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SupremeAC

Recreating the Winphone 'Glance' screen in Android

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SupremeAC    3
SupremeAC

Now that I am satisfied with the SH2 layout of my new Nokia 5, I have turned my attention elsewhere: an app that would replicate the glance screen as found on recent Winphones.  For those that don't know what the Glance screen does, this is essentially a power efficient screensaver that shows the time and icons for your notifications.  There is a screen saver functionality available in Android, but you can only set it to kick in when charging or in a dock, or start it manually.  There's no way to have it automatically start saving your screen after a short amount of time.

Browsing the app store and the internet, this is apparently a feature people have been requesting for years now, but is still not available on stock android, although some phones do offer this.  Basically, if your phone can't handle it through the manufacturers custom software, you're out of luck.  However, seeing as I am not the kind of person who will let such practicalities dim my spirit, I set out to do the next best thing: recreating it myself through the Automate app, which lets you 'program' through stringing commands together.  It's easy, it's fun, and I (kind of) managed to do what I set out to create.  I've attached the 'flow chart' to this post.  What I am doing is checking if the phone is moving at all at set intervals.  Since it's impossible to hold your phone completely still, this will prefent it from starting the screensaver if you're using it.  If the phone detects no movement at all at 3 points in time, it will dim the screen as to preserve battery and boot up the screensaver of your choice.  As a little extra I made it so that if you pick up the phone, the screen brightness will adjust itself again to 60% untill after a few seconds after you've put it down.

Now it isn't perfect, as it won't 'lock' your screen when your phone is moving, like if you'd slip it into your pocket, but I'm personally happy with it as is.  I might end up adding some commands so that it'll also lock if you hold the phone upside down for a few seconds, although I've noticed that detecting what rotation the phone is in puts a heavy strain on the battery.  So it's not perfect, but I thought I might share as it's something that you can't achieve on android any other way that I'm aware of.

Screensaver without charging.pdf

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The Guru    1,458
The Guru

It's difficult for me to achieve the same effect as Samsung tie their fingerprint reader into the lockscreen system which negates most possibilities.

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SupremeAC    3
SupremeAC

The screensaver isn't your lockscreen though.  It's completely seperate and unlocks by swiping up or pressing the 'back' button.  At least, that's my understanding of how it works.  The standard screensaver isn't all that great though, I downloaded a seperate one in the app store that also shows battery status and notification icons.

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tonybro    371
tonybro

You are certainly missing your Win Phone screens! :-)

Might be cheaper to just buy a 950/950XL and go back to Win Phone... :wink:

 

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SupremeAC    3
SupremeAC

The well of winphones has dried up.  There are none to be found anymore, at least not in actual stores or estores.  I guess there would still be some on Ebay.  Besides, I'm not spending 950 kind of money. 

I've been meddling some more with automate.  Managed to get the screensaver to also function as my lock screen, because who wants lockscreens that will either show huge notifications, or none at all?  I'm trying to get it to actually lock my phone now, with an actual password.  I'm close to getting there, but it seems there is no way to override the home and overview buttons, which now easily circumvent my password popup.  There's some neat stuff made by others as well, which will turn on bluetooth only if you're in a car (that's the only place I use it anyway), or turn Wifi off when you're not in reach of certain networks.

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The Guru    1,458
The Guru

With the S7 Edge though you rarely ever see the actual lockscreen as the first thing you do is hit the fingerprint scanner and if that is set to unlock (IMHO best option) it drops you straight to the home screen.

Interesting how you are progressing with automate though, a decent project this.

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SupremeAC    3
SupremeAC

Thanks, really enjoying Automate.  I've already got a few ideas for my next projects.  I pay the parking meters through sms, and I'm thinking of automating it so that I get a reminder when I arrive at work asking me if I want a ticket for a day or one for a set time, and having it automatically stop the ticket when I drive off afterwards.  Could really save me some money in fines.

As for lock screens, I have it set on swipe up.  Not much in terms of security, but I don't want to fiddle with my pin everytime I unlock, and fingerprint is a bit restrictive as my wife and kids will sometimes use my phone as well.  As for my automate project, I thought adding in a password system would be more of a challenge.

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The Guru    1,458
The Guru

Cool idea concerning the parking tickets, no need for anything like that here I must admit.

The only automating in that direction that I do it to use the Samsung Sound assistant to turn the phone to vibrate when starting work shift and turn it off again when I'm due to finish :)

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Michael_Mcr    69
Michael_Mcr

I used to find the glance screen very useful on my 950 at night - if it was on the bedside charging stand i could just wave my hand across the screen to get the clock to come on briefly and see what time it is.

On my HTC 10 i can do the same by either double tapping the screen or by a quick press on the finger print scanner, both of which make the lock screen appear for a few seconds then disapear again - which is perfect for a time check.

Other than that, i don't use lock screen notifications, because the combination of notification LED plus the quick access fingerprint scanner is enough for me to be aware of new messages and to then quickly view them.

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The Guru    1,458
The Guru

I wish my eyes were good enough to handle that sort of gazing at night, alas the glasses are needed first.

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SupremeAC    3
SupremeAC

An update on my parking meter project: I'm nearly there.  I've set it up that if I'm driving the app will check if I'm at one of two locations (two different streets I park in).  If I am it will show me a window asking if I want a ticket, a ticket for a full day, or none, after which it will send the requisite text message.  If it's a ticket for a full day, it won't ask again for the next 24 hours.  If it's a ticket I need to cancel when I drive off, it'll do so on it's own the moment it detects I'm back in the car and I've left the area.

Now all I need to do is find a way so that it only searches my location when I have stopped driving, instead of searching continuously, and add some commands that it'll also check my location after the 24 hour period has ended, without first checking if I'm driving (which I might not be, as I might have arrived the next day prior to the 24 hour period having ended).

Still not convinced that Android is better than Winphone, but at least improving my experience has proven to be entertaining.

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neilm    851
neilm

Excellent project there! It does demonstrate the flexibility of Android for someone who has the patience and skill to set it up!

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