Blog updates

Saturday, 31 July 2010

DroidEssentials updated

Updated DroidEssentials today.

  1. Removed some redundant classes to make it a bit leaner.
  2. When you start the app, it will only start the service if you have ticked the box - previouslyit always started the service.
  3. When you start the service, it no longer tries to start the same service several times (oops!). This had no effect other than wasting some time.
  4. Touched up some of the notification icons - the low battery looked a bit weak and the full battery had no transparent background.
  5. The app used to wait a minute after a boot had finished before it the service was started. I've removed the 1 minute pause as the starting of the service doesn't take much time or cpu so no need to wait.
Hope you like the updates.

Friday, 30 July 2010

First Android App published - DroidEssentials

One of the best custom ROMs for the HTC Hero is VanillaEclair. It's an Eclair build and is much lighter than the standard HTC Sense build. unfortunately, there are some part of Sense that are actually quite good - and they don't come as standard with stock Eclair.

One of these is the simple concept of an icon to highlight when a headphone is plugged in. Looking in the eclair framework, I can see it being spotted, but it does nothing with that. I was also getting a bit annoyed with my battery getting down to zero and not enough notifications. I also dislike leaving the phone on charge all night - I know the hero probably stops accepting current, but the charger is still plugged into the mains and sucking power.

So I built an android app to try and solve some of these issues. The app is called DroidEssentials and is is available now in the market for free.

It involves a simple service that registers for battery changes and headset changes.

  • When a headset is plugged in, an icon shows and stays there until the headset is unplugged. If it has a mic attached, you get a slightly different icon.
  • When the battery reaches 10%, you get an audible notification with a vibrate and an icon. You will get another at 5% and all the way down to 0%.
  • When the battery is being charged and reaches 100%, you get an audible notification and an icon. It stays there until you acknowledge the notification, or unplug the charger.
I've only tested this with my GSM Hero running VanillaEclair5 (based on android 2.1). It may work on other phones or android levels - but I have no way of knowing. if anyone installs on something else, please do let me know if it works or not!

Some screenshots:

shot showing the headphone icon on the status bar
The settings screen - shows that you can enable/disable all of the notifications

So, if you are missing some of these Sense tweaks and you would like to get a fix for them, plus a couple of new additions, feel free to download and let me know what you think.

Comments, suggestions and features greatly received!

UPDATE: Comments on the Market indicate that this works well on Froyo and also on a Desire running Eclair. Thanks for the comments.