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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's been about five months since the Nexus 10 came out. In what is frustratingly becoming true Play Store fashion, accessories did not come out alongside the device. Now, however, the covers have finally landed in two colors: grey and "scarlet" (here being defined as "safety vest orange," at least as it appears in pictures).
For those unfamiliar with how this case works, on the back of the Nexus 10 there is an ovoid plastic plate that snaps in place.
Action Launcher is something special. The home screen replacement made its debut a short three months ago in December, and found its way into our hearts as one of (if not the) best app of the month. What makes Action Launcher a great replacement is that it's unique – AL is totally different from any Launcher we've yet seen, and it earns that distinction with a couple of signature features: first, all your apps are a quick slide away.