Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) has announced the acquisition of Android app-organization app Cover. The app, which TechCrunch has called “the messiah of Android,” allows users to customize which apps they use most in different locations and makes it very fast and easy to jump between apps. What Twitter wants to do with it is uncertain, but a smartphone’s homescreen is valuable real estate as people download more and more apps.
A video demonstration of the app can be seen on TechCrunch, and it’s enough to give any Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) aficionado Android envy. Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) open-source free operating system allows for more innovation from developers and some are starting to build for Android rather than iOS first. The fact that Cover makes using your smartphone so incredibly convenient is also bad news for Apple, which doesn’t have an equivalent app for now.
The app identifies which apps you use most frequently at home, work, in the car, and out and about in other locations. It then changes the phone’s settings based on where you are, pulling up the six apps you’re most likely to need. The app can also change settings based on location, for example setting the ringer to vibrate while you’re at work but turning it on loud while at home. After setting up Cover, it manages your apps and settings automatically and makes the entire experience of using your Android phone quicker and easier.
“We started Cover a year ago because we believed in two things: 1) the untapped potential of the supercomputers we carry in our pockets, and 2) the amazing power of Android. We built a replacement for Android’s default lockscreen that makes our phones easier to use by adapting to our context — providing fast access to the right apps at the right time,” the Cover team said in a blog post announcing the acquisition.
The blog post continued: “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.”
The Cover team said that the app will remain available in the Google Play Store for now and promised to make an announcement should that change. The developers didn’t get any more specific about what exactly they’d be working on at Twitter, or how being purchased by Twitter might change Cover. People who have come to rely on the app are likely hoping that Twitter won’t insert itself too much, as part of the point is for the app to recognize which apps you use a lot in different locations. If Twitter becomes a default option in any of the places but you don’t really use Twitter very often if at all, it will reduce the number of default apps you get quick access to using Cover.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has already been working to monopolize the Android homescreen through its Home app, which makes the social media site quicker and easier to access while keeping it at the front of users’ minds every time they look at their phone. As users become distracted by more and more apps, this is a good way to keep their attention.
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