There are a growing number of startups taking advantage of Android’s flexibility to deliver content directly to the smartphone’s lock screen, enabling things like alerts, ads, and even messaging – without requiring users to first unlock their phone and launch an app. A new startup called Corgi, available now on Google Play’s store, is one of these new efforts, as it delivers news directly to your phone’s lock screen.
The application works in conjunction with the popular news reader Feedly, which today has somewhere between a million and 5 million installs on Android, according to Google Play’s data. The idea is that Feedly subscribers can use the Corgi app to tap into their current subscriptions, and have that content synced to their device’s lock screen – essentially turning the lock screen itself into a news reader.
Once installed, Corgi allows you to swipe up to read the article it presents, or you can swipe to the left to browse to other articles. Meanwhile, to simply unlock the phone, you just swipe right. And as you’re reading, if a given article is truncated by the publisher, you can launch a browser in the app to read the entire story.
You’re also able to use Corgi to share stories on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well as save the story for later reading through services like Pocket or Evernote.
The app, which sports Google’s brightly colored Material Design user experience, is the work of a distributed team of developers and designers Stan Dmitriev, Andrey Sharipov and Sergey Varichev, currently based in Finland, Thailand and Russia. They’ve actually been working on the product for 10 months but previously launched a version of the app that didn’t quite resonate with users. The feedback they received at the time was that users didn’t quite understand how it was meant to work.
The team then went back to the drawing board and redesigned everything, resulting in the app that’s live today. The new app is only a couple of weeks old, but has already been featured on new product aggregator Product Hunt where it’s hit today’s front page.
Dmitriev says the attention is unexpected, and admits the app still has a few kinks to work out. The service works well on most Android KitKat and Lollipop-powered smartphones, he notes, including the Google Nexus and Motorola-branded devices. However, other users have reported bugs which he attributes to driver issues. The team expects to roll out fixes for these in a release arriving next week.
Also arriving in the forthcoming version is a feature that will be handy for those Feedly users with a larger number of subscriptions. The app will soon include the option to let you pick and choose which of your feeds actually show up on the lock screen. That way, you can use Corgi to track just your most important news sources instead of everything you may follow in your Feedly reader.
The startup has a small amount of angel funding through a single investor, but is looking to raise a couple hundred thousand more in order to develop its technology and its business further. Dmitriev explains that they would like to one day license their framework to others who want to build out custom lock screens of their own, similar to Microsoft’s Android lock screen, for example.
Corgi for Feedly is a free download on Google Play.