Way back in August of 2014, we got a peek at a service Google was experimenting with, at the time called "Workshop." The service would allow users to create customized cases for their Nexus 5, featuring either photos or map imagery of their choice. The cases would come with a special live wallpaper, also customized around the user's preferences.

After that post, though, everything was quiet. We didn't hear or see any new motion on Workshop until last month, when a customized Google Maps case popped up on a Googler's Google+ profile. The case was on a Nexus 6, and looked really similar to the cases we'd seen before. Also, as noted in the post, the case almost certainly came from Google, since the Google Maps policy on using Maps imagery is pretty clear about not using said imagery on products for resale. There was something strange about the case, though - it had a symbol near the bottom that we couldn't identify.


Recently, Google announced Live Cases, limited edition cases designed by well-known artists which came with their own custom wallpapers. The first collection, as you may know, was designed in collaboration with Skrillex. Check out what's on the back of the cases.

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It turns out that this symbol is the "shortcut button" used by Google's Live Case app for setup, which can also be customized as a shortcut to apps, websites, your camera, or as a WiFi toggle. On the new Skrillex cases, other options include a shortcut to Skrillex.com, Google Earth, and Google Sky Map.

Screenshot_2015-05-23-15-51-42 Screenshot_2015-05-23-16-10-14 Screenshot_2015-05-23-16-21-10

fun fact: you can trick the live case app into going past the setup screen by just locking and unlocking your device

Knowing this, it's probably safe to say that Workshop cases, customized for users, are still under consideration. Whether or when Google might announce customization of course remains to be seen, but confirmation that the Maps case from last month is at least recent and functionally similar to the new live cases is a promising sign.