One of the really rad features of the Android ecosystem is the opportunity to become a part of developers’ beta communities, most often through Google+. This gives YOU the chance to try out our fantastic app developers’ latest and greatest features and gives YOU an opportunity to make a difference and shape the development of an app. Unlike the feeling we sometimes get with apps from big companies, these developers love to listen to the Android community and output a product that makes you happy. In my experience, it’s super fun to be a part of the development process and watch amazing apps grow and become even more awesome.
I’m sure there are more then just two out there, but today we have two beta apps for you to keep on your radar. If you care, try to join their beta communities, enjoy the apps and keep making our Android community even more awesome.
I’m really excited about Cover. There are a lot of new “smart” apps coming out exclusive to Android right now such as Aviate Launcher and Emu messenger. Why not a smart lockscreen? That’s exactly what Cover is. As Cover’s website puts it, “No more fumbling through screens of apps to find the one you’re looking for. Cover learns when and where you use different apps and puts them on your lockscreen for easy access.”
So when you’re at work, you’ll have the apps you use most on your lockscreen for easy access. When you’re in the car, you’ll have Maps or Spotify or Google Music or whatever you use right there. Cover also brings this really cool looking “peek” feature that allows you to just pull the Cover lockscreen aside and see an app like calendar or Twitter. This feature looks amazing, and I hope it can be as smooth as it seems in the demo video without taking up a whole bunch of our phone’s resources in the background. Last, Cover offers a sort of “Alt-Tab” feature like we use on the Windows operating system for switching apps. It’s another take on the multitasking that Android already offers, and a lot of launchers and new apps have been coming out with unique options for this type of app switching (see: Switchr and Action Launcher Pro). Regardless, Cover is looking like a really cool new and functional smart option for your Android lockscreen.
Right now, Cover isn’t in the Play Store yet and is invite only from their website, coverscreen.com. Head on over there and sign up if you’re interested.
Many of you are probably familiar with the popular and beautifully styled Any.do to-do and task app. Many of you may even be familiar with Cal already, especially if you’ve switched to Android from iOS. Cal has been a hugely popular calender app for Any.do on iOS, and the developers have finally brought it over to Android. What I think Cal brings to the table where many calendar apps have failed, especially on Android, is looks. Cal is really pretty, and that’s something that hasn’t really ever existed with Android.
Here are a list of features:
- Your events will come to life beautifully with smart maps, contacts, apps and social integrations.
- Seamlessly connects with all your existing calendar services so you’re always up to date (supports Google Calendar, Exchange, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL & iCloud).
- Each day starts with a fresh and gorgeous photo to celebrate the day in a fun way.
- Daily Planning is made simple. By connecting Cal with Any.do you can check out your Any.do tasks for the day.
- It’s always someone’s birthday. Write on your friends’ walls, buy a gift, make a call or send a message. It’s really easy.
- It’s easy to find great places, restaurants and bars nearby for your events.
- Scheduling made easy! Simply jump to a specific date from the month view or swipe to next week.
- Need a ride? Call an Uber with one click from Cal (available in supported locations).
Access to Cal’s Google+ Beta Community is currently on a request basis and it may take some time to gain access to it. Just follow this Google+ community link and request to join the community. Once you gain access, select “become a Cal Superuser” in the About this Community post, hit “become a tester” and you’re in! You can then follow the link to the Play Store and download Cal Beta and enjoy.
So what do you guys think of these new apps? Do they seem exciting? Do you love to be a part of the beta communities? What are some other brand new apps that I haven’t talked about that need to be on our radar? Let us know in the comments below!