Google's new Live Cases put a favorite image or Google Map on your Nexus phone

A programmable shortcut button can launch a favorite app with one tap on the case.

Google has a new case that will add some pizzazz and extra functionality to your Nexus smartphone.

The new Live Cases shop lets you add an image to your custom case, which is then paired with a companion wallpaper for a personalized look.

Or you can select the Places Live Case, which lets you outfit the snap-on case with a custom Google Map illustration on the back. Your live wallpaper then shows your current location in the same art style.

When you go this route, your live wallpaper will update to match your daily wanderings. A shortcut button, which rests on the back of the snap case, can launch Google Maps to show you what’s nearby. You’re also able to customize this invisible button to launch a preferred app.

You can get started by heading to the Google Store. Each case costs US$35. Unfortunately, they're not available in Australia yet.

The impact on you: Google has crafted a rather compelling case, which should definitely appeal to those who are drawn to Android because of the deep customization capabilities. This also serves as another way for Google to get more attention to its Nexus devices, which are designed to serve as a showcase for all the possibilities with the latest version of Android.

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Derek Walter

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