Twitter on Monday announced it had acquired Cover, a small startup focused on smart suggestions of Android apps for users.
The startup, which launched just six months ago, will join the microblogging company at its San Francisco headquarters.
Cover deals with an interesting subject area: Using your smartphone’s sensors to determine context and offer suggestions on what sort of Android apps you may want to have fast access to throughout the day. So if you’re passing a coffee shop at which you normally use the Venmo app to pay, Cover will rely on your phone’s location sensors and the time of day and serve up that Venmo app to the cover screen of your Android phone.
That isn’t to say Twitter is going to do a one-to-one translation of Cover’s features (Twitter has made a bunch of small acquisitions in its history, sometimes for talent, sometimes for tech).
What it does suggest, however, is that the company is increasing its bet on the Android platform and is perhaps more willing to play around with the different mobile features that Android affords compared to Apple’s iOS mobile software.
In recent months, Twitter has been willing to experiment with many new features on Android, mostly for the purposes of testing and seeing what people like. (It’s also easier to push out small tests to Android rather than iOS, which has an arduous Apple approval process.)
“Twitter, like Cover, believes in the incredible potential of Android,” the Cover co-founders wrote in a company blog post. “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.”
That’s markedly different from Twitter’s philosophy from two years ago, where the company’s product VP at the time pitched consistency across all of the company’s apps on every platform.
It’s worth noting that Yahoo, too, acquired an Android cover-screen startup earlier this year when it purchased Aviate, which also makes smart and personalized app and content suggestions based on context.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.