Cover has released its app for retooling the Android lock screen into a useful, adaptable launch pad for apps.
Cover brings a number of features to Android phones: it picks commonly used apps on your lock screen, changing them according to your location and time of day based on your usage patterns for work, home, or in between. It lets you slide the app icons partway over for a quick peek at them or flick them all the way over to launch them. And it offers a new multitasking option: a long press on the right of Android's status bar will produce a drop-down list of your most commonly used items.
I've used Cover and find it useful -- though less so because I also use authentication on my lock screen, and that gums up Cover's fluidity. The company is working on improvements for that situation but isn't ready to release them yet.
Since the early test versions, the new app gets a quick tutorial when you launch it, better battery usage, compatibility with Android 4.4 KitKat and the experimental new ART app foundation it includes, and the ability to share your Cover configuration on social media. Oh and bug fixes.
The app is free. Cover hopes to make money eventually by promoting apps, drawing attention to apps that are installed but not used, and licensing the software to handset makers.