Google's new Live Cases take phone customization to a new level

Some extra visual flair for your Nexus phone

Google is taking smartphone customization to the next level with new Live Cases for its Nexus lineup. Similar to Moto Maker, Google's Live Case maker lets you craft one that fits your taste, with either your favorite faces or places right on the case.

What makes it "live"? Glad you asked. You pick what you want on the case. Let's say that's a you have a Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, or Nexus 6P and you want to immortalize a photo of your car, or a place in the world that's special to you.

After you receive the $35 (about £25, AU$45) case with your favorite picture printed onto it, the Live Cases app lets you set a photo slideshow that switches on automatically when you snap it to your phone. If you choose to set a Google Maps location, your phone will load a live wallpaper that shows your current location wherever you are.

In addition to having the freedom to add whichever photo or map location you want, you can also deck it out with your choice of design overlays. These range from making your case rock a more minimalist look, to one that's sure to stick out.

Live Cases

Credit: Google

The Live Cases also feature a pre-programmed shortcut button that add some handy functionality. If you've added a photo, tapping the button will open the camera so you can add a new pic to the slideshow mix. If you chose a place instead, Google Maps will open and show you some stuff to visit around your location.

Wait, this seems familiar

Live Cases themselves aren't new. Google introduced a Skrillex Live Case back in mid-2015, but it wasn't customizable, and you were out of luck if you didn't like Skrillex-flavored merchandise.

The older Live Case featured the same shortcut button, except it was customizable, allowing you to set which app it opened upon pressing it. Though Google hasn't explicitly stated whether the Places Live Case and Photos Live Case can be similarly tweaked, hopefully it affords you that same freedom.

Our review of the Huawei-crafted Nexus 6P: