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Tasker Popup notification Project

I am looking out the window at this very moment, it is windy and raining hard. I was able to prepare for it though because my weather warning system built using Zooper Widget in last week’s Android customization series notified me. Speaking of notifications, today we want to step up the notification game, building our own tools, like usual.

Just after Android Lollipop was announced (as Android L) at Google I/O back in June, we took a look at an app that attempted to duplicate the new floating notifications that Android L revealed. The app was called Heads Up! and is now one of many that attempted to bring to you then what Android L promised for later.

Here’s the thing, Heads Up! didn’t work very well for me. Functionally, there were no errors to speak of, I just wanted more control over the notification and didn’t care for the presentation. Most of all, once a notification faded out of the screen, that was it, gone forever. As always, I turned to Tasker to see what I could do for myself. Guess what, the results were exactly what I wanted, and so I shall share my project with you.

Even with Android Lollipop being announced just yesterday, it is still a ways out and we want something today.

Before we begin

Get it on Google Play ButtonOn your Android 4.0 or higher device, we’ll need Tasker installed for today’s project. Tasker is still $2.49 in the Google Play Store.

Custom notification tool with Tasker

This project is actually much larger than I can rightly squeeze into a single post. In all, we will look at several projects over the coming weeks. Starting today, we’ll collect notifications and display them through a pop up using Tasker itself. From there, we will look at providing a custom notification count using Zooper Widget, we will combine the two, and we may just dive into Tasker Scenes, if the selection of notification options doesn’t yet feel complete.

Tasker Task to popup a simple notification

I’ll leave it to you to head back to previous Tasker projects for a reminder on how to get Tasker up and running. Fire up a new Task, I’ll call mine “BasicNotify“, then add the following action:

Tasker Task Flash Notify

Select Alert.

Select Flash.

Tap the labels/tags icon to the right of Text.

Scroll down and choose Notification Title, or just type in %NTITLE on the Text line.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit out of the Task.

Tasker Profile to identify all incoming Notifications

Fire up your Tasker Profile, I called mine “GetAllNotifications” and add the following:

Tasker Profile Flash Notifications

Choose Event.

Choose UI.

Choose Notification.

Tap the little spaceship icon to the right of Owner Application.

In the bottom right, tap All.

Tap the system Back button to save the app selection, then tap it again to save the Profile event.

Choose your notification Task from earlier, mine was called “BasicNotify.”

Tap the system Back button when you are done to save and exit out of Tasker. Project complete.

What’s next

Now comes the waiting game, but the next time a notification comes in to your system, any notification, it will pop up in a semi-transparent, non-actionable, flash notification on your screen. It’ll hang out for a few seconds before going away. It really does not do that much, but these are the basics we need to take the project to the next level.

There are very few options to mess with on this one, but do play around with it if you desire. We will eventually dive into creating custom Scenes using Tasker, which will let you create exactly the popup that you desire. Again, feel free to poke around with Scenes, but I’ve got some better stuff on deck for you before I get there.

Bonus: How to view history of all Notifications

Typically, once a notification is swiped away or tapped, it is up to your memory to figure out what that notification said, if you even happened to see it in the first place. Did you know there is a way to view all recent notifications? Just find an empty 1×1 space on your homescreen and start the process to add a shortcut. Under Shortcuts, look for Settings Shortcuts, then simply choose Notifications. You can’t do much with the list, and it is not very informative, but I am sure you’ll find a use for it.

Next week

Custom Notification Count Zooper Widgets

As mentioned, this is just the basic starter to creating a custom notification tool that you will eventually use to make stock Android L users jealous. Don’t get me wrong, the Android L floating notification looks very cool, and will be quite functional, but that is not going to stop us from taking things to the next level in our Android customization series. Specifically, next week we’d like to look at using Zooper Widget to build an SMS and Gmail notification counter.

I know it’s pretty basic, but what do you say, is this simple little notification popup making things better for you?

Android customization – create a custom weather warning system with Zooper Widget

Posted by wicked October - 9 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Zooper Widget Weather Blizzard

Over the last few weeks our Android customization series has provided some great ideas and tricks to manage and reduce power consumption. We would like to take a little break from battery life tools this week to focus on the weather.

With it being that time of year for us northerners, leaves are beginning to turn brown and the weather is beginning to cool down. Now may be a great time prepare for bad weather days by creating a little weather warning system right on your Android device Homescreen.

Chances are, if you’re still reading this, you are interested enough in your weather that you already have a weather widget on your device. And if you’ve been following our customization series, you may even already use Zooper Widget. If this describes you, then you already have the hard part complete and ready to roll today.

Before we get started

You will need Zooper Widget installed on your Android device. The free version will get you by, but if you’ve been testing out all of these Zooper Widget projects, you may have already invested your $2.49 for Zooper Widget Pro in the Google Play Store.

Before proceeding, I will leave it to you to create your own Zooper Widget with a weather indicator. We’ve walked through this before, but you’ll likely want at least the weather scalable icon set in your widget.

Create a mini weather warning system with Zooper Widget

We’re going to try to keep it simple, all I want to do is adjust a weather icon to reflect upcoming problematic weather. Specifically, what I want is for my weather icon/indicator to turn red and/or change size if unfavorable weather is headed my way.

Zooper Widget Weather Warning

This is a modified approach to the techniques we looked at to change the color of your battery indicator based on power level from a while back. That should make this pretty easy. Let’s do this in order, from the beginning:

Create your widget.

Add a weather icon or text element with the weather.

Head to the Advanced parameters section of your weather indicator.

Now, enter only one of the following code snippets, for now. You can come back to mix and match to create your own custom super tool later:

When today’s temperature is to be below 40F, change the indicator blue:

Zooper Weather Temperature Code

When there is snow in the forecast, change the indicator red, and enlarge it:
(This assumes that your weather indicator has a default size of 30, thus a size of 60 is a major increase. You will need to identify the default size of your indicator and adjust accordingly.)

Zooper Weather Snow Code

Too easy so far? Let’s step it up – When the weather condition is going to be severe today, like a thunderstorm or snow, we’ll do something drastic, like still just changing the indicator to red.

Zooper Weather condition codes Code

What is going on here?

I best break that down a bit. #W0COND# breaks into W=weather, 0=today (alternatively, C=current, 1=tomorrow, etc) and CODE=is a weather condition code. All available condition codes can be found here but may act differently depending on your set default weather provider. I have chosen to work with Yahoo! as my provider, you may find that either Open Weather Map (which is the usual default) or works better in your area. Change that up in your default Zooper Widget settings.

Back to that string of code, you’ll see I used “&&” and “||” which indicate AND and OR, respectively. So, what we really said up there was ‘if the weather code is greater than or equal to 1 AND below 3, OR it is exactly 8, change the color.’ You’ll have to run through that list of weather codes to decide what you want to check for.

Now that that is all over, be sure to hit the check mark in the top right corner of the screen to save and exit. Then hit the system Back button to save and exit right out of Zooper Widget.

Zooper Weather Sunny

What’s next?

Please do not be discouraged if things are not quite right the first time around. You will have to play with this to see what works best for you. Myself, I tweak and modify my code almost monthly, and at the very least, adapt to the season with more controls for snow and cold during the winter and granular checks for high temps in the summer.

This project started off sounding fairly simple, but revealed some very detailed and complicated techniques, leaving you with tons of options and lots to think about. When you get the hang of what you see here, try combining the weather attributes so that you can adjust your weather icon to account for temperatures, conditions and even humidity levels and wind speeds. You can then still change colors and sizes of elements, but you could also use a dedicated warning icon or text that moves into view when the time is right.

Lastly, and we won’t get into this, don’t forget that Zooper Widget plays nice with Tasker.

Next week

As we close out a topic about notifications of one sort in our Android customization series, I’d like to start looking at notifications in general on your Android device. We’ll begin a multi-part series on handling notifications, partially inspired by what is to come from Android L, and partially inspired by apps that attempt to duplicate that Android L functionality, like HeadsUp!

What do you think about our little weather warning system – I do hope you never see it activated for severe weather, but let us know how it goes and what modifications you have done to make it better?

Android customization – save battery by managing Location services (without root)

Posted by wicked October - 2 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Location Tasker GPS

Last week on our Android customization series, we took a little detour from our regularly scheduled battery saving tips with Tasker to show off a battery management tip with Zooper Widget. Today, we continue to look at reducing battery consumption on your Android device by getting back to those Location services we had on deck for last week.

Along with the display on your device, Location services and their use specifically of your GPS antenna are easy ways to drain your battery. While we do not think that turning off Location services permanently is the best idea, there are times that it is just not needed. Let’s head back to Tasker and look at managing Location services to save you some juice.

Today we will focus on Android 4.4 KitKat. The steps below may not work on other version of Android.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonYou will need a copy of Tasker installed on your Android 4.0+ device. Tasker is $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

How should we manage Location services?

Before diving in, please take stock of your specific needs of your Location services. For today’s tutorial we will be assuming that you do not want Location services turned on at all, except if certain apps are active, like Maps or Ingress.

We have taken great care within our Android customization series to ensure that all tutorials and apps presented will work for as many of you as possible. Specifically, we have avoided root apps and tools, as we do not want you to root your phone for our behalf. To that end, you will find that today’s tutorial lacks a little finesse, this is due to the limitations of non-root devices running current generation Android. We will revisit this exact tutorial but with root abilities coming soon.

Tasker Location GPS disabled

Turn off Location services with Tasker

As mentioned, we will look at having Location services turned off by default and only turning it on when you have certain apps running. Truth is, Tasker is not able to bypass the newest security features of Android to access Location services, or even just the GPS settings. In the end, without rooting your device, all we can do is have Tasker open up Location services for us so that we can turn on or off GPS and the rest manually.

To keep this as clean and elegant as possible, we will simply fire up a notification that asks you if you want to head to Location settings and make those changes. I admit that this offers no advantage over the quick settings on most devices, but it is just a starting point to leap from.

Tasker Location GPS Notification

As with all things good in this world, it is going to take a bit of work to create our Tasker project today. We need several Tasks to pull this all together, and we’ll need to create them in a certain order, but it’s all pretty simple stuff, don’t worry.

You will need to create four Tasker Tasks in total. I’ll leave it to you to create a new Task for each, named appropriately for your needs, and I’ll show you what actions to add to each as we go. Some of the Tasks will not make sense until the end, please follow along in order.

If you are not ready to tackle Task creation on your own, head back to a previous Tasker tutorial to see how it’s done.

Tasker Task to access Location Settings

Tasker Location GPS Location Settings

I’ve called mine “OpenLocationServices.”

Of course, you’ll tap the “+” button to add the first Action to this Task.

Choose Settings.

Choose Location Settings.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit back to the Task.

Tap “+” again to add Action two.

Tasker Location GPS Status Bar

Choose Display.

Choose Status Bar.

Change the setting to Collapsed.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit all the way out of this Task.

Tasker Task to close the location reminder

Tasker Location GPS Task Wait

I’ve called mine “CloseLocationReminder.”

Tap the “+” button to add our first Action.

Choose Task.

Choose Wait.

Set a time value of about 10 seconds. This is the amount of time you will have after closing an app that the notification will remain active. You can always come back here later and change things up.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit back to the Task.

Tasker Location GPS Notify Cancel

Tap the “+” to add Action two.

Choose Alert.

Choose Notify Cancel.

In the Title section, enter “GPS” (without the quotes.)

Tap the system Back button to save and exit all the way out of this Task.

Tasker Task to clear the location notification

This one is pretty simple, and just combines two of the above Actions in a different configuration. Trust me, we need it.

I’ve called mine “ClearLocationNotification.”

Tap the “+” button to add our first Action.

Choose Alert.

Choose Notify Cancel.

In the Title section, enter “GPS” (without the quotes.)

Tap the system Back button to save and exit back to the Task.

Take a deep Breath! And continue.

Tap the “+” button to add our second Action.

Choose Display.

Choose Status Bar.

Change the setting to Collapsed.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit all the way out of this Task.

Tasker Task to create our location notification

Tasker Location GPS Alert Notify

Tap the “+” button.

Choose Alert.

Choose Notify.

Change Title to be “GPS” (without the quotes.) It is crucial that this matches exactly the term you used in the Notify Cancel actions above. You do not have to use the term GPS, but do make sure that whatever you use matches in all of the Tasks.

For Text, give yourself a quick message, as you can see, I’ve written “Turn on or off GPS?

Add an Icon. I’ve chosen the built-in icon for non-connected GPS, but there is no requirements here, whatever you want to add is fine, just keep in mind that this is the icon you will see in your Notification bar at the top of the screen.

Tasker Location GPS Notify setup

Under Actions, tap the “+” button to add a slot, then tap the Action button on the right.

Beside Name, tap the magnifying glass icon.

Choose your “OpenLocationServices” Task.

Tap the system Back button to save and go back.

Tap the Icon on the left and choose another icon, I’ve gone with the built-in GPS locked icon.

Tap on the text in the center and change it to a very short message, no more than eight characters, to signify the Action. You see I’ve put “Yes, GPS.”

We need another Action here.

Tasker Location GPS Notify Tasks

Follow the same steps starting with the “+” button to add another Action.

This time you’ll choose your “ClearGPSNotification” Task.

Assign another Icon and enter text, such as “Nope!

Tap your system Back button to save and exit all the way out of the Task.

That concludes the dirty work here folks. Now we need to put this all to good use. For that, we use a Tasker Profile. Head back to our previous Tasker tutorials if you need to brush up on Profiles.

Tasker Profile to trigger Location Services reminder

What we are going to do here is create a Profile that fires up when specified apps are open, and closes down when the apps close. More specifically, we’ll trigger the Location reminder notification when we open apps like Maps, Ingress and Camera. Hold on, did you forget that most Camera apps can use your GPS to tag your images? No worries, I’ve got some other reminders for you later.

Tasker Location GPS Profile Apps

Create your new Profile and name it appropriately, I’ve gone with “StartGPSReminder.”

Choose Application.

Run through the list and select all of the appropriate apps that you wish to let use your location services. As mentioned, Maps and camera are good starters. The Google Search app includes Google Now, so you’ll probably want that. Google+ has location services, if you want them. Street View is a separate app from maps, don’t forget that. Speedtest needs your location, as does Torque, for the car. Finally, Google’s Wallet app should be on your list, if you are an active Wallet user, of course. I’m sure you’ll have more, go ahead and choose them too.

Tap the system Back button to save your selection of apps.

Tasker Location GPS Profile Exit Task

Choose your “OpenLocationReminder” Task.

Now, long press your “OpenLocationReminder” Task and choose Add Exit Task.

Choose your “CloseLocationReminder” Task.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit Tasker.

You’ve done it! Go ahead and open one of those apps you chose above. See that, a notification popped up asking you if you want to enable or disable GPS.

From the notification, you can tap your yes or no buttons. By tapping the yes button, you will be taken to the Location Settings on your device where you can manually enable or disable Location services.

Tasker Location GPS

What’s next

As you likely already know, you can control more than just the GPS in Location settings. I will mention that many users are reporting that by simply changing to Battery Saving mode, which just turns off the GPS, the majority of battery drain is eliminated. You’ll have to play with the settings to see what works best for you.

Now, you already reminded me that this specific notification offers no advantage over the quick settings on your device. Well, I challenge you to take this project to the next level. Perhaps you would have an on-screen popup that offers these options. Perhaps you want to mess with variables and make it so that Location settings opens automatically without your input. Hint: you could utilize the IF parameter and look for GPS Status, which will equal ‘on’ or ‘off’.

If you take this project to the next level, be sure to come back here and show off your settings in the comments below.

Finally, if you are like me, this is just not good enough, you want more and better automation of the Location services on your Android device. Well, we will need to root our devices to gain this control. We may take a little while, but I guarantee that we’ll revisit this with root instructions at some point. For now, I’ll remind you that you’ll need Secure Settings installed, and there is an Xposed module to get passed that Location services agreement. Good luck.

Next week

As always, I hope you enjoyed following along our Android customization series and found value in the Tasker project you built. As compared to our previous projects, you really rocked Tasker today. I mean, the Tasks individually were easy enough, but if you can see how that all pulled together, you are well on your way to becoming a Tasker master.

It’s starting to get colder out there in the northern hemisphere, perhaps it is time we started looking at some weather warning options you can quickly put to use using Zooper Widget. We’ll show you a simple weather warning, then unleash you to make it your own.

How do you like this method of handling Location Services, can you recommend something a little easier for the non-root users out there?

Android customization: Keep tabs on your battery status with Zooper Widget

Posted by wicked September - 25 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Battery Indicator Zooper Widget

Last week on our Android customization series we took a look at how to manage your keyboard on your Android device. Then, Joe came along and shared the 15 best keyboards for Android. Obviously, we want you to embrace your customization abilities on your device.

This week, I had suggested we might start talking about managing Location settings as a means to reduce battery consumption on your device. I must change gears and save Location settings for another time. I have been asked to take a quick look at how to change colors of elements and manage other notifications through Zooper Widget.

Today, we will try to keep it simple, I will show you how to change the color of a battery indicator based on the power status of your device.

Before we get started

You will be able to follow along today with just the free version of Zooper Widget from the Google Play Store, but do keep in mind that there are limitations and you’ll need to dish out $2.49 for Zooper Widget Pro if you wish to take things to the next level.

Now that you have Zooper Widget installed, create a widget that includes a battery indicator. If you are unsure how to do this, head back to one of our previous Zooper Widget tutorials. You might start with our full guide to all things Zooper Widget, or just take a look at the clock widget that kicked off our entire Android customization series.

Dynamically changing the color of a battery indicator in Zooper Widget

Zooper Widget battery indicator color

Before we do any work, let’s look specifically at what we are doing here today. I have a Zooper Widget setup on my Homescreen that has my battery level as a number. For today, I’ve added an icon too, just for effect. Normally, the battery icon is white. From there, I want two things:

  1. When my battery level drops below 15%, make the battery icon change to the color red
  2. When I plug in the charger, I want the battery icon to turn green

Let’s get started

Head into your battery element of your Zooper Widget.

Scroll all the way to the bottom and tap on Advanced Parameters.

Zooper Widget Icon Advanced Parameters

I am sure you followed along our previous Zooper Widget Advanced Parameters tutorial, so you are somewhat comfortable with what you are looking at here.

Let’s organize our logic, we want the battery indicator to be white normally, red if battery is low and green when charging. There are a few ways to create the string for your Advanced Parameter, we previously looked at using the IF statement layout, so let’s do that again.

As a refresher, the IF statement in Zooper Widget looks like this: $X=Y?Z:W$ In plain English, that is: IF this equals that, then do this, or else, do that.

We have need for two IF statements today, and we will need to nest them to get our desired results. When nesting IF statements, it is sometimes best to start from the end, let’s do that, starting with the green power indicator.

Make the battery indicator turn green when plugged in


IF Battery Status = Charging, then make icon color green, else leave it white.

Now we create the red color for when the power is below 15%.

Make the battery indicator turn red when power is low


IF battery Level is less than 15, then make the icon color red, else leave it white.

Now comes the tricky part, nesting these IF statements together. I will just give you the string, then we’ll look at what happened.

Nesting IF statements in Zooper Widget


Zooper Widget battery Advanced Parameters

You’ll notice in the screenshot that I’ve used 20% as my battery level threshold, and that I used a slightly different shade of red, at FF2222. I hope it illustrates how you can change things up as well.

Basically, what I have done here is tell Zooper that if the phone is plugged in, make it green, else, if it’s not plugged in, check to see the battery level and make it white or red as needed. The double $$ is required to signify that a nested IF statement is to be evaluated. Finally, by having the very last result set as white (FFFFFF), I was able to eliminate the duplicate [c]FFFFFF[/c] entry.

Hit the checkmark in the top right corner to save your Advanced Parameter.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit all the way to the Homescreen. Give your new widget a go.

What’s next

I am certain that was a little much to grasp the first time through, however, I want to throw a few more things at you. First, let’s look at color values, then let’s look at alternative configurations.

Throughout all of the Android customization tutorials you have worked through with us, I have represented colors in full Hex form. That is the strings of six digits with characters ranging from 0 to F. Today we used FFFFFF (white), FF0000 (red), and 00FF00 (green). For each of these, we could have used a shorthand, which would be FFF, F00, 0F0.

The art of nesting IF statements is not the most efficient nor necessarily easiest to explain after the fact. Zooper Widget takes Advanced Parameters to a whole new level with alternative string methods. We don’t have the time to look at that in detail today, so I’ll just throw an example at you:

The following string was taken straight from the archives and will make it so that your battery icon is red when your power is below 10%, yellow when your power is 10%-20% and green when your power is greater than 20%.

[c=$#BLEVN#<=10?F00$$#BLEVN#>10 && #BLEVN#<20?FF0$$#BLEVN# >= 20?0F0$]#BLEV#[/c]

Next week

We will continue to look at battery saving techniques and technologies as our Android customization series continues. We plan to revisit the Location services topic, but must warn you, recent versions of Android offer rather limited automation functionality around Location services. We have a bit of a clunky workaround, but we’ll eventually have to take root actions to get things as smooth as can be.

Any Zooper Widget users out there care to suggest a cleaner solution to changing battery indicator colors?

Source: Zooper Widget;

Android customization – save battery life and data usage with Secure Settings

Posted by wicked September - 11 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Secure Settings Tasker

Last week on our Android customization series we walked through a few simple ways to put Tasker to work on saving you some battery life. I’ll admit that turning off WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Sync only does so much for your device, so let’s dive a little deeper.

Secure Settings operates as a plugin for customization apps like Locale, Llama and, my personal favorite, Tasker. Proving that Tasker cannot do it all, Secure Settings dives into controlling some of the system settings that Tasker does not yet touch, such as controlling Mobile Data, some developer options, Airplane mode, Lock screen security settings and more.

Secure Settings breaks actions into several categories. First and foremost, you will get a good selection of options on the free version, and for a small in-app purchase, you can unlock a nice extra lot. From there, the categories are controlled by your device configuration. Rooted phones gain a great number of new tools and there are even controls specific to custom ROMs.

For today, we’ll stick with the free options.

Before we get started

Today you will need to have Tasker installed on your device, which is $2.99 in the Google Play Store. Once that is running, you will also need Secure Settings, also found in the Play Store. Secure Settings is free to install, then has a $1.50 in-app purchase to unlock the premium features that we will not be using today.

Install TaskerInstall Secure Settings

Reduce battery consumption by turning off Mobile Data

Once again, I’ve chosen an action that offers a limited amount of battery savings. However, with the additional benefit of turning off Mobile Data for those that do not have substantial data plans, this is an excellent project to show you how to use Secure Settings with Tasker.

I will leave it to you to hit earlier Android customization Tasker projects to see how to get Tasker started, find your way into the Tasks tab and start a new Task to turn off your Mobile Data.

In your Task, tap the “+” to add a new action.

Tasker Secure Settings Mobile Data Task

Choose Plugin.

Choose Secure Settings.

Tap the pencil icon to the right of Configuration.

Tap Actions to expand the list.

Choose Mobile Data.

You could choose Off, but I will be choosing Toggle for my needs. This way, I do not have to create a new Task to turn Mobile Data back on later.

Tap the Save icon in the top right.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit.

What to do with my Mobile Data killer Task?

Last week, I walked you through the idea of turning off features while you sleep, which is a perfect starting point for turning off Mobile Data. I also discussed setting your power sapping settings to a schedule.

If you decided to follow along last week and set your Background Sync settings to turn on for just a few minutes every couple of hours, this is where you may need to utilize another schedule for your Mobile Data. Follow along last week’s tutorial for the steps, but you’ll want to turn on Mobile Data a minute or two before you turn on Background Sync. Then, turn Mobile Data back off a couple minutes after you turn Background Sync off again.

One of the more common methods of controlling Mobile Data is to have it turn off when your device connects to your home (or work) WiFi networks. Let’s take a quick look at how that Profile is setup: (Note: this will be easiest to do when you are actually in range of your home WiFi network.)

Open up Tasker and head to the Profiles tab.

Tasker Secure Settings Mobile Data Profile

Tap the “+” to create a new Profile and give it a unique and concise name, I’ll call mine “HomeWiFi.”

Choose State.

Choose Net.

Choose WiFi Connected (or WiFi Near.)

Tap the magnifying glass icon to the right of SSID, then choose your home network. Alternatively, you may simply type in the name of your home, or work, WiFi network.

Tap your system Back button to save and exit.

Choose your “Kill/ToggleMobileData” Task, or whatever you had named it.

If you used the “Off” setting in your Secure Settings configuration, be sure to now add an Exit Task to your Profile that turns Mobile Data back on when you disconnect from your chosen WiFi network. If you used the Toggle option, just play with things and add the same Task as an Exit Task only if needed.

What’s next

Secure Settings Tasker Plugin optionsEvery device and network is a little bit different. Please be sure to spend some time with your configuration and see what works best for your battery life. You may find that your WiFi kills your battery at twice the pace as your mobile connection, in which case, today’s tutorial wouldn’t serve you all that well.

Once again, we’ve only covered a single, and simple, aspect of battery usage reduction. Be sure to play with all of these tools in Tasker and explore for more to optimize your device. Also, stay tuned, battery saving techniques are important to us, we’ll have more for you in the future, specifically, we only scratched the surface of the Secure Settings plugin, we plan to dive into the premium and root features down the road.

Next week

We have been doing so much typing on our Android devices lately, let’s take a look at keyboards. If you are using the Google Keyboard, check in next week on our Android customization series as we dive into the keyboard settings. Maybe you dislike haptic feedback, don’t want the keyboard to beep on every key press, or maybe you just don’t like the newer white color and want some blue back in your life, we’ll hook you up.

How do you manage your Mobile Data needs on your device?

Via: Android customization;

Android customization – Three battery saving tips using Tasker

Posted by wicked September - 4 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Tasker Battery Tips

So far in our Android customization series we have used tools to build designs and control your device with a reckless disregard for your battery life, we better do something about that. While battery life is an important topic for most Android users, it is very involved and will require that we look at it from a few different angles.

Over the years, we’ve shown off our best tips and tricks to manage your power consumption, today we will walk through putting some of those ideas to work using Tasker.

We will look at three aspects of your device today: WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Sync.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonTo follow along today you will need to install Tasker, it is $2.99 in the Google Play Store.

Reduce battery consumption by turning off WiFi

Most of us step outside the house during our normal day, even if only to run to work or school, it is times like these that WiFi is probably not required. Unfortunately, Android is designed such that if WiFi is enabled, the device will scan for available WiFi networks, this can be brutal on battery life, so we best just turn off WiFi when we head out our front door.

If you followed along a while back, we actually already built a Tasker project to toggle on and off WiFi on your device. At that time, we used an element within a Zooper Widget to trigger the action.

If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with Tasker, follow along the Zooper Widget tutorial to build your Task. For those that know what they are doing, the Task is simple:

Net -> WiFi -> Off.

Reduce battery consumption by turning off Bluetooth

With the explosion of Bluetooth connected smartwatches out there these days, you may never want to turn off your Bluetooth, but if you do not have Android Wear on your wrist, chances are you only use Bluetooth for specific tasks. If you are like me, you don’t mind manually turning on Bluetooth as needed, but you always forget to turn it back off. Tasker to the rescue.

Head into the Tasks tab of Tasker and start a new Task.

Tasker Bluetooth

Name it uniquely and concisely, I’ll call mine “KillBlue“.

Tap the “+” button to add a new action.

Choose Net.

Choose Bluetooth.

You can leave the settings as they are, Set as Off, and hit the system Back button to save and exit.

Reduce battery consumption by turning off Background Sync

It is extremely convenient that our Android devices are always connected, always checking for new emails and social media notifications and so much more, but this takes its toll on your battery. If you know you will not be checking messages for a time and want to save some juice, we can just turn off background sync.

You can always handle this manually through your system settings, but we like to automate with Tasker.

Tasker Background Sync

Create a new Task and name it uniquely and concisely, I’ll call mine “NoSyncing“.

Tap the “+” button to add a new action.

Choose Net.

Choose Auto-Sync.

Leave it Set to Off and hit the system Back button to save and exit.

When do we use these Tasks?

The true power of this project is deciding when to trigger these Tasks. For each of us, the answer will differ, some of us can kill WiFi and fire up Bluetooth when we connect to the dock in our car, some of us will use Location services to decide, and for many, today’s actions can be controlled based on the time of day. Let’s look at what a time based Profile might look like.

Turn off WiFi while you are sleeping

Don’t forget that we’ve already created a Sleep and Silent mode using Tasker, feel free to reference that for better instruction.

Navigate to the Profiles tab in Tasker and start a new Profile.

Choose Time and set your typical sleep hours. Perhaps you would like to set it for an hour or two after you normally go to sleep and an hour or two before you wake up, this way you do not miss anything, but your device still gets a few hours of down time.

Hit the system Back button to confirm and exit.

Choose your “WiFiOff” Task.

If you find that WiFi does not turn back on when the Profile finishes, create a new Task that turns WiFi back on and set it in the Profile’s Exit Task. We covered Exit Tasks here.

Using this same concept, you can create more Profiles to cover other times of your day. You could set WiFi to turn off during working hours, if you don’t have WiFi at the office, or whatever suits your needs.

Set Background Sync to a schedule

One of the best ways to control Background Sync is to put it on a schedule.

Tasker Background Sync Schedule profile

Create a new Profile in Tasker and again choose the Time option.

When choosing your time, turn off From and Until, instead activate Repeat and set it to, say, 2 Hours.

Tap the system Back button to confirm and exit.

Choose your “NoSyncing” Task.

To make this work properly, we will need to modify our “NoSyncing” Task to have four actions. And we get to learn about IF conditional statements.

Action 1: Tap the “+” button to create a new action, choose Task, then choose Stop.

Tap the “+” beside If.

Tap the little label icon and scroll down the list to find and tap on WiFi Status.

Tap the ~ and choose Doesn’t Equal.

In the last field, type “on“, without the quotes.

Tap the system Back button to save and exit.

Tasker Stop action IF statement

Action 2: Create an action that turns Background Sync on.

Net -> Auto-Sync -> Set On

Action 3: We must pause for a few minutes to let the Background Sync do its thing.

Tap the “+” button to create a new action, choose Task, then choose Wait.

Set a time value, I’ve gone with 5 minutes, which should be enough time for everything to sync. Tap the system Back button to confirm and exit.

Action 4: Turn Background Sync back off. You should already have this action in your “NoSyncing” Task, you can re-arrange the actions by tapping and dragging from the far right edge in the list.

Tasker Background Sync Schedule Task

As I am sure you see now, every two hours your system will try to check for messages. With the Stop action in place, Background Sync will only be activated if WiFi is turned on, otherwise it simply exits the Task and waits for next time.

What’s Next

I feel bad that today’s items only just scratched the surface of all of things that can be done to reduce battery consumption. Rest assured I will have more ideas, tools, tips and tricks coming, some will involve Tasker, but not all, and we will dive into some of the extras one can do with a rooted device.

Please spend some time and play with your WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Syncing needs in Tasker; as mentioned, you can turn each of these on and off based on location, time, availability of specific WiFi networks and Bluetooth devices and so much more. A quick word of warning, however, using location services, especially GPS, can sometimes actually use more power than you are trying to save.

Next week

We will continue with battery saving techniques next week on our Android customization series, perhaps we will take a look at those location services I just mentioned. With recent changes to the Android operating system itself, Tasker needs a little boost to be able to turn on and off GPS directly, we’ll take a look at how that works.

How do you like to manage your WiFi, Bluetooth and Background Sync settings?

Android customization – Screen Filter, dim your display to see in the dark

Posted by wicked August - 28 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization Screen Filter display dimmer

Sometimes, the pleasures of Android customization require that we put to use small, single purpose apps to get the job done right. One such app is called Screen Filter, who’s single purpose is to dim your display well beyond the lowest brightness setting on your device.

As we go through our day, we often find ourselves with varying amounts of lighting to contend with, be it blaring direct sunlight or the dark of night. While I believe it is generally safe to rely on the default device options or creating your own profiles using apps like Lux or Tasker to adequately increase your display brightness, few devices, on the other hand, do a great job of handling low light situations.

When the only light in the room is the gentle glow of all of your power adapters, even the lowest brightness setting on most Android devices feels a little like staring at the Sun. Since this searing pain is not enough to stop us from using our devices, why don’t we take a look at how to use Screen Filter to tone things down a bit.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonScreen Filter is a free app in the Google Play Store. If you like the app and wish to offer up a donation to the developer, in a unique approach, the developer asks that you instead make a donation to Wikipedia.

Great news, Screen Filter is also controllable as a Tasker plugin. This is just extra functionality which I will only briefly show off here today, but you’ll need to drop $2.99 on Tasker in the Google Play Store if you want to play along that part.

Using Screen Filter to dim your display

As mentioned, Screen Filter is made only to dim your display, which it does by placing a semi transparent black screen over top of your existing content. This is not a hardware related solution, and should not provide any battery saving benefits, but at least it let’s you use your device at night.

Warning: Screen Filter can be used to completely black out your display. Please be careful how you use it, as you may be required to pull the battery on your device to recover. On the bright side (no pun intended,) Screen Filter should be your first notification in your Notification bar, you may be able to blindly swipe and tap that to deactivate without having to restart the device.

Screen Filter can be used in three different ways. First, you can go into your apps and choose it from there. Second, and most common, you can set pre-configured widgets on your Homescreens. Last, my personal favorite, Screen Filter can be controlled and configured through Tasker. Let’s look at how to work these three options.

Activate Screen Filter from the app drawer

This is pretty simple, open your app drawer by tapping the “all apps” button usually located just above the Home button on your device. Scroll through to find the Screen Filter icon and tap to activate.

Screen Filter App toggle

Screen Filter will activate at a default value, somewhat out of your control, and remain there until you tap the app icon once again to turn it off. If you like this filter level, feel free to put a shortcut to the app on your Homescreen for easy access.

If the value is not good for you, you can pull down the Notification bar and tap the Screen Filter notification to enter the settings screen. Slide the scroll bar to the desired value and tap the system back button to save and exit.

Setup a Screen Filter widget

Likely the most common use of Screen Filter is through the Homescreen widget. This is very simple as well, drop the widget onto your Homescreen and you will be presented a settings page.

Screen Filter Widget

Slide the scroll bar until you reach an appropriate filter level.

Tap Save.

You can do this multiple times, setting different values for each widget.

To toggle Screen Filter off and on, simply tap the widget.

Setup Screen Filter in Tasker

Now for my favorite. If you are an avid Tasker user, I just need mention that Screen Filter is a Plugin for Tasker. If you are not an avid Tasker user, no worries, we’re just going to create an action within a Task that activates Screen Filter.

I will leave it to you to follow along previous tutorials to create a Profile in Tasker for this project and to create your Task within Tasker to get started. From there you’ll add a new action.

Screen Filter Tasker Task action

Choose Plugin.

Choose Screen Filter.

Tap the pencil next to Configure.

Slide the scroll bar to the desired value.

Tap Save.

Tap the system back button to save and exit.

What’s next

Let’s quickly talk about the Screen Filter notification that pops up when the app is activate. When you start Screen Filter from the app drawer, tapping the notification will both deactivate the display dimming and take you to the settings screen. When you activate Screen Filter from a widget or through Tasker, tapping the notification will only deactivate the filter.

Did someone say Tasker? Why of course I did, and now you may be wondering how and when you might activate Screen Filter. Let me give you just two ideas:

First, Screen Filter is great at night, obviously. If you’ve been following along my Tasker tutorials in our Android customization series, you already know how to create a night time mode for your device. If your night mode appropriately coincides with lights out in your home, it would be a simple thing to add Screen Filter to your sleepy time Task in Tasker, thus dimming your display along with muting the ringer and more.

Second thought, perhaps you looked into using Tasker with Trigger when I covered it a few weeks back. If you’ve got a spare NFC tag kicking around, why not program it to fire up Screen Filter? A sticker style NFC tag placed close to the bed makes it super simple to quickly tap to dim your display.

Prevent device reboots: I warned you above that Screen Filter can be set to a value that completely blacks out your display, often requiring a reboot to recover. I pose to you that an NFC tag made to toggle on and off Screen Filter would serve as a backup recovery plan in the event of a blackout.

Screen Filter Enabled 13percent

Next Week

Starting next week on our Android customization series we will begin to look at some battery saving tools, tips and tricks. If you are so inclined, you may want to start tracking your battery life, so you have a baseline to compare to after we make some tweaks. We don’t want to go too crazy here, maybe just snap a screenshot of your Battery stats at the end of each day and we can compare them later.

Respecting that apps like Lux offer a full featured display brightness solution with some awesome configurations and color filters, how do you feel Screen Filter stacks up for your needs?

Android Customization Tasker Notification Bar

Welcome back to our Android customization series, last week we kept it short and sweet going over a simple display timeout controlling app called KeepScreen. In its simplest form, you choose a selection of apps, when those apps are open, KeepScreen prevents your display from turning off, no frills, no gimmicks.

I had promised that this week we would go over alternative file transfer apps to WiFi File Transfer Pro, I must break that promise. In order to provide the best coverage of the best options, I simply need more time to put it all together, I promise it is still in the works and will be out as soon as it is ready. For today then, we’d like to look as something as simple as KeepScreen, but even more powerful – embedded Tasker Task triggers in your Notifications bar.

The latest release of Tasker was a big one, it included hundreds of new features and updates. One of the most powerful additions is embedded action buttons in the permanent Tasker Notification. You likely noticed this already, the default single button is ‘Disable’, which is a terrible choice in my mind, why would I ever want to turn Tasker off?!?

Let’s quickly look at controlling up to three Tasks and placing them in the Notification bar. Alternatively, if you are absolutely against having these buttons in your Notifications bar, I’ll show you how to turn the feature off as well.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonAlthough I feel you can get your money’s worth out of Tasker, it is sill $2.99 in the Google Play Store. You will also need a device running Android 4.4.x or greater, as this is where Google introduced actionable notifications.

Placing Tasker actions in your Notification bar

Before we place any actions in the Notification bar, we’ll need to decide which actions to add. You’ll need to decide for yourself what actions you need available from anywhere, to be performed by a click. Personally, I listen to a lot of music, and have need to stop music playback many time throughout my day. Easy enough, let’s build that Task.

Tasker Task to stop your music

Open up Tasker and navigate to the Tasks tab.

Tap the “+” button to create a new Task.

Tasker Task Stop Music Media Control

Provide your Task a unique and concise name. I will call mine “StopMusic“.

Tap the “+” button to add a new action.

Choose Media.

Choose Media Control.

Under CMD change Next to Stop.

(There is an alternative Music Stop command parallel to Media Control above, although it is easier to implement, I found that it fails to actually stop my music. Feel free to try it out and let me know how it goes for you.)

The remaining options are fine as they are, tap your system Back button to confirm.

That is all you need to do. I have chosen to add a quick flash notification, just an old habit. To do so yourself, add another action, choose Alert, choose Flash, enter your Text, I just put “Music Stopped”, then back out to save and exit.

Tasker Task Alert Flash

The media control action should work for most of your audio and video content, not just your music. I’ll admit that it appears to no longer stop my video playback through MX Player, but it may for you.

Moving on, we now have a Task ready to go into our Notification bar.

Adding a Task trigger button to your Notification Bar

Tasker Notification bar Tasks

Open Tasker and tap the triple dots “hamburger” menu button in the top right corner.

Tap Preferences.

Navigate to the Monitor tab.

Right at the top should be a section called General, a few items below is the option Notification Action Buttons.

For those that absolutely do not want any buttons in their Tasker Notification, simply tap the checkbox to turn it off.

For the rest of us, we can add up to three buttons. Go ahead and tap the magnifying glass button to add a Task.

Choose your desired Task. My Task was named “StopMusic“.

(On my phone, I’ve also added a Display Rotation toggle and Tesla flashlight toggle. On my Tablet I’ve added a display brightness control.)

Tap your system Back button to confirm and exit.

You may need to close and re-open Tasker to finalize the changes, but your buttons will soon populate in your default permanent Tasker notification. Now, no matter where you are or what you are doing, your few items will be there.

 Tasker Notification bar Task buttons

What’s next

As you may have guessed, you could use the three slots for different music playback controls, turning Tasker into a music player. As is true of Tasker, the sky is the limit here, if you can imagine Tasker controlling it, you can get it into the Notification bar.

Perhaps you would like to configure a Task that fires off a SMS message to your family telling them you’ve left work and are headed home. I always forget to do so before getting behind the wheel of the car, since texting and driving is a bad thing, one tap from the notification bar to send a pre-formed message is extremely handy.

Next Week

For next Thursday in our Android customization series, we’d like to take a little closer look at controlling display brightness. We’ve previously looked at an app called Lux, which is super powerful, but perhaps a little complicated at first glance. I’ve got a much simpler solution on deck for you, best of all, it integrates with Tasker and it’s free – but you’ll have to check back next week to see what it’s called.

While Tasker itself is a robust, and somewhat complicated, system, adding buttons to the Notification bar that trigger your created Tasks is a simple things. While the goal with Tasker is to also setup Profiles that make for a truly automated flow, these few things into the Notification bar can be super important to how you use your device.

What Tasks have you chosen to put into your Notification bar?

Via: Android customization;

Top Xposed Framework Modules

Posted by wicked August - 17 - 2014 - Sunday Comments Off

Xposed Framework is a powerful tool, that allows you to add certain functionality and features to your device which would otherwise be available only through flashing custom ROMs. Xposed framework requires root to access core Android resources, using them to run different modules to add new functionality to the OS. This tool is considered to a must have for power users, and there are quite a few tutorials and guides on how to get started. As mentioned, root access is required, but keep in mind that rooting your device may result in your warranty being void, and a certain amount of technical know-how is recommended before diving in.

The potential here is almost unlimited, and as the number of modules keep growing, it can prove to be daunting task to filter through the various applications available in this tool. That’s where we step in. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the top XPosed Framework Modules. Let’s get started!

Activity Force New Task

Android Xposed framework - activity-force-new-task-3-2

While launching an application from within another isn’t a new feature, there is definitely some room for improvement in this regard. Some of you may have noticed that when you launch an application from within another, hitting the back button takes you directly to the homescreen, instead of back into the app. In some cases, when you launch an app from within another, it doesn’t register as a separate task in the Task Manager or Recent Apps screen, that makes multi-tasking slightly more annoying than it should be. A great solution available is in the form of an Xposed framework module called ActivityForceNewTask.

As the name suggests, this module forces the system to create a new task when an application is launched from within another, making switching between the two that much easier. You also have the option to set filters for different apps, that lets you choose which applications this module does and does not affect. ActivityForceNewTask is a very useful tool for anyone that faces such problems. You can find out more about this module here.


Android Xposed framework - blacklist-3

The next module, called BlackList, is something that could be considered a must have for a lot of people. BlackList is an advanced call and SMS filter and blocker, with various features to easily manage unwanted calls and text messages from anyone. You have the option to set up blacklists, exception lists, and even configure blocking options for specific numbers. It’s very easy to add numbers to the different lists and stay organized. You can check out the full list of features and find out more about the BlackList module here.


Android Xposed framework - bootmanager-3

If you’re worried about slow boot times and have noticed multiple and unnecessary apps running during system startup, this next module is for you. BootManager, as the name suggests, is a simple tool that lets you control which apps run when the device starts up. All you have to do is click on the apps you don’t want to load when Android boots up, and that’s it. You also have the option to restrict system apps from loading, but that requires a donation. You can find out more about BootManager here.

Complete Action Plus

Android Xposed framework - complete-action-plus-3

What we all love about Android is that it gives us a lot of options. We can share with any application we want, and we can even set application defaults. But with the problem with having so many options is that it can sometime slow down your workflow. With this next module, called Complete Action Plus, you can modify these options, and customize your share options and default application window. For example, you can remove applications you never share with, select from different applications, change the size, and modify colours. There are dozens of options for you the choose form, so it’s something that is definitely worth installing and checking out. You can find out more about the Complete Action Plus module here.

DS Battery Saver

Android Xposed framework - DS-battery-saver-3-3

With our ever-increasing dependency on our smartphones, a growing concern over recent times has been battery life. If you’re hoping to get the most juice out of our device battery, the DS Battery Saver module is the one for you. This application lets you select from a list of battery saver profiles to suit your needs, and you can also set parameters to optimize your battery life. Most current high-end smartphones come with battery saving modes baked in, but for any other device, the DS Battery Saver module helps make a big difference. You can find out more about this module here.

Protected Apps

Android Xposed framework - overview-3

Security is important when it comes to your device, and most of us have a PIN, password, or pattern required to unlock our devices. If you’re looking for the same option when it comes to individual apps as well, the Protected Apps module is what you’re looking for. This module lets you use the device unlock PIN, password, or pattern to unlock a specific app. This proves especially useful for devices used by multiple people, or if you’re worried about your friends posting that awkward Facebook status update when they get their hands on your phone. Since this is a system level lock, there is also no way around out. You can find out more about Protected Apps here.

Smooth Progress Bars

OnePlus One Xposed Framework Smooth System Progress Bar

The next module, called Smooth Progress Bars, is a little add-on that enhances the visual aspect of the OS greatly. This does what it says, and makes your progress bars a lot more smooth. You can tweak and adjust exactly how the loading bar animation should be. This module creates a small visual tweak, but once you have it installed, you’ll find that it is something you can’t live without. You can find out more about this module here.

Tinted Translucent Status Bar

Android Xposed Tinted Transluscent Bar

The Tinted Translucent Status Bar is another module that allows for a visual tweak, that makes things look a lot better. This module gives you the opportunity to use the Translucent mode for the Android status bar and navigation bar in every application that you want. It has a built-in database that downloads the colour profiles for you, and then makes the status bar the same colour as the application. Choose the apps and activities you want to be tinted, set the colour, and how the layout should be adjusted, and that’s it. You can find out more about the Tinted Translucent Status Bar module here.  


Xposed Wanam Kit

Apart from the Tinted Translucent Status Bar module above, if you’re looking to further customize your status bar, as well as other UI elements, the Wanam module is the one for you. This lets you tweak and customize various visual elements, and also adds a lot of functionality to the device. You can find out more about the various options available here, and there is also a module that is compatible with the Samsung TouchWiz UI, that you can check out here


Xposed Framwork Xprivacy

If security is a big concern for you, Xprivacy is the module that lets you completely protect all your information. XPrivacy can prevent applications from leaking privacy sensitive data, and can restrict the categories of data an application can access. This is done by feeding an application with no data, or even fake data. There are several data categories which can be restricted, such as  your contact list or location. You can find out more about the XPrivacy module here

And so, there you have it, a look at some of our top Xposed Framework modules! If there is any module that you feel deserves to be on this list, don’t forget to let us know in the comments section below.

Android customization – KeepScreen, the free way to keep your display turned on

Posted by wicked August - 14 - 2014 - Thursday Comments Off

Android Customization KeepScreen

A few weeks back in our Android customization series, we showed you how to use Tasker to control your display timeout. Basically, your Android device follows a single setting to control when your display should go to sleep, usually that is set to 30 seconds or a minute. There are times that this is just not going to work, so we customized it just how we like it.

Some of you mentioned that you would like to do this without Tasker; in response, I give you KeepScreen.

The Tasker project tackled this in a very straightforward and binary way – your device is either set to turn off as normal, or, when specific apps are open, the display remains turned on indefinitely.

KeepScreen also handles this in an on or off sort of way, allowing you to simply choose a set of apps for which your display stays lit.

Before we get started

Get it on Google Play ButtonKeepScreen is a tiny little free app in the Google Play Store. As this was one of the first customization apps I had ever installed on Android, I think you’ll find it works on almost any device going back to Froyo and even older.

Setting up KeepScreen

Once installed, open KeepScreen and head into the Applications section.

KeepScreen Main Menu

Choose the apps for which the display should remain turned on.

Tap the system back button to confirm.

Tap the Start / Stop Service button to start the service. Watch for the quick flash ‘toast’ notification for confirmation.

KeepScreen Start Service

Congratulations, setup is complete. Feel free to play with the other options, then exit the app whenever you’re ready.

Using KeepScreen

Just kidding, there is nothing to do here. Open up one of the apps you had set in the steps above, wait a moment… Boom, there is that little red table lamp in your notification bar to confirm things are running. You are good to go.

KeepScreen active

I hope I don’t need to mention this, but do be careful which apps you use KeepScreen for, it cares not about your battery consumption and will keep your screen turned on until you stop it, you’ll need to make sure to close the app or manually turn off the display when you are done.

Next week

Next week on the Android customization series we’ll take a look at another alternative solutions to a task we’ve already performed. Many of you shared some great solutions for duplicating the functionality of WiFi File Transfer Pro, based on your suggestions and requests we’ll run through another option, or two.

KeepScreen is about as simple as it gets, does anyone have any suggestions for a similar app that rocks this level of simplicity for controlling display timeout? Perhaps something that has seen an update in the last couple years?

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