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“Stay on” manual

The “Stay on” app is almost out of the testing phase, time to publish the working of the app: enter the manual.

So what is the purpose of the app?
The purpose of the app is to easily extend the screen timeout.

How does it work?
When you install the app you get one icon:

app icon

When you click the icon, it will remember your current screen timeout, and then set the screen time out to 30 minutes.
You will get a short “toast message” that this happend
toast long

And you get a notification to remind you
notification

That was all to extend the screen timeout.
I don’t see a app screen or form?
That’s correct. Because there is no interaction with this app there is no visual screen or form. You only see the “toast messsage” and the notification.
(If you think another way would be better, please leave a comment!)

Typical usage for the app is that you only want to extend it for a limited time of use, so you want to reset the screen timeout to the old value too.
There are 2 ways to do that:
1: click the app icon again or
2: click the notification

In both cases the screen timeout will be set to the old value (which we remembered earlier) and you get a short “toast message” what the new screen timeout is.

toast short

Hope you enjoy the app, and if you have any questions please post a comment.

Figuring out how to implement the ‘stay on’ app

I was figuring out how to implement the ‘stay on’ app.

Where can I put a button to click?

First idea was to put it in a always present notification.
This seemed like a bad idea though; it is of course a convenient and always present place to store ‘content’ like a button, but it is not meant for it.

A simple ‘flashlight’ app set me in the right direction.
The flashlight app is a simple app with which you can set your camera light on and off. You click the icon and the light goes on, and you click the icon again, and the light goes off.
The same thing I want, so that sounds like a good idea.
What the flashlight app and the stay-on app have in common is that it is more a ‘control-button’ than a real app with a screen / user interface.
So I think this is the way I will implement it.

One thing which can be a slight problem is that when you forget to press the button (start the app) again, the screen timeout will stay long.
So I wondered if I could add a (visual) indication that the screen timeout was set to a long period.
I decided to implement it as a persistent notification
notification

In my idea of typical usage of the app, you use it to temporarily set the screen timeout to a long period, not to set it to a long time for always.
You set the screen timeout to a long period, work on your phone, and then reset the screen timeout to the original period.
In this way, it would make sense that you would be reminded (by a notification) that you changed the setting. By implementing it as a notification it is clear, present, and non-intrusive.

Advantage of this implementation is that I can use the notification as the button too: when you click on the notification, the same action is performed as clicking the ‘button’ (app icon): the screen timeout is set to the original period.

Choosing an app icon for ‘Stay on’

I found a nice collection of icons from which I am going to choose the icon for the new ‘Stay on’ app.

I find it difficult to choose one, because what icon says “Stay on”.

Because I didn’t know the answer to that question, I decided to pick a nice looking, neutral looking one.

So, here are the candidates:

stay-on-icon (7) stay-on-icon (6) stay-on-icon (5) stay-on-icon (4) stay-on-icon (3) stay-on-icon (2) stay-on-icon (1)stay-on-icon (8)stayonicon

If you want you can pick your favorite and put it in the comment.

New Android app: ‘keep your telephone screen on’

Do you recognize this:

  • You are typing a to-do item on your phone and when you check the television for a second, your phone screen is off.
  • Or you are online banking on your phone, and when your child asks a question, your phone screen goes off.
  • Or you are typing an email on your phone, and when you ask for the exact name of the recipient, your phone screen goes off.
  • Or you are…. well you know what I mean.

Wouldn’t it be nice that you can easily extend the time that the screen will stay on?

I thought it would be nice that I could click a button and the screen would stay on long, and when I click the button again, it would restore the old screen timeout.

So click once: screen timeout long, click again: original screen timeout restored.

I would like that, so that will be my next app, and it will probably be named: ‘stay on’

Last week of testing

Almost there… last week of testing my app to see if it has any weird behaviour.

This is what the app will look like when you’re connected via Wifi:

wifi-connected

This is when you’re connected via the cell network:

cell-connected

This is when the app is getting the data:

waiting-to-connect

And this is when you are not connected to anything:

no-connection

Description of the “what’s my IP” symbols

You are connected via the cell-network (GPRS / HSPA+ / 3G / 4G etc.)You are connected via the cell-network (GPRS / HSPA+ / 3G / 4G etc.)

At this moment we are checking whether you have a cell-network or WiFi connectionAt this moment we are checking whether you have a cell-network or WiFi connection

At this moment we cannot determine if you have a cell-network or WiFi connection. Try 'refresh'At this moment we cannot determine if you have a cell-network or WiFi connection. Try ‘refresh’

At this moment you have no active cell-network or WiFi connection. Maybe the Airplane mode is on?At this moment you have no active cell-network or WiFi connection. Maybe the Airplane mode is on?

You are connected via a WiFi network.You are connected via a WiFi network.

At this moment we are checking whether you have an internet connectionAt this moment we are checking whether you have an internet connection

At this moment we cannot determine if you have a cell-network or WiFi connection. Try 'refresh'At this moment we cannot determine if you have a cell-network or WiFi connection. Try ‘refresh’

You are connected to the internetYou are connected to the internet

You are not connected to the internetYou are not connected to the internet

First app is started: What’s my IP

So the first development is started.
And what is it going to be? The next Facebook?

Well no, I thought that was a little to high a goal to set for the first app.

I decided to built a simple ‘what is my ip’ app.
Agreed, it’s no rocket science, and it’s been made before,  but it will provide me some nice learning about:

  • UI elements like buttons, textboxes, images;
  • Layouts;
  • Network settings;
  • Wi-Fi settings;
  • Reading JSON;
  • Async programming;
  • Calling internet pages;

So for the first app that will do, and I hope I can show more progress soon.