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Team Win Recovery Project adds support for Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch

Posted by wicked July - 27 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

TWRP

Team Win posted its official custom recovery for both the Samsung Gear Live and the LG G Watch today, giving users the ability to add customer ROMs to the devices.

Once you’re in custom recovery, the options on the screen are a bit small for a smartwatch screen, so an upcoming interface update will most likely resize the buttons. Otherwise, everything works fine. Of course you’ll need an unlocked bootloader before you do anything.

Some solid custom ROMs should be on the way soon, so just be patient…

Click here to view the embedded video.

Source: XDA Developers

Come comment on this article: Team Win Recovery Project adds support for Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch

Android customization – Write and scan NFC Tags using Trigger

Posted by wicked July - 17 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Header Trigger July 17

Luckily, we’ve already discussed what NFC is and what NFC Tags are and how they work. Let’s now build on that and put the power of NFC tags into your hands using an app named Trigger.

Trigger is designed to take NFC Tags to the next level. Instead of writing standard information to the tags to be read by any NFC app and device, Trigger writes short code that, upon reading the tag, is interpreted into nearly any action on your device that you can imagine.

Trigger is capable of performing many actions that users of Tasker may be familiar with, in-fact, should you not desire to re-create many of your tasks, you can use Trigger to fire a Tasker Task. That’s right, instead of creating Tasker Profiles, you can use a NFC Tag to fire your Tasker Tasks, check back next week to see how that is done.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonWith your NFC capable Android device, head on in to the Google Play Store for your free copy of Trigger. You will also need some NFC Tags. Feel free to hit up Amazon for your tags, or, keeping it super simple, you can order tags through the Trigger Shop in-app.

Create a Trigger Task

Let’s keep this super simple, we want to see the process without getting caught up in the details, so, let’s set this up so your NFC Tag turns your display brightness down and turns off your ringer. A simple bed time mode.

Trigger Create Task Step 1

Head on into Trigger, navigate to the My Tasks section and click the “+ New Task” button in the top right to get started.

First, we setup the Triggers for our actions. Go ahead and tap the “+” button in the top right.

We will discuss the other options later, for now, tap NFC to continue.

Tap Next.

Add restrictions. I always recommend playing with options, so feel free to apply any restrictions you deem fit for your needs. For our purposes, we do not want any restrictions, so simply tap Done to continue.

You can also add multiple Triggers, so that the NFC Tag only works if your device is connected to a specific WiFi network, for example. Here again, let’s keep it simple and not add additional Triggers.

Tap Next.

Trigger Create Task Step 2

At the bottom, rename your Task Uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “SimpleSleep.”

Tap the “+” button in the top right corner to add your Tasks.

From the long list of available categories, tap Sound & Volume.

Tap Ring / Notification volume.

You can either now tap Sound & Volume again to close the category, or just leave it and move on.

Tap Display.

Tap Brightness.

You’ve now selected which settings to configure, tap Next to set values for them.

Adjust Ring Volume to your desired value, I will choose 0.

Adjust your Display Brightness setting, once again, I will choose 1. Please be aware of how our device brightness values operate, some devices have a completely black screen at value 0.

Tap OK to confirm settings.

Review your Tasks, add more if you so choose, then hit Next to continue.

Trigger Create Task Step 3

Trigger will now show you the Switch Tasks section. As it states, if you create Tasks here then your NFC Tag will toggle between firing your above Tasks and the ones you assign here. This is great if you want to use the same NFC Tag to toggle on and off certain settings. We’re going to skip this option today as well.

Tap Done.

Now for the scary part, take your NFC Tag and place it against your device. You will hear a confirmation sound that your NFC Tag has been written to. Feel free to write as many tags as you wish by tapping them one at a time against your device. Okay, not that scary.

Tap Done to complete.

There you have it. You have successfully written to your own NFC Tag so that it fires a custom task on your device.

Some things to be aware of

Trigger writes custom code to your tags that require not only the app to remain installed on your device(s), but for the Tasks to be created and active in the app. The folks behind Trigger have another app called NFC Writer that can write tags to be read by any NFC enabled device. The advantage is that Trigger code is much shorter than traditional NFC language, allowing you to put many commands onto a single tag.

We did not write-protect the tags today, you can re-write to the tags if needed. This is not recommended, but I can confirm that a tag I have now written to several times over a span of a year is still working fine. This also means that others can write to your tags, which can be a security concern. Simply tap the Settings icon in the top write corner of the tag writing screen and select ‘Make tag read-only’ to change this.

Trigger Read only Setting Warning

What’s next

I am sure you noticed that there are tons of options within Trigger to create many Tasks using various Triggers. My advice is to think about your normal daily routine, what actions do you take on device throughout your day that would be best handled using NFC? From there, think about groups of actions that you always perform at the same time, our example today dimmed the display and silenced the ringer, it could have also silenced the notification volume and turned up the alarm volume. All of that and more with a single tap of an NFC Tag.

Next Week

We kept it pretty simple today. Sure, there are a lot of steps to perform a simple Task in Trigger, so we’ll keep it simple again next week and use Trigger to fire up a Tasker Task, this way, you can re-use some of the Tasker projects we’ve already worked through. I’m all about re-purposing projects and code where possible, and avoiding duplicating tasks.

That’s how easy it can be to write your own NFC Tags using Trigger. What do you think, can NFC Tags automate anything significant in your Android world?

Moto Maker to come to Mexico this week

Posted by wicked July - 15 - 2014 - Tuesday Comments Off

Motomaker MotoX

Moto Maker will be made available to customers in Mexico this week, according to Motorola.

The news follows the service’s expansion to Germany last week.

The Mexican site will have the same customization options. It’s live now, but the check out service doesn’t work yet. Pricing isn’t known but we do know it will depend on the customer’s service plan through Telcel. 

Come comment on this article: Moto Maker to come to Mexico this week

Android customization – using Tasker to control display timeout and rotation

Posted by wicked July - 10 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Header Tasker Display timeout rotation July 10

Are you getting the hang of Tasker yet? We’ve spent a few weeks now working through a number of relatively simple Tasker Tasks and Profiles including setting your alarm volume so you don’t sleep in, silencing your phone at night, and making sure those few important calls get through, even when the phone is silent.

The previous Tasker projects were designed as much to get you familiar with working with Tasker as they were to provide simple, yet invaluable, functionality. Today, we will continue this trend as our Android customization series continues.

Let’s use Tasker to automate the display timeout and rotation settings.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonI think you know it already, you’re going to need an Android device with Tasker installed. Tasker is still $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

User Tasker to control display timeout

On most versions of Android you can head into Settings -> Display -> Sleep, or something similar to that, if you want to manually control the display timeout setting. As you also know, many apps have the ability to override this setting to keep your screen turned on indefinitely. Some apps, however, do not come with this ability, allowing the display to turn off just when you need it most.

Personally, I find camera apps to be the biggest offenders. I start Camera, get settled to take my shot and boom, my screen turned off and I have to start again. Bad example? Perhaps you have a game installed that has lengthy cut-scenes, but you’ve never seen them through because your display shuts off on you. Or you just want to use Google Maps as a navigation tool in the car, but it keeps shutting off.

Let’s take a look at how Tasker can keep your display turned on for you. First step will be to create the Task that keeps the display turned on, then a Profile to trigger it.

Tasker Task – display timeout

Tasker Display Timeout Task

Head on into Tasker and get to the Tasks tab. Tap the “+” button at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name your Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “KeepScreen”. (In homage of the single purpose app that can do this too.)

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Display.

Select Display Timeout.

Set your desired time to keep the display turned on. I assume that you already have your device set to turn off after about a minute, thus, you’ll want to have a greater timeout here. Myself, I’ll go with 59 Secs, 59 mins and 23 Hours, which, is interpreted as ‘infinite’ for our purposes here.

Tap the system back button to confirm settings, then again to exit the Task Edit screen.

Simply enough, you now have a Task ready to keep your display turned on for a custom amount of time. Let’s now go figure out when to use it.

Tasker Profile – display timeout

Tasker Display Rotation Task

Navigate over to the Profiles tab and hit the “+” button to create a new Profile.

Choose Application.

You are presented with a list of all installed apps on your device, go ahead and choose the apps that you want to keep your screen awake for. Myself, I select my camera apps, the games and media player apps that I know fall asleep on me, My Tracks and Maps for hiking and driving, Google Photos, so the screen stays on when I’m showing my friends my hiking pictures, and Ingress.

Note: I have observed no issues in assigning apps that already handle their own display timeout.

Hit the system back button to confirm your apps.

You are now presented with the list of all of your created Tasker Tasks, choose your “KeepScreen” Task.

Congratulations, you’ve completed another Tasker project and are starting to really get your money’s worth out of this app.

Clean up

Tasker Settings Note

By default, Tasker is designed to return any changed system setting to the original value when a Profile is completed. If you find that your default display timeout does not return, go ahead and create another Task that sets your display timeout back down to your desired default time, then add it as an Exit Task in the profile you created above.

Use Tasker to control display rotation

If you’ve worked through the above display timeout tutorial, then you’ll find that using Tasker to control display rotation is pretty simple too. The idea here is to have your display rotation locked by default, but unlocked for specific apps, follow the same basic steps as above, simply change up your Task as follows:

Tasker Display Rotation Task

Task name “NoImSpinner.”

Select Display.

Select Display Rotation.

Set to On.

Follow the same steps as above for the Profile, or find other creative ways to control when you want your display to be able to rotate.

What is next?

I’ve presented a very simple method of enabling/disabling display timeout and rotation, you’ll have to get more creative if you want finer tuned controls. Perhaps you always read a book before sleep, but the display rotates on you when you lay down – you may want to assigns display rotation for your reading app so that it auto rotates during the day, but stays locked after 10pm, or whatever works best for you.

Bonus – Control display brightness

One of our readers asked if Tasker can control display brightness based on the light sensor. If you also do not like how the default auto-brightness works, create brightness Tasks with Display->Display Brightness. Create Profiles with State->Sensor->Light Level. You will have to play around to see what Display Brightness levels work best for your needs, and which Light Level readings best trigger the Tasks, but these are the items you are looking for. As for those games you play that your thumb covers the light sensor, try adding additional parameters to the Profiles that account for the apps running. (Hope that helps, Mr. Meatloafers.)

Next week

Next week in our Android customization series we’ll take a look at utilizing NFC tags using an app called Trigger. If you wish to do some homework, we’ve previously explained what NFC is, and how NFC Tags work. Trigger offers the ability to write your own information to NFC tags, and use it to control your Android device. Hint: you could use an NFC tag to trigger a Tasker Task, but we’ll talk about that another time.

How do you like to keep your display timeout and rotation settings? Are you a portrait or landscape user?

Comics fans, here’s the best boot animation you could ask for

Posted by wicked July - 9 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

superhero boot animation

British graphic designer Christian Tailor created this awesome animation of stylized Marvel and DC Comics heroes and villains, and now you can use it as the boot animation on your Android device.

Christian works as a motion Graphic Designer specializing in information graphics, and his current clients include Al Jazeera and UK-based TV network ITV. The animation above is one of Chris’ spare time projects, and a pretty great one at that, if you ask me.

Graphic designer and Android theme maker Brian Roberts took Christian’s animation and turned it into a boot animation you can use to replace the default startup animation on your device.

And then Ronald Valdes turned it into a flashable zip you can download from here.

To install the boot animation, you will need root access and a special app like this one, though you can also do it manually by firing up a file manager and replacing the default bootanimation.zip file in the system/media folder with the new .zip file. Enjoy!

Tasker Android Customization Header  July 3

Last week in our Android customization series, we used Tasker to create a silent mode and use it as a sleep mode for your device. The premise was fairly simple, figure out what time you want your phone to be silenced at night, and silence it. But what if an emergency call comes in? Let’s use Tasker to make sure you don’t miss those calls.

Disclaimer: The following Tasker Tasks and Profiles work toward never missing specific incoming calls, but should not be considered a definitive solution to missing calls due to a silenced ringer.

Never miss an emergency call

There are several methods you can take to solve the problem of missed phone calls due to a silenced ringer. Today we are going to keep it simple, we will identify the person calling and increase the ringer volume so that the call is not missed. The theory behind this solution is also simple, and dependant on a significant factor, that your contacts don’t usually call you at night.

For most of us, our parents, for example, do not call us in the middle of the night, unless there is a problem. These are the types of ‘emergencies’ we are looking to address with the following procedures.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonYou will need Tasker installed on your Android device. Tasker is currently $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

Tasker Task – set emergency call notification

Let’s set two things here, first, the logical move, we’ll crank the ringer volume. You may find that having the ringer turned up is enough for your needs. If not, or if you just want to add some flair, there are a few notifications we can try. I suspect you’ll want to maybe flash your notification LED or maybe turn on your Torch (camera flash,) you could also try a custom vibration, if your device supports these things. Just for the fun of it, I am going to play an audio tone of a morse code message – how fun is that!

Tasker Emergency catcher

Head into Tasker, navigate to the Tasks tab and tap the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name the Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “EmergencyCall”.

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Ringer Volume.

Adjust the volume to an appropriate level, or just go ahead and crank it, nothing wakes you up like a super loud phone ringing. I’ll just set mine to 5.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen.

Tasker Task Morse

Tap the “+” symbol to add another action.

Select Alert.

Select Morse.

Enter the text to convert. I’ll just go ahead with “SOS Emergency SOS.” Note: It’s all fun and games now, but if this thing ever actually goes off, please make sure you have set appropriate notifications that will wake you and ensure you answer the incoming emergency call.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen, then again to return to the Tasks tab.

We now have the Tasks ready to run to wake you for an emergency call, what we need to do now is determine what an emergency call is and use it to trigger the Tasks.

Tasker Profile – identify emergency call

You will have to determine for yourself what constitutes an emergency caller. I’ll keep mine simple, if my contact ‘Parents’ call me in between 23:00 and 6:00, I know something is wrong.

Tasker Profile Incoming Call

Navigate to the Profiles tab.

Tap the “+” button at the bottom to create a new Profile.

Select Event.

Select Phone.

Select Phone Ringing.

Tap the magnifying glass search icon to the right of Caller.

Select A Single Contact.

Select your contact, I will choose Parents.

Obviously the contact(s) you choose will differ for each of you, and you will likely want to tap the magnifying glass again to choose another contact or two. Add as many contacts as you would like, just be certain that they all share the same approximate sleep schedule. Contacts are separated by a “/”. Manually add “?” as a contact name if you wish to account for hidden and unknown callers.

Since we are doing this for emergencies, let’s go ahead and change the Priority to High. This is not necessary, but it helps.

Tap the system back button.

You are presented with a list of all of your created Tasks, choose your emergency call catcher Task, mine was called EmergencyCall.

We could call it quits here, you would never miss a call from the specified callers, but what if you are trying to use this setup for a meeting or a movie? Of course, you would need a different technique for notification of the call, I’ll leave that for you to handle, just follow this guide, changing up your notification styles, and continue from here with an additional condition on the profile.

Tasker Profile – adding an additional condition

As mentioned earlier, I only want to consider a call from Parents to be an emergency if they call in the middle of the night. So I’ll need to specify my time frame as an additional condition on the profile.

Tasker Profile Add Time Parameter

Still in the Profile, long press your Profile Event Phone Ringing. (It’ll show it as a title and as the event with a little trophy icon, long press the trophy to be sure.)

Select Add.

Select Time.

Set a From: time. Might I suggest using the same 10pm, or 22:00 on the 24 hour clock, that we used to silence our device last week.

Set the To: time. Might I again suggest 7am, or 07:00 on that 24 hour clock.

Tap the system back button to complete.

There you have it – if I receive a call from my parents between ten at night and seven in the morning, my phone will bypass my sleep/silent mode so I don’t miss the call.

What is next?

Depending on your settings, you’ll be wide awake after an emergency call comes in, but you may consider creating an Exit Task to turn your Ringer Volume back off. Perhaps you already have the NoCalls Task from last week, try triggering that.

I urge you to think about other Profiles and Tasks you could create using the basic procedures described in this tutorial. Perhaps you would like a WorkCalls Profile that provides a single beep, or no sound at all, along with a custom vibration pattern. Perhaps you might want to have Tasker send an SMS to the caller, letting them know you are busy. Perhaps you would use Tasker to send yourself an email with the particulars of the call. I am just scratching the surface here folks, bottom line, you now know how to identify specific incoming calls, what do you want to have happen?

Next Week

Let’s shift gears for next week, I’ll start off by showing you how to use Tasker to automate your screen timeout. You know those times when your screen goes to sleep too soon, or stays up way too long, let’s take control of that. Then, if we have time, we might also figure out how to customize the screen rotation settings too. remember to check back every Thursday for new tools, tips and tricks in our Android customization series.

With all of the ways you could have handled todays task, what route did you choose? Can you think of any ways to streamline and bulletproof the process?

Rochester Optical to design fashionable lenses, frames for Google Glass

Posted by wicked July - 3 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

sun lenses

In order to succeed on the mainstream market, Google Glass will certainly have to seem “cool” enough for consumers to wear around as an everyday accessory.

To do this, Google has enlisted many different sunglasses manufacturers to design lenses, frames and more for Google Glass.

The newest designer is Rochester Optical (although not partnered with Google), which just announced new fashion sunglasses for the platform, which will be available internationally.

Patrick Ho, CEO of Rochester Optical, said his company wanted to bring something fun and stylish to smart glasses with its new line.

“The wearer can customize our sun lenses to his or her liking and express individuality – bringing style and art to the technology. We think we have achieved that,” Ho said.

The lenses will come in 14 tint colors and mirrored finishes to provide UV ray protection. See below for Rochester Optical’s press release. 

Rochester Optical Announces New Fashion Sun Lenses for Google Glass Available Internationally

New Lifestyle Designs Make Wearable Headset a Mainstream Trendy Accessory

“With these new sun lenses, we want to bring something fun and stylish to smart glasses,” commented Patrick Ho, CEO of Rochester Optical. “The wearer can customize our sun lenses to his or her liking and express individuality – bringing style and art to the technology. We think we have achieved that.”As Google Glass makes its mark in the computer world, designers add style and trendy looks to the newest wearable tech. Sun Lenses from Rochester Optical are non-prescription tinted and mirrored lenses that attach to Google Glass when combined with Smart Frames.

These fun Google Glass accessories come in 14 tint colors and mirrored finishes providing protection from UV rays. The teasers of the mirrored sun lenses have been a hit on social media, creating a new cool-factor for Google Glass wearers.

Rochester Optical is a diversified manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses, eyewear, and is a full service wholesale digital optical laboratory with over 80 years of experience. They continue to serve eye care professionals and corporate customers with an eye on service and innovation. Rochester Optical is an independently owned and operated optical lab and manufacturer, and is not affiliated with Google or Google Glass.

For more information:
Sue Smith 585-254-0022
[email protected]
http://www.rochesteroptical.com

Come comment on this article: Rochester Optical to design fashionable lenses, frames for Google Glass

Android customization – Use Tasker to build automated sleep and silent modes

Posted by wicked June - 26 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Tasker Sleep Mode June 26

With all of the things that Tasker is capable of, our work last week to ensure that you never miss an alarm was a pretty light-weight task. This week, we promised to show you how to create your own sleep mode by creating a Tasker Task and Profile that turns off your ringers at night and back on again in the morning.

The automated sleep mode is, again, a fairly light-weight use of Tasker, but I know people who have installed Tasker for this task, and no other. It is still amazing to most of us that Android does not have a built-in mechanism to handle sound profiles, let alone a simple automated sleep mode, but since it does not, Tasker is one of the best customizable app options out there to get you by.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonYou will need Tasker installed on your Android device. Tasker is currently $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

Build a sleep mode with Tasker

You may be getting fairly familiar with the basics of how Tasker operates, we’ve shown it to you before when we built the alarm volume profile last week, and tied it in with Zooper Widget the two weeks prior. The basic steps remain the same today.

We’ll be building first a Tasker Task, this will be the set of actions that are performed on the device. After we have the Task built, we build the Profile that triggers the Tasks. Just in case you needed a different perspective, think of Tasks as the ‘what’ and Profiles as the ‘when.’

I also want to make clear that there are multiple ways to handle most of the Tasker Tasks and Profiles that we will be creating throughout our Android customization series. Please feel free to follow other directions, question and comment on my approach, or try your own settings. I have a specific reason for doing things the way I do, and would be glad to discuss why in the comments below. Now, let’s get started.

Tasker sleep mode Task – turn on Silent Mode

Tasker Silent Mode Task

Head into Tasker, navigate to the Tasks tab and tap the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name the Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “NoCalls”.

Please note that I call it NoCalls because I re-use this task any time I need my device silent. Work, meetings, movies, afternoon naps…

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Silent Mode.

Change the Mode to On.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen, then back again to the Tasks screen.

Important: If your device does not support Silent Mode, or you would prefer more refined controls, instead of selecting Silent Mode, you could select Audio -> Ringer Volume and set it to 0. Then repeat the steps for each Audio -> Notification Volume and Audio -> Media Volume as desired to silence your phone to your needs.

Tasker sleep mode Task – turn on Ringer and Notifications

In theory, simply deactivating Silent Mode should return your Ringer and Notification volumes to the values they were before activation. Instead of working off of a theory and wondering at what level exactly those volumes were set, let’s just go ahead and manually set the daytime volumes.

Tasker Ringer Volume Task

Tap the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name the Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “CallsAllowed”.

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Ringer Volume.

Set the value for your needs. I set mine to 4.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen.

Within this same Task, we will add another action, using the same basic steps, to set the Notification Volume.

Tasker Notification Volume Task

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Notification Volume.

Set the value for your needs. I set mine to 3.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen, then back again to the Tasks screen.

Tasker sleep mode Profile

Now that we have two Tasks created, one to silence the device and one to turn the volumes back on, we can go ahead and create the Profile that controls when to run these Tasks.

Navigate over to the Profiles tab.

Tasker Silent Mode Profile

Tap the “+” button at the bottom to create a new Profile.

Select Time.

Set a From: time. This will be the time that you want your device to go silent at night. Might I suggest 10pm, or 22:00 on the 24 hour clock.

Set the To: time. This, as you guessed, is the time that you want volumes turned back on. Might I suggest 7am, or 07:00 on that 24 hour clock.

Tap the system back button.

You are presented with all of your created Tasks, choose your silent mode task, mine was called NoCalls.

We have set it up to silence the device, we need now trigger the wake up Task.

Tasker Silent Mode with Exit Task Profile

Still in the Profile, long press your NoCalls Task.

Select Add Exit Task.

You are presented with your Tasks again, choose your daytime volume task, mine was called CallsAllowed.

Congratulations, you no longer have to take any actions to silence your device at night, nor turn it back on in the morning.

What is next?

Now that you have a taste for changing system volumes, you may be inclined to go nuts building Profiles for all of your regular daily activities. I encourage this, but offer two snippets of advice. First, be careful that you do not overlap your Profiles – this will not cause any issues with Tasks that just change volumes, but will certainly produce unexpected results.

My second snippet of advice, and this goes for all of your Tasker designs, I recommend trying to arrange for Profiles to be in the off position during the day. The battery drain in the on position is negligible for our volume Profiles, but if you can get in the habit of only having active Profiles while you are typically at a charger, all the better.

Weekdays vs Weekends

Our sleep mode Profile above is set to run seven days per week. If you desire to use different times for different days of the week, you will need to long press the times on the Profile, select Add, select Day, then choose the days you would like. Afterward, you will need to repeat this entire tutorial for every separate day/time that you would like to operate. Create each new profile with the other days of the week. Just remember to ensure there is no overlapping times or dates.

Next week

Your device now goes silent at night, you need not think about it at all, but what if there is an emergency, how will anyone get through to you? Next week on our Android customization series we will show you how to bypass your new silent mode for certain calls and messages.

I hope that you are getting the hang of Tasker now. The basic procedure is pretty simple: create a Task, then create a Profile to run the Task. How did your sleep mode go?

VIDEO: First look at Project Tango developer tablet at Google I/O 2014

Posted by wicked June - 25 - 2014 - Wednesday Comments Off

Project Tango hands on

Project Tango has raised quite a few eyebrows since the rumors have started flowing just a few months ago.

It’s got a  7-inch display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, WiFi, BTLE, and 4G LTE. Just like the Tango phone, the tablet will consist of cameras and sensors that give it the ability to map its surroundings.

Now it’s finally here, and we’ve got it all on tape for a first look video of the device. Hit the break for the video below.

Click here to view the embedded video.

And be sure to check out the rest of our Google I/O 2014 coverage as well.

 

Come comment on this article: VIDEO: First look at Project Tango developer tablet at Google I/O 2014

Android customization – Never miss an alarm, using Tasker

Posted by wicked June - 19 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Tasker Alarm Volume June 19

If you are like me, you want your phone to go silent during your sleeping hours. Silencing a phone is easy enough to do manually, but if you are again like me, you may have slept through the alarm the next morning because your device was set to silent. There are a number of ways to avoid/prevent missing your alarm, I’m going to show you how to do it with Tasker.

Tasker is an impressively powerful program that is able to read and control most aspects of your Android device. We’ve introduced you to Tasker before, even worked through how to use it in conjunction with Zooper Widget to push commands and pull system info. I am looking forward to sharing Tasker recipes with you in our Android customization series, so make sure to follow along to learn some stuff and grow your Tasker skills.

Before we get started

You will need to install Tasker before we proceed. Tasker is currently $2.99 in the Google Play Store, which is some of the best money you’ll spend if you are dedicated to getting your hands dirty coding Tasks to control your device.

Never miss an alarm

You will find this an extremely simple task for Tasker, so please pay attention to the process as much as anything, the basic steps presented here are near identical to most Tasker usage. The process is easy too, we need to first create a Task, which is the performed action on your device, then decide when we want to perform that action.

Tasker Task – set alarm volume

First, let’s tell Tasker what volume you need your device set at to wake you up when the alarm goes off.

Tasker Task Set Alarm Volume

In the Tasker Task pane, select the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Task.

Name the Task uniquely and concisely. I will call mine “SetAlarmVolume.”

Tap the “+” symbol to add an action.

Select Audio.

Select Alarm Volume.

Move the slider or type in your desired volume.

Tap the system back button to return to the Task Edit screen, then back again to the Tasks screen.

Tasker Profile – set alarm volume

Now we will need to figure out when Tasker should run the Task created above. To do so, we create Tasker Profiles. A Tasker Profile contains a trigger which determines when to run the Task.

Tasker Profile Set Alarm Volume

In the Tasker Profiles pane, select the “+” symbol at the bottom to create a new Profile.

Some older versions of Tasker required that you provide a unique name for each Profile, if asked, name the Profile concisely. I would call mine “SetAlarmVolume.” (Note that you can call a Task and a Profile by the same name, but you cannot have two Profiles of the same name, nor two Tasks of the same name.)

Select Event.

Select Date/Time.

Select Alarm Clock.

Tap the system back button, no further options are needed at this time.

You will now be presented with a list of all of your available Tasks, choose your “SetAlarmVolume” Task.

Tap your system back button to return to your device Homescreen.

That is all there is too it.

Quick Recap

What we did today was create a Tasker Profile that identifies when your alarm is about to go off. Just before your alarm does go off, Tasker runs the Task you created, which adjusts the alarm volume to an appropriate level, ensuring you never miss that alarm again.

What’s next?

As you followed along, I am certain you noticed that there were many options you could have chosen. Although none of the options were absolutely necessary today, you may opt to go back in and play with them, hit the Help button for more info on how they all work, and use them to further customize the experience.

Tasker Run / Play TaskAs an added bonus, you will find a Play button in the lower left of the Task Edit screens, it will allow you to test run a Task right there to see what it will do. I promise you will find the test runs very handy as you move forward with Tasker.

With the alarm volume Tasker Task and Profile, we’ve made sure that you get up in the morning, why don’t we make sure you get a full nights uninterrupted sleep too? Check in next week when we’ll be using Tasker to automate the process to silence a phone at night and turn the ringers all back on in the morning.

How did the process go for you? Any long time Tasker users out there that wish to share a different approach? What app did Tasker just render unnecessary on your device?

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