover is fast, smooth, attractive, and surprisingly non-invasive. I’ve used a number of third party replacement lockscreens, and the bulk of them take up a large amount of resources and are battery hogs. For what Cover is able to accomplish, I was surprised at how little it was asking my phone to do.
Cover works by changing your lockscreen based off of your location, whether you’re at home, work, driving in the car, or simply out and about with friends. Wherever you happen to be, Cover will change its appearance and available apps based off of your specified parameters. Resembling the Ubuntu OS’s sidebar, Cover presents a sidebar of your most frequently used apps in each particular setting. For instance, in my Home setting, my sidebar apps are comprised of things like Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, etc. In the Work setting, the sidebars changes to Gmail, WordPress, K9 Mail, etc. Jump in the car and the list will change to Foursquare, Google Maps, etc.
Earlier I mentioned that I was surprised at how smoothly my phone still ran despite what Cover was capable of, and here is where I will expand a bit further on that. With Cover, the sidebar of apps is not simply a quick-launch dock for your most frequently used apps. You can “peek” at any of the apps in the sidebar without fully unlocking the screen. You do this by pressing and dragging the selected app icon in the sidebar. As it drags to the right, the app will be revealed underneath, where you can take a quick gander and release your finger to snap the lockscreen back into place. Dragging all the way to the right unlocks the lockscreen with the selected app.
Because of this feature, the only way to “peek” at these apps is for Cover to actually launch them and have them resting in the background. This could potentially be an issue for older phones with a smaller amount of RAM, but even though I use a Droid Razr Maxx HD (the older one) with 1GB of RAM, I ran into no issues. Like I said before: smooth and snappy. No lag, and no force closes so far.
The more you use Cover the more it will learn which apps you use the most. It will constantly adjust the apps in the sidebar based off of your usage, so if you text a lot at work, you’ll soon find your text app has been added to your Work sidebar. Because of this feature, Cover currently does not include a way to personalize the apps that you can have in your sidebar. I’m not sure if this is a feature that will come in a later update, but to be honest, I’m not sure I want this feature to be added. I want Cover to continue to learn what I use and adapt to my style. It’s nice to not have to manually go into the sidebar and add/remove apps.
As a third party lockscreen, Cover is as smooth and easy to use as can be. It’s smart, attractive, and after a bit of use, you’ll never even notice it. That’s the best compliment I can give to Cover so far: in a very short amount of time, it already feels like a natural part of my phone and not an additional “app.”
For more info and to sign up for Cover, please visit the official website.