A Magical Android Cover Lock Screen

My Nexus 5 / Nexus 7 experience has been a winner so far. I’m 14 days into “Android instead of iOS” and I’m enjoying it a lot.

Almost all of the apps I use on iOS are on Android. Most are just as good / some are better.

And some of them are awesome. I’ve discovered Cover and I love it. It’s one of those things that just does what you want it to do. Another is Agent which has helped with battery life but also made it simple for me to keep my Nexus 7 in the bedroom since I just tell it to “sleep” from 9pm to 8am and as a result all the notification activity goes away and I don’t have to think about anything. Finally, the Nexus Wireless Charger is awesome.

I’ve got 17 more days before I decide whether to stay with the Nexus 5 or go back to the iPhone. Either way, I’m learning a lot.

  • Luke Sankey

    Welcome to the real world! You have taken the blue pill. Stick with Android and play away. 🙂

  • When reflecting on that choice please bear in mind:
    a) the future of apps is data science so when big data and low latency networking comes knocking – who ya gonna call? Apple or Google?
    b) the market share of Android continues to grow. We continue to see those who content that doesn’t matter. It does.

  • jusben1369

    Who knew I’d be coming to FeldThoughts for Android App tips!

    • Hah! There are surprises here on a regular basis.

  • NickN

    I’ve been loving cover too. It’s buggy on my aging Samsung Nexus, but the benefits outweigh the bugs.

    The things I like most about android are:

    1) I can put shortcuts on my “desktop” i.e. not every installed app has to be on my home screen somewhere.
    2) I can also create folders of shorcuts, so I can have the handful of things I use all the time readily accessible without taking up screen space.
    3) Widgets. I don’t use many, but they are a great addition.
    4) I run into brick walls set up “for my own protection” a lot less than with my iOS devices.

    For me, I still love my Apple products, but Android is my phone of choice.

    • laurayecies

      iOS has folders – am I misunderstanding your point?

      • NickN

        Yup, iOS does have folders, but it also forces you to have all applications on your home screen(s). On Android I can take the default icons at the bottom of the screen and turn some of them into folders. Imagine if the default icons on the bottom bar of iOS could be turned into folders and the rest of the clutter hidden away and you get the idea. The 13 apps I use all the time are at most 2 easy taps away and all clustered at the bottom of the screen where they are easy to find and use.

        • JamesWagar

          I’m totally Android-curious. However, you can put folders in the iOS dock.

  • Whilst we on the subject of apps – am I the only one getting increasingly uncomfortable about how incredibly invasive the permissions requested for even the simplest apps are? Am I the only one who would pay a premium for apps that don’t required any data other than what I agree is absolutely necessary?

    • I assume they have access to everything regardless of what the permissions say. And I’m ok with it.

      • But is everybody in your address book OK with it?

      • I was a little more than taken aback at the Linkedin Application update seeking accessing to call history. I balked, declined, and ended up uninstalling the app. Too much of “the circle” for my comfort at the moment…

  • Harlan Blynn

    Thanks for the heads up on Cover. I’ll give it a go!

    Just a couple friendly apps that I’ve been enjoying:

    Timely (http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ch.bitspin.timely) is the most gentle alarm clock I’ve used.
    AirDroid (http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sand.airdroid) is a great way to move most of the functionality of my phone onto my computer screen. I really like being able to SMS from my web browser.

    Also, if you are looking for other HW, I just got the Moto X and am loving the voice commands (much better than Siri, in my opinion).


  • Being able to clear your notification tray in 1 swipe is reason enough to stay with Android Brad :o) Cover has been the best of the launcher/theme apps I’ve used. Other Android apps the are improvement over defaults are Cal and Any.DO for calender-ing and to-dos.

    • I’m using – and liking – Cal.

  • Dave Girouard

    Cover is my first and only angel investment. Totally studly former Gmail peeps . .

    • It’s super cool!

  • Try Locale & Aviate. Made the switch relatively recently too and quite happy overall.

  • sciwizam


    Get your phone notifications as Chrome notifications on your computer.

  • Vladimir Mishin

    I’m using Galaxy Note 3 for almost half a year. Great assistant, plus you can make handritten notes with stylus. (Stylus designed very well, conveniently located, could be used for everything as well as drawing)
    Cons: google or samsung should fix the bug with gps loosing the signal while driving.

  • kermit64113

    One thing that Apple has stubbornly refused to allow is a call control API. Android has two decent Caller ID apps (Privacy Star and White Pages/ Current) that identify callers (and, in the Privacy Star case, texters) not in your contact list. Both have 1-5 million downloads. I use Privacy Star and like it a lot – worth the small annual fee.

    This is what Mobile Symmetry did (we partnered with TARGUSinfo) although we took it to a different level with group ID, Google calendar search, and salesforce.com integration. Unfortunately, that’s only avail in India now… Jim Patterson

    • StevenHB

      White Pages/Current, which I tried in response to this suggestion, interfered with answering incoming calls a couple of times. Had to remove it.

      • kermit64113

        Sorry about that, Steven. I use Privacy Star on my Note 2 and Note 3 phones and they work terrific (have had them on for at least 5 months with no issues). – Jim P

        • StevenHB

          It is what it is and it’s certainly not your fault. I’ve installed Privacy Star and will try that.

  • laurayecies

    “Agent” link not working for some reason

    • Thx – should be fixed now.

  • Brad have you checked out https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.touchtype.swiftkey yet? It’s a huge reason that I gave up my iPhone experiment to go back to Android.

  • i used cover when it was in beta and ultimately i bailed because it didn’t work well with pin numbers. did they fix that issue or do you go without a pin?

    • Dan

      haven’t really fixed it. I ended up changing my settings so that the power button no longer locks the device and set the lock to kick in after 5 minutes. Not as secure as I might like but realistically it’s unlikely I’m going to loose my phone/someone finds it within 5 minutes. The more likely downside is that I leave it on a table and walk away for a minute and someone snoops – I’m not too concerned with this scenario.

      With this setup Cover can save me a few seconds most of the time…hardly game changing but can be nice.

    • It’s seems to be fine for me – I use face recognition with a pin fall back and I haven’t noticed anything wonky / unexpected.

  • Cover looks pretty awesome. I am very curious to see which platform you decide on using in the end.

  • White Pages/Current, which I tried in response to this suggestion,
    interfered with answering incoming calls a couple of times. Had to
    remove it. http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/

  • thabo mophiring

    Sigh Cover not available in my country