January 2014

1 post

Cover, now with music controls for KitKat

We’ve just released Cover Version 0.1.8 with music controls for those of you running KitKat (Android 4.4). Now you can pause, play, and control your music right from Cover.

Cover’s music controls work for just about every music/audio app out there: Google Play Music, Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify, Poweramp, Slacker, Audible, iHeartRadio, SoundCloud, Rdio, and many more. When you’re listening to music, whichever music app you use, that app will always be pinned to the bottom of your Cover screen — right next to the controls and info about the track you’re listening to. You can peek to open straight to your music app. Music controls have been one of our most popular feature requests, so we’re excited to make them available.

image

To enable music controls, you’ll need grant “Notification access” to Cover. This lets Cover know which track is playing. You can do this from your phone’s settings (we’ve also provided a shortcut from Cover’s settings):

image

One caveat is that these music controls only work on phones running KitKat (Android 4.4). We tried hard to get music controls working well on earlier versions of Android, but versions 4.1-4.3 don’t provide us with a standard way to access which music app is playing, track names, or album art. Most importantly, we weren’t able to get basic pause/play/rewind/fast forward actions to work reliably across different apps. Many of the music apps and widgets available on Google Play suffer from similar issues. We want Cover to be reliable and high quality, so we didn’t want to go the same route. Google added the necessary APIs to get things working reliably with KitKat, so we’re making music controls available to people with that version. Fortunately, we think most people will get access to KitKat within the next couple months (when Samsung, HTC and others release their next set of updates).

In addition to music controls, we added a small feature that lets you slide Cover open directly to your home screen. This is a handy shortcut when you want to go straight to your home screen rather than to the last app you were using.

image

If you already have Cover installed you should get an auto-update soon. We hope you enjoy these new features — let us know what you think!

9 notes

December 2013

3 posts

Just in time for the holidays: An updated version of Cover

image

We’ve just released Version 0.1.5 of Cover on Google Play. If you already have Cover installed, the app should auto-update.

In this version we’ve added:

  • Ability to hide apps. By popular request, you can now prevent certain apps from showing on your Cover lockscreen. This is useful for apps that you don’t need quick access to or don’t want other people to see on your lockscreen. Go to Settings > Preferences > Hidden Apps and you’ll see this:

    image

  • Transparent top status bar on KitKat. If you’re running Android 4.4, Cover’s status bar is now transparent. When you peek at an app with a black status bar, like Gmail or Chrome, the bar will fade from transparent to black as you peek. Also, you may notice that the bottom navigation bar is not transparent — that’s something we’re still working on.

  • Fixes for Hangouts’ unread count. If you use Hangouts as your default SMS app, the Hangouts unread count now only includes recent messages you’ve received in the last 24 hours. For more detailed info, read this help page.

  • Fixes for common crashes, battery problems, and a few bugs.

We also added a prompt to give feedback on Cover, so keep your thoughts coming and we’ll keep making improvements to the app.

Wishing you a warm and happy holiday season!

Todd, Ed, and Gordon

11 notes
FAQ: Cover works with different launchers

One of the most common questions we’ve heard is “I’m running a custom launcher — will it work with Cover?” The answer is yes! Check out this video to see it in action:

As you can see in the video, because Cover is a lockscreen, it works well with many different launchers. The video shows Nova Launcher, Themer, and Aviate. Cover works with these launchers and many more.

We hope you enjoy pairing Cover with your favorite launcher! Let us know what you think.

8 notes
Cover is now available for free on Google Play

Get Cover on Google Play

Cover is now publicly available on Google Play for everyone with Android 4.1+ in the US, Canada and Europe. It’s 100% free.

image

Over the last six weeks of beta testing, we’ve made 100+ improvements to Cover, including:

  • Optimized battery usage (for most people, Cover isn’t among the top 10 battery-consuming apps on their phone)
  • Improved car detection accuracy (motion-sensing algorithms)
  • Added compatibility with KitKat, Nexus 5, new ART runtime for Android
  • When peeking and switching between apps, Cover now perfectly maintains state within each app
  • Added tutorials on fast app-switching, how to set custom wallpapers/ring volume, how to use Cover with a security code (PIN/Pattern)
  • More customization options (e.g. configure size and location of app tray target)
  • Ability to share your Cover setup on Facebook/Twitter/Google+

Thanks so much for your patience — we hope the improvements that we’ve made over the last six weeks will make your first impression of Cover even better.

Install Cover on Google Play

Thanks so much for your enthusiasm!

— Todd, Ed, and Gordon (the Cover Team)

* If you’re outside the US/Canada/Europe or your device is not supported yet, Cover will be available in early 2014. However, if you don’t want to wait and are very adventurous, you can help test an experimental version of Cover.

15 notes

November 2013

2 posts

FAQ: How Cover works with your security code

One of the most common questions we’ve heard is “does Cover work with my PIN code or security pattern?” The answer is yes! Check out this video to see what it’s like in action:


As you see, Cover integrates with Android’s PIN/pattern system to give you the right apps at the right time while still maintaining your phone’s security. If you have a security code on your phone and slide open an app from Cover, you’ll be prompted to unlock your phone before the app opens.


To get the best experience when using Cover with a security code, we recommend that you set a short timeout period on your code (e.g. 5 or 10 minutes). That way, you can still use Cover’s true “peek” feature without sacrificing much in the way of security.


Thanks!

8 notes
5,000 invitations sent, 10,000 more next week

www.coverscreen.com

image

We’ve just finished sending out the first 5,000 invitations to Cover. Thank you so much for your patience as we roll things out. We want to make sure that each and every one of you has a great experience with Cover, so we’ve started slowly by inviting people who are running recent versions of Android on newer phones. Our intention, though, is to soon support any version of Android 2.3 and above.

We’ll be gradually sending out more invitations over the coming weeks, with the next 10,000 going out next week — so if you haven’t received an invitation yet, you should soon. Invitations are being sent via our Google+ Community (using Google Play’s new beta rollout system), so make sure your email address is connected to Google+.

Thanks again for your patience, enthusiasm and feedback!

— Todd, Ed, and Gordon



Recent posts:

15 notes

October 2013

2 posts

Cover: Hands-on demo video

www.coverscreen.com

Thanks so much for all the interest in Cover! We’re super excited by the number of sign-ups we’ve received, and we’ll start rolling out invitations over the next several weeks.

In the meantime, here’s a hands-on video demoing Cover’s four main features:

  1. The right apps at the right time
  2. Peek
  3. Jumping directly between apps
  4. Smart settings

Again, we’ll be sending out invitations over the next several weeks — thanks so much for your interest and your patience. We want to bring each and every one of you a great Cover experience, so we’re rolling out slowly as we make sure the app is working well.

Todd, Ed, and Gordon (https://www.coverscreen.com/team)

31 notes
#android #cover #newapps
Introducing Cover

www.coverscreen.com

The fastest way to get to the right apps at the right time

Today, we’re thrilled to announce Cover for Android. Cover is a replacement for your default lockscreen — it brings you the right apps at the right time, wherever you are.

image

Why Cover?

We have tons and tons of apps. And most of us don’t have time to organize them. Plus, apps can be pretty context-specific: we check weather and email in the morning, use calendar and make phone calls at work, and look at maps in the car. Cover brings the right apps up to your lockscreen and lets you launch them effortlessly with a swipe:

How does Cover work?

Cover learns which apps you use throughout your day and in the different places you use your phone. It automatically knows when you’re at home or work and recognizes when you’re driving, then learns which apps you use most in each context.

There’s barely anything to set up or configure.  Just give it your home and work addresses and everything else works automatically.  Cover automatically feels the motion of your car using your phone’s accelerometer and gyroscope. No more fumbling to get to maps or music!

Our Mission

We started Cover because we think that despite being amazing little computers, our smartphones can actually be a lot smarter. They can know us better. They can learn who we are and adapt to our unique needs. We want to help make that happen.

We also believe in the amazing potential of Android. Quite literally, we couldn’t have built Cover on any other mobile platform. Android’s open nature allows anyone to rethink how a phone should behave, and its thriving ecosystem makes us believe that it will soon become the phone of choice for several billion people. We’re not just an Android-first company — we’re an Android-only company.  All of us used to be passionate iPhone users, and we’re humbled by the opportunity to bring an iOS-level of design, polish, and craftsmanship to the world’s biggest mobile platform.

Get an invitation to Cover

Cover is currently in an invite-only beta, as we work hard to ramp up our servers and improve our learning algorithms.  You can sign up at www.coverscreen.com.  Thanks so much for trying our beta — we hope you have as much fun using Cover as we’ve had building it.

Thanks!

Todd, Ed, and Gordon  (https://www.coverscreen.com/team)

63 notes
#android #newapps