Google has launched a new feature that lets Android mobile users create $35 custom cases for Nexus devices such as the Nexus 5x (built by LG), the Nexus 6 (built by Motorola), and the Nexus 6P. People get to pick between a couple of options for the Live Cases. One option, Photos Live Case, lets users select any image, and print it onto their custom case. The other option, Place Live Case, allows users to create and then print a stylized map, with assistance from the tech giant’s own Google Maps service. In both options, users are free to choose a pair of filters, plus other design options, in order to fully customize their cases according to their unique preferences. The do it yourself designing part is all made possible through the use of a web app, and users can choose between a glossy or matte finish. Once users have designed and then placed an order for their case, Google will also let them download a wallpaper with the same design for good measure.
The cases are not just your ordinary cases. As a matter of fact, Google has claimed that there is a programmable shortcut button on the rear side of the case that will let mobile users open their favorite app with just one click. All signs indicate that this feature is powered by near field communications (NFC) technology, the same piece of tech used by Apple for its mobile payment system.
Google may have made a fine decision in pricing the Nexus custom cases at $35, which should just compete with (and even beat) other services currently provided by other firms, e.g. Skinit. But the one major advantage that Google can offer is that the custom cases are optimized for Nexus devices, and they give users an additional shortcut button for their handset, too.
The whole design process is pretty straightforward. With Photos Live Case, users need only upload a photo to the web app, pick a style, and basically, that is it. When users snap on their case, they can see turn home screen transform into a slideshow, featuring pictures they personally picked from Google Photos. When adding more images to the wallpaper, users simply need to tap the shortcut button on the rear side of the case in order to launch the camera.
As for the Places Live Case, users can create their own live wallpaper that displays a map of their whereabouts as they go about their usual daily routine. By tapping the shortcut button, the app will show what interesting places there are in the vicinity on Google Maps. Or, they can choose to make a stylized map of their favorite beach, hometown, or hangout.
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