Tuesday, February 14, 2012

App Lock! Finally.

Everyone wants to use your tablet?  Until they become as ubiquitous as our personal communication devices (unlikely) they're going to be a novelty for many and that "many" are going to want to play around with them.

Lock screens are pretty pointless in that regard ... enter App Lock!  Thank you and you're welcome.  This app allows you to apply a lock screen on an app-by-app basis freeing me to unbegrudgingly hand my HP TouchPad loaded with CyanogenMod 9 v0.6a over to whomever asks without worrying about them getting into my financial app, e-mail, Facebook or anything else I choose.

I have it on my phone too but I don't often get asked to hand over my phone for someone else's entertainment.  I would love to have unique user profiles accompanied by a login and password, but until then this app should fit the bill.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Screen Timeout Toggle

I recently switched carriers and upgraded to a new phone.  I've been pretty impressed with the Samsung Galaxy S II on T-Mobile's service so far with 3 glaring exceptions:

1. It's all or nothing in my area with T-Mobiles service.  I either have 4G or 2G (Edge?).  2G is pretty dang pointless.

2. The lock screen is simply ridiculous.  You touch and swipe the whole screen as one big panel?  Looks like a highschool beginning Mobile Development Computer Science project.

3. This phone doesn't have the 'always on' option while USB connected.  As a developer I've found that to be very irritating.  My default screen timeout is 15 seconds.  When you're tweaking something and in a quick back and forth between the code and the phone it's nothing short of infuriating.

Today I started searching the market for a 1-touch solution.  I found it: Screen Timeout Toggle.  You put the shortcut or 1 of the 2 widgets (see below) on your desktop and it does 1 thing; it toggles between keeping your screen always on and back to the pre-defined system setting.  Of course, the beauty of the widgets is that they provide an indication of the current state.

I tested the app using a power control widget to adjust the screen timeout setting and by my testing the app does exactly what it claims to do.  I do very much enjoy the complete utilitarian approach this app takes.  It doesn't try to be the end-all-be-all for your power, screen and connectivity management.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Did you Floss today?

Floss App (http://flossapp.com/) is a habit helper.  It has an amazingly simple, clean interface and has served as the simple reminder "did you run today."  Of course you can fill in any verb you like to complete the reminder sentence.

You can see by the images below that lots of effort was put into the interface and the user experience (UX).  The app author has, on many occasions, watched how people interact with his application.  He is always interested in "why'd you do 'that'" or "what did you expect to happen when you did 'that'?"  Many of the UX tweaks have been a direct result of those interactions.

As you'll see by a sampling of my data below the app has done beautifully reminding me to run but I haven't necessarily done so well ;)



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The first thing you see.  Yeah, last ... you're going to see this as soon as you click the icon ;)  Might as well show you the less obvious pieces of the app first!