The Vengeful Polyglot

Archive for the ‘Android’ Category

Let it be said that when I got my Droid Incredible I was enamored with it. It did everything I needed, and I wanted for nothing. Recently, this has not been the case, and the fault seems to lie with one of my favorite manufacturers, HTC.

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Before I go off on a bit of a nerdrage tangent, let me just start by saying that I was really looking forward to this phone. I’ve been listening to every little HTC Bliss (now Rhyme) rumor since I heard it was going to have an adorable charm. It’s even purple. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m a sucker for cute, girly things, so you can imagine I was pretty psyched for this phone to come out. For as much as I don’t believe we need to have devices marketed “for” women (I use my Android devices just fine, despite my genitalia), I certainly wouldn’t mind a more feminine aesthetic for my phone.

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Sadface. I’m going to put on my tinfoil hat for a second and speculate that this could be because Samsung is bringing the Nexus Prime to Verizon, something which would totally make up for the lack of SGSII in my life. I’d take some Ice Cream Sandwich any day! 😛

I know this has been coming for the longest time, so since it was requested, here is how I’ve managed my two Minimalistic Text + Tasker widgets! (This is a followup to my previous Tasker Roundup.) I haven’t quite finished my most recent color/look switch up, so I’m going to use my neon screen shots from a while back. Of course, since it’s Minimalistic Text, all of the text, colors, and specific font configurations are fully configurable.


Missed Calls/Texts/Email Widget

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I’ve been reticent to post my Tasker profiles (of which I have many) because not all of them are “optimal.” But, since I promised, here they are. I’ll do my best to describe the settings and profiles I use to achieve the effects I’ve been going for!

I’ll supply the Contexts and Task descriptions for each profile, but please comment if I haven’t been specific enough! I’m more than happy to help.


GPS Only for Location-Based Services

This is a common one I’ve seen around. Since GPS tends to really drain battery if it’s enabled all the time, this profile enables GPS when I open Maps, Places, or Yelp, and disables it when I’m done.

Profile: GPS Only For Maps

Context: Application -> Maps, Places, Yelp

GPS On Task: Misc -> GPS, Set On

GPS Off Task (Exit Task): Misc -> GPS, Set Off

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Since getting my replacement phone I have been absorbed with — maybe a better phrase would be fixated on — revamping the UI using some uber-customizable apps I hadn’t tried before, namely Tasker and Minimalistic Text.

Tasker allows an unprecedented amount of control over your phone, allowing you to specify responses to specific conditions. It’s very much like coding and I can’t get over how incredibly powerful and robust it is. I put off using it for a long time because I was intimidated by its scope, but the level of awesome stuff my phone does now is totally worth the confusion and hours of scrambling things together from the Wiki. I’m planning on doing a post, or a series of posts, on my Tasker set up and how to do various things. I hope it will be helpful because I wasn’t able to find all of the information I needed easily and had to cobble some of it together with trial and error.

Minimalistic Text is a widget creator which allows you to format and populate widgets with information like the time, date, weather, and battery status. It also supports Tasker variables, so you can display pretty much any info you can grab using Tasker (which is pretty much limitless!); in my setup, I only use this capability in two widgets, but there’s a lot more you can do with it than what I felt I needed. Basically, I use Minimalistic text in most of my widgets in order to present a unified theme, as well as to fulfill my anal-retentive tendencies. It’s seriously nuts; give it a try!


Main Homescreen

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Since my HTC Droid Incredible has recently taken to locking itself over and over again during certain times, preventing me from ending, say, embarrassingly business-related calls, I will be replacing it with a refurb provided by my one-year manufacturer’s warranty. (6 days before expiration, yessss!) Unfortunately, backing up app data on Android phones is seeming pretty tricky. I’ll probably be trying it using ASTRO, the file managing app I hope everyone has on their Android. I’ll see how Google’s app-backup from the cloud goes before trying to deal with it on my own, though.

One of the consequences of this is that I’m most likely going to lose my beloved Android UI, which I have labored over for more hours than I’d really care to admit.  I’m really not exaggerating when I say I’ve probably spent more time tweaking apps on my phone than actually calling people with it. In the hopes of maybe recreating it, here is a dissection of the best UI/homescreen setup I’ve arrived at so far.


Main Homescreen

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Blog by a programmer cum linguist cum writer cum total geek. One who pretentiously uses "cum" in place of any other logical connectives. Direct questions to the Ask Lauren page!

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