understandable linux tips, tricks and tutorials

Android App of the Week: Tasker and NFC Task Launcher

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This is one for the old school hackers. Unix like operating systems (of which Android is one) have had a few core mantras over the years, for example, programs should “do one thing and do it well”. Two other driving ideas are “Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces” and “Design programs to be connected to other programs”. In this review, I’m looking at two apps that work well alone, but when combined have the potential to be dynamite. Tasker has been around for a long time. It’s essentially a visual scripting language for automating your phone. There are a number of other automation apps around, but none seem to be as comprehensive as Tasker. NFC Task Launcher is more recent, and mirrors a tiny fraction of Tasker’s functionality. However, does one ting that Tasker does not do, which is programming NFC tags, including programming them to launch Tasker tasks. Tasker I won’t go into detail about what Tasker is and can do. The basics are that you can create profiles that launch tasks when certain things happen – eg. at a certain time, in a certain location, when you receive a text, when the phone disconnects from a Bluetooth

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Android App of the Week: UCCW

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If you’re into theming your android device, you will probably know about UCCW. It used to be called “Ultimate Custom Clock Widget”, but as the functionality has expanded, they’ve dropped the “Clock”, but not the corresponding “C” in “UCCW” – but I digress. UCCW is not actually a “widget” at all, but a framework for creating your own widgets. It allows you to create and edit widgets right on your phone, as well as to import skins that other people have made. You can now even download skins from the Play store. An example of what can be done with UCCW is in the screenshot to the right. The top widget is UCCW, and the skin can be downloaded here. With UCCW, you can create widgets that show the time (as digits, words or analog); date (including days of the week bars); battery status; weather conditions; counts for undread gmail and sms and missed calls; and hotspots to launch apps. The editor is a little tricky to get used to, but the UI is quite clever in terms of providing maximum editing flexibility on a small screen device. To start creating a widget, you just drag the size of widget

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Android App of the Week: AIX Weather

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This is a new thing I’m trying. I’ve been an Android user for about 8 months, and having churned though my fair share of apps, both good and bad, I’ve decided to share some of the gems I’ve come across. AIX Weather I’m going to start small, with a widget. As an ex-iphone user, having widgets on the homescreen (without having to jailbreak and use kludgy html based widgets) is great – and the grandaddy of all widgets is the weather widget. There are a lot of great weather widgets, but not that many that show hourly forecasts as their primary function. AIX Weather does this in a compact, informative and attractive way – bottom widget in the screenshot, just in case you were wondering. AIX Weather displays a grid/graph showing weather conditions, temperature and rainfall for the next 24 hours in your chosen location. As you can see from the attached screenshot, the style is very simple, but attractive, and most of all, informative. Weather data is sourced from either NOAA, or the Norway Meteorological Institute. The Global coverage seems to be pretty comprehensive, and the data seems to be pretty accurate. Unfortunately, you need to manually set the

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2Do App Ported to Android

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One of my favourite task manager apps has been ported to Android from iOS. 2Do is a fantastic app with the key features I’m looking for from a task manager app all in one package: heirarchical lists, tags and persistent search folders. Check out this review of 2Do app for Android.

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Site last updated October 20, 2012 @ 12:53 pm