Content might be king, but when it comes to UI apps, context does not seem to be too far behind. Just a few days ago, we tried out the latest version of EverythingMe, a launcher that suggests apps based on your location. And we have just finished a few days with Cover Lock Screen, an app that does something similar, but on your lock screen.
Cover is a rather hefty app for a launch screen – 19 MB – but you don’t need to to do much to get it working. All you need to do it is provide it with the location of your home and that of your place of work (the company assures us that these details will be kept confidential). The app then tries to work out your app using patterns and whenever you switch on the display, Cover displays the apps that it thinks you are most likely to use at your current location and time and displays right on your lock screen. So if you are driving, Google Maps might be among the apps suggested. If you are at work, out will come the likes of the office suite and the Calendar. You can scroll through the apps by swiping up or down (we normally got 7-9 app recommendations).
That in itself is a neat touch, but there is more. Holding an app icon on the lock screen and swiping to the right allows to access the app directly – the lock screen moves aside, letting you “peek” at the content in the app, and it is up to you whether you want to swipe the screen across all the way and access the app or just restrict yourself to a quick look (as in the case of social networks and mail). And yes, swipe down from the left of your display from any app – ANY app other than ironically, Cover itself- and you will see the apps that Cover thinks you should be using appear on a side panel, letting you switch to any of them with a simple touch. Honestly, this was our favorite feature, because it let us access other apps from a running app with just a swipe and a touch – much better than holding down a button to show which apps are running and then picking one. Finally, tilt the Cover Lock Screen and you will see a camera icon appear on the right corner at the bottom, tapping which will give you access to the camera from the lock screen itself.
Cover is still in beta status, but we confess we like it. For one, you do not have to mess around shuffling apps and the like or getting used to a whole new interface. At the end of the day, this is just a lock screen – if you do not like it, simply unlock your phone (swipe to the right without pressing an icon, or swipe to the right pressing the app drawer icon at the bottom left corner) and get on with life with your normal interface. In simple terms, it does not quite take as much getting used to as a theme. Yes, we would have liked a bit more of control and a few more customization options – one can decide which apps will not appear on the lock screen but beyond that there is little one can do (you cannot change the order of the apps, or remove them from the lock screen) – and yes, some of the app’s guesses are a bit off (I kept getting Calendar on the lock screen at work even though I never use it), but all said and done, Cover Lock Screen is very promising. We like its attempts to place apps on the lock screen and well, we really hope more people use the “swipe on the side” for multi-tasking. Pretty much a must-download, if available in your country. Even the lock screen wall papers are nice!
Download from: Google Play