My favorite designer created the new “Am I connected” icon.
I’m really happy with the result:
New (spinoff) app idea: Am I connected?
Sometimes new ideas are no more than a spinoff of an existing idea (or app).
In my case, I created an app in which I show you your current internal and external IP address (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=greenledsoftware.whatsmyip)
When I gather that information, I also gather the info which kind of data connection you have (WiFi or cell connection or none) and whether you have a live internet connection.
And what happened: I got messages that the IP addresses are nice and all, but all they really are interested in was whether they were internet connected or not!
They thought the IP address was only ‘noise’; which I can understand when you don’t use these terms daily.
And if I could build an app without the IP address with only the connection info.
The one question that needed to be answered was: “Am I connected?”.
And with “connected” they meant “internet connected”.
Of course there was a second question also when the answer was “yes”: am I WiFi or cell network connected?
The second question of course is for getting the right mind set for their data-usage because high data consumption on a cell network usually is a costly idea.
Good news, version 1.0 of “stay on” is in the Google play store.
Can I change the timeout of ’30 minutes’?
Not at this moment. Since the app has no screen/form/UI, I don’t have a place to put any ‘setting’ menu item. If and when I find a solution for this, I’ll make the ’30 minutes’ configurable.
My app resets to ’15 seconds’; the app of my colleague resets to ‘2 minutes’
When you start the app to extend the screen timeout time to 30 minutes, the app remembers the current screen timeout setting.
When you start the app again and the app resets the screen timeout, it resets the screen timeout to that original, remembered, setting.
So in this case, your original screen timeout setting was ’15 seconds’ and you colleagues screen timeout setting was ‘2 minutes’
Can I remove the notification from my home screen?
Not at this moment. I’ve put the notification there to indicate that the screen timeout is set to 30 minutes so you don’t forget to turn it back to ‘normal’ again to prevent heavy battery usage from the screen.
I would like to make it a configurable user setting but didn’t find out yet how to do that (see question “Can I change the timeout of ’30 minutes’?”)
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:
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.
Hope you enjoy the app, and if you have any questions please post a comment.
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
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.
I’ve released a minor update of the “What’s my IP” app.
I’ve improved the retrieval process of the IP address.
The version is now 1.1; your version should be automatically updated.
For new users, you can get it at the play store:
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:
If you want you can pick your favorite and put it in the comment.
Do you recognize this:
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’
Yes, the “what’s my ip’ app is in the Google Play store: