Like it or not, it's clear that Motorola's often-leaked upcoming batch of phones will be very different from the relatively straightforward designs in its current lineup. Previous leaks indicated that at least some of the models in the refreshed Moto X (or possibly Moto Z) and DROID series will have add-on modules called "MotoMod" that snap onto the back of the phone via a proprietary interface. It's a lot like the direction that LG is taking with its modular G5.
LG is really excited about the G5. So excited, in fact, that they just can't wait until Mobile World Congress later this month. To tide themselves over for the next few weeks, the PR folks have officially announced a cover for the LG G5 with a familiar see-through window and the capability to perform some basic functions with a touch-sensitive material. Most of the "Quick Cover" is translucent, allowing things like the phone answer or decline slider to be seen even when it's closed. This is presumably integrated with the always-on display that was previously teased. The design is similar to HTC's Dot View design, though the dots that make up the translucent cover seem much finer.
If you snatched up one of the hard-to-find Nexus 9 Magic Covers by getting in a pre-order at Amazon way back in October, check your inbox. At least one Android Police reader reports that his cover has shipped. Given Amazon's extensive and speedy distribution network, it's likely that most of the other pre-orders are shipping as well, though that might depend on which color you chose. And speaking of colors...
Amazon still has at least some of the first-party Nexus 9 covers in stock. That's the good news. The bad news is that you can have any color you want...
The Nexus 9 has been shipping for a few weeks already. If you got yours and you want to protect it in style without splurging for the expensive Keyboard Folio, the official Magic Cover has just showed up in stock on the Play Store. Until now, the cover was available for pre-order on Amazon and only the coral amethyst variation was being sold on the HTC website. The Play Store shows all 4 colour options in stock, so you can finally pick the one you like best.
The Magic Cover carries an origami-inspired design, with magnets that help attach it to the front or the back of your tablet, depending on whether or not you're actively using it.
Cover, the contextual lock screen replacement that's been available in open beta since December has been acquired by Twitter.
For now, the app is still available in the Play Store, and Cover promises that "for now" that won't change. When or if it will eventually change is unclear, but Cover's blog post on the matter goes on to explain their newly forged relationship.
Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android. They share our vision that smartphones can be a lot smarter — more useful and more contextual — and together we’re going to make that happen. We’ll be building upon a lot of what makes Cover great, and we’re thrilled to create something even better at Twitter.
Android's lock screen hasn't really changed since 4.2, but app developers keep coming up with new ways to wow us. Case in point: Cover. This alternative lockscreen replaces the default screen with a selection of quick-launch app icons, not unlike some of the manufacturer skins out there. But unlike TouchWiz or Sense, Cover automatically learns which apps you use at what times, and it comes with a ton of impressive UI features.
First of all, Cover lets you "peek" at the apps on your homescreen with a swipe gesture, allowing you to take a quick look at multiple apps without actually switching to any of them.
The Android lockscreen has been slowly evolving over the years, and it's got a respectable feature set these days. But sometimes rethinking a feature can provide a better overall experience. Cover is a new beta lockscreen alternative that tries to learn where you are and what you're most likely to need access to, then put it right there on the lockscreen. It's a compelling approach, but how is it?
It took an annoyingly long time for ASUS' official case for the original Nexus 7 to become available, and even when it did, it wasn't all that great. For the 2013 version ASUS has created two cases: a travel case, which is made of a soft plastic material like the older "official" case, and a premium case, with a hard plastic outer shell, foldable cover/stand, and microfiber interior. This more functional case is now shipping from at least two Amazon vendors.
In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).
Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10. We first saw this cover when the Nexus 10 was announced, and then it vanished into thin air for nearly six months before making a sudden appearance in the Play Store.
Just last week, we saw the launch of the elusive book cover for the Nexus 10 – the only official accessory of its kind to come out of the Play Store for the 10" slab. Since we spied it at the Nexus 10's original launch, all had been quiet. Presumably, the covers simply weren't ready to be sold.
Naturally, I had to pick one up and give it a shot. After all, I have something of a penchant for official accessories, and promised to give it a quick look. When the cover did show up, however, I noticed something curious.