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Topics - Klotar

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1
G3 Apps / Nokia HERE Beta (Satnav App)
« on: December 11, 2014, 09:18:46 AM »
As many of us know, with the G3's QHD resolution, some satnav apps that worked fine on previous devices no longer work on the G3.  One example of such is TomTom's satnav app, which no longer works on QHD devices (G3, Note 4, Droid Turbo, etc.).  While there are paid spoken turn-by-turn satnav alternatives out there, such as Sygic, Co-Pilot, Garmin, etc. that have offline maps, and Google Maps is just fine -- however, Google Maps uses data and does not store maps on the device; so navigation in areas with no cell signal, etc. can be iffy.

Nokia has released it's beta of it's "HERE" satnav app in the Play Store.  It's free and includes the ability to run in offline mode with maps stored on-device.  I installed it last night myself on my G3 (and also on the wife's G2) and played with it a bit.  It's fairly similar to Google Maps in appearance, fairly no-frills but gets the job done.  It does support speed limit notifications, traffic updates, 3D view, etc.  All the basics are there: spoken turn by turn instructions, day/night mode, destination search, route overviews, avoidances, etc.  Best of all, it's free.  Nokia HERE is the #1 rated satnav app for Windows Phone; and while apparently it's iPhone launch was less than a success, it will be re-introduced for iPhone in Jan 2015.  But it's here for Android now using the Play Store link below:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.here.app.maps

As mentioned above, while I did install and play with the app, I didn't really drive anywhere, so I do not know it's routing/re-routing capabilities, responsiveness of screen draws, accuracy, etc.  But you can judge for yourself.  Yes, you do have to sign up for a Nokia Here account (a 2 minute process) but there are otherwise no hidden costs or in-app purchases.  Maps can be downloaded by Country or state (in Canada, my province was only a few hundred MB and so I didn't have to download all of Canada [2 GB]... if I decide to travel outside of my province, then I can choose to download those maps and even delete them later).  All maps are free.

Let us know what you think if you give it a try.

2
For those that are not aware, Google has released Google Camera in the Play Store.  As you may or may not be aware, Google has lately been separating some modules that were always traditionally part of the Android operating system into separate apps that can be updated in the Play Store.  This allows some components to be updated and distributed to end users as fixes and features are added instead of having to wait until your Carrier releases the latest Android update for your G2.  Examples of these apps are GMail, Google Maps, Hangouts, Calendar, Chrome, Google+, Google Translate, YouTube, etc., and now the Camera app joins them.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.GoogleCamera

NOTE: this Camera app is only available for G2's (and other Android devices) running Android 4.4 (Kit Kat).  Those users who's carriers have not yet released their Kit Kat update will have to wait.

However, unlike the other apps listed, this Camera app will co-exist with your existing Camera app.  What, two camera apps for my phone?!

I am not sure if this will be permanent or not, but I am glad that for the time being that the two are separate and both still work.  The new Camera is easier to use (in my opinion) to snap pictures, but the stock G2 Camera app still has more tweakable settings (e.g. ISO) and possibly more features specific to the G2 (whereas the new Camera app is more specific to Kit Kat).

I'm not much of a photographer, so I'll leave it at that.  I do like the new Camera app myself but possibly because my photo needs are simple.  I'm leaving the stock Camera app installed for the time being but don't anticipate using it.  Let us know what YOU think!

Edit/Add: one feature that the new Camera app has that everyone is talking about is "Lens Blur Mode".  This means that if taking a picture of say, a vase on a table, that the vase is in sharp focus but objects that are behind it or farther away are out of focus.  This seems to be an effect that previously was only available to those with DSLR cameras and is considered cool.  You can apparently also set the blur level although I haven't played with it.  The stock G2 Camera app doesn't have this feature as far as I know, so that may be one reason to try the new Google Camera app.

3
G2 Apps / Klotar's Korner -- Ultimate Rotation Control
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:44:43 PM »
Klotar's Korner - Ultimate Rotation Control

Ultimate Rotation Control (by FaMe IT) is an Android application that allows you to:

- Rotate a "portrait only" screen to landscape
- Rotate a "landscape only" screen to portrait
- Rotate to Reverse Landscape (upside down portrait)
- Prevent a portrait/landscape app or screen from going into portrait
- Prevent a portrait/landscape app or screen from going into landscape

Settings can be done Globally, with app by app exceptions; or globally off with forced rotation enabled on an app by app basis.

What might rotation control be useful for?  One example might be in the car.  Some apps operate in both portrait or landscape mode, such as mapping applications; but the lockscreen is portrait only.  If you have your car mount holding your phone in landscape mode, it seems silly that the lockscreen is portrait only.  Another example is, some people put their phone in the cupholder in the car, but like to have it upside down (with the headphone port facing up) so they can use the headphone jack to connect to the AUX port in their stereo deck.  Unfortunately, although the G2 supports portrait, left landscape and right landscape, it does not support reverse portrait, so if the G2 is in the cupholder with the headphone jack up, the display is upside down.

I can't remember if the G2's Home Screen is portrait only or not offhand, since I've had the Ultimate Rotation Control app installed for months now.  But on the Nexus 5, the Home Screen is portrait only and does not rotate to landscape.  With Ultimate Rotation Control, the Homescreen can now rotate into landscape mode, so in my car mount example, if you have the G2 in your car mount sideways, both the lockscreen and the homescreen can now be landscape.

Some games will operate in either portrait or landscape, BUT switching from one mode to another can have unintended effects (like game resets, restarts, etc. -- e.g. QuizUp).  That's not always an issue but QuizUp setting my score to zero because I leaned the phone over a bit to far to the right is maddening!  So I locked QuizUp into portrait only mode.

NOTE: some apps are not designed to run in landscape mode and will crash.  I've only run into two or three of these myself of the hundred or so apps I have installed but you should be aware that some apps just were not written to run in landscape.  For these apps, I just force them to run in portrait only, and I no longer have any crash issues.  You should also note that some apps may not "look right" in landscape mode even though they will work.  The stock LG G2 Phone/Dialer app, for example, I believe is portrait only.  I enabled landscape on it (rather, I enabled global landscape for the G2) and it does now rotate to landscape but looks a bit odd.  Plus I can't think of any reason to use the dialer in landscape mode but I left it enabled anyways.  Some widgets may also look odd (or "squished") when rotated, but this is to be expected when rotating a rectangular screen sideways.

On the whole, I am very happy with Ultimate Rotation Control.  I have not run into any bugs of any sort and it is very configurable.  I got it mainly so the lockscreen and homescreen will work in landscape mode for the car, and to keep certain apps that support landscape locked into portrait mode.

Trial version (7 days) https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nl.fameit.rotate

Full version key purchase is $2.59 CAD through the Play Store, which removes the 7 day limitation on the trial version.

4
G2 Apps / Klotar's Korner -- Light Flow
« on: March 18, 2014, 03:35:58 PM »
Klotar's Korner -- Light Flow

Light Flow is an application for Android, who's main function is to control the Notification LED.  While Light Flow does more than just control the LED (it can also handle your notification sounds, vibrate, repeat notifications, and also have a night mode where LED is suppressed and optionally the notifications can be too.

I would rate Light Flow as an app for intermediate to advanced users.  It's not my intent to scare anyone off, but there are a lot of options, menus and settings that may confuse a beginner to Android applications.  That said, generally once Light Flow is set up, it runs in the background and, other than tweaking settings periodically to suit your fancy, it doesn't need constant attention.

So what is it?  Well, first of all, the G2 has a notification LED.  This LED is natively supported by the G2 for Email, Gmail, Messaging, Incoming/Missed Calls, Calendar, Charging/Charged, Alarms.  However, the LED colour for almost everything is green, except Calendar which is blue, and Alarms which is multi-colour.  Battery charging is a pulsing red and battery charged is green.  These may be fine for many but other users may want more options.  The G2's LED is capable of more colours than red, green, blue.  Light Flow allows you to add more colours to your notification repetoire, such as yellow, orange, pink, purple, turquoise, etc.  In addition, you can control the rate of flashing, how long it flashes for until it stops, the frequency of repeat notifications (sound/vibrate) and how long those repeat notifications should continue.

In addition to being able to change the colours for existing supported apps, Light Flow adds the ability to have LED and sound notification for apps that do not have options for LED or sounds.  Many 3rd party apps (e.g. Kik, WhatsApp, BBM, etc.) have their own settings and options for sound and LED notifications within their app.  Other apps may or may not; for example weather apps' warnings, RSS feeds, package tracking apps, games, and so on.  For another example, I use a package tracking app called TrackChecker that basically tracks UPS/FedEx/USPS/CPC packages.  When TrackChecker updates the status of my deliveries, Light Flow can flash it's LED a unique colour and I'll know what it is if/when the G2 is sitting on my desk at work (so I may have the sound off) without turning on the phone to see what app is notifying me.

There are some global settings to set after you first install Light Flow (including allowing access to Accessibility Settings), and then there are app specific settings.  Light Flow is updated often, so many apps are supported (I can't think of any offhand for apps that I have that are currently not supported).  Each supported app that is detected as installed on your G2 shows up in Card format.  You select each card and set your settings there for what colour you want the LED to blink, the frequency, repeat notifications, etc. and and also any sound notifications.

Perhaps this is the time to mention: with Light Flow, you can control all your notification sounds for your apps in one place, if you so choose but you don't have to.  I do let Light Flow control both my LED and sounds/vibration, so what I have to do is, disable each native apps' LED notification in the G2's settings (so that the G2 and Light flow don't clash), and in each G2 app and 3rd party app, I make the sound Silent and turn Vibrate off.  Once that is done, I set Light Flow up for each app to suit my taste for LED colour, vibrate, notification sound, frequency, etc.  I can also set the G2 to show the LED as orange when charging, and green when fully charged -- and have the LED steady, not flashing and at a lower intensity than normal.

I'm going to leave it at that, and if there are any questions I will attempt to answer.  Light Flow is available as a "Lite" version which is free but has some limitations (no ads though!) and a full version ($2.49 CAD) that supports more applications and can change colour every 2.5 seconds (for when you have more than one notification).  Does not require root, although it does have a special root mode.  You can also set Light Flow up to "wake up" your screen when an incoming text comes in, if you prefer that.  Additionally, Light Flow can control the notification volume independently of the ringer volume.  And there are handy tools for backup and restore of your settings that can help when changing devices.

Lite Version https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rageconsulting.android.lightflowlite

Full Version https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rageconsulting.android.lightflow

5
G2 Apps / Klotar's Korner -- Profile Scheduler+
« on: March 05, 2014, 09:38:39 AM »
Klotar's Korner -- Profile Scheduler+

Profile Scheduler+ is what it sounds like, an app that schedules profile changes on your device.

On most Android phones, there are 3 profile states:

Normal - normal notification/ringer/alarm/media/voice volumes, each one is configurable.  Vibration is configurable also.

Vibrate -- sounds are silenced, so notifications will vibrate the phone.

Silent -- sounds are silenced but phone does not vibrate.

The basic premise of a profile scheduler is that the application will switch profiles according to a schedule that you set, so that for example, you can turn off notification sounds at night while you sleep, and turn them back on automatically in the morning.  There are a number of apps in the Google Play Store that can do this.  To some extent, the LG G2 has this function built-in, it's called Quiet Mode; however, while it is useful to silence sounds at night, it's not very configurable other than the single schedule that you set for it.

Profile Scheduler+, by Wetpalm (link below) was the app I chose mainly because not only is it very configurable/customizable in it's scheduling abilities but also allows you to create "custom" profiles other than the usual Normal/Vibrate/Silent.  For example, I created a custom profile called "Quiet".  This new Quiet profile differs from Vibrate or Silent in that it still makes notification and ringer sounds like Normal does, except just not as loud (and it vibrates too).  Basically, Quiet has the notification sounds at about half the volume of Normal's notification sounds and about three-quarter the volume of Normal's ringer sound.  I also made a custom "Night" profile which is very similar to the stock Silent mode.  And then I made a Default (a custom Normal Mode) mode.  The reason I made a custom Normal mode instead of just using the stock Normal mode is that, if one day I am at a busy/noisy place and I have to turn the ringer and notification sounds up to max, then the next day (or whenever Normal might kick in), it's not going to still be at that MAX'd out volume -- instead it will be at the pre-configured volume levels that I set my custom Normal to be at.

So basically I now have three custom profiles: Default (custom Normal), Quiet (still makes sounds but not as loud as Normal), and Night (sort of a custom Silent mode).  Now, my typical schedule on weekdays is that I get up at 6:00 AM, am at work by 7:00 AM, work until 5:00 PM and then go to sleep by 12:00 AM.  But on weekdays, I don't work.  So to go along with those three custom Profiles, I set a schedule like this:

"Daily Nighttime" -- invokes my Night Profile (no sound or vibrate EXCEPT ringer, from 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM, every day (MTWTFSS).

"Weekday Daytime" -- invokes my Quiet Profile (lower sound levels plus vibrate), from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, weekdays only (MTWTF--).

"Default" -- invokes my custom Normal Profile (normal sound levels plus vibrate), all other times OTHER THAN when Night or Quiet is on.

This means that when I wake up in the morning, my profile switches from Night to Normal, by the time I get to work, it switches from Normal to Quiet, when I go home in the afternoon, it switches from Quiet to Normal, and then when I go to sleep, it switches from Normal to Night.  On weekends, when I wake up it's on Normal and stays that way until I go to sleep at night.

At any time, I can manually override these settings, either by changing profiles within the app or using the supplied widget, or override it with the stock Android Vibrate/Silent modes (e.g. if I go to the movies in the evening when normally the profile is set to Normal).

In addition to just changing the profile on schedule as I described above, Profile Scheduler+ can also control some functions on your device, such as turning on Wi-Fi,launch apps, turn off mobile data, turn on Bluetooth, change wallpaper, change brightness, etc.  So, for example, if you only use Wi-Fi at home (and not at work), you could have the app turn on Wi-Fi as part of your Normal profile and turn it off as part of the Quiet profile.  You could also create a custom profile that has nothing to do with the sounds or notifications that only control when to turn on and off your Wi-Fi.  Personally, I use a different app to turn my Wi-Fi on and off based on my location (perhaps I will cover this in another post in the future), so I don't use Profile Scheduler+ for Wi-Fi toggling, but it can do it.  And of course, you can override these settings at any time, as all this app does is turn Wi-Fi on when you specify in your schedule -- and if it's on already, then no change (but you can also set it to do so based on location).  So if you go to the local coffee shop on a weekday afternoon (when Wi-Fi is normally off), you can just toggle Wi-Fi on.  Tomorrow when the Weekday Daytime schedule kicks in and turns the profile to Quiet, Wi-Fi will be off as you specified in the schedule.

I'm going to stop at this point, otherwise it may become confusing.  At it's most basic, Profile Scheduler+ will change sound profiles for you based on schedules you create.  But it can do much more than that if you want it to do so.

Profile Scheduler (without the "+") is free at the Play Store.  The only MAIN limitation of the free version is that you are limited to three (3) custom profiles, which is all I use myself anyways.  However, I bought the full version, which was $3.49 CAD (~$3.15 USD or so).

Free version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wetpalm.ProfileScheduler

Paid version: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.wetpalm.ProfileSchedulerPlus

You can backup and restore schedules and profiles.  I bought this on my S3 and use it now on my G2.  I haven't touched the schedules or profiles in over a year -- this is truly one of those "Set 'n Forget" apps for me.  If you have any questions, feel free to post and I will try to answer if able.

Edit/Add: a post in the G2 Help forum reminded me to check if Calendar Appointments (Meetings) are supported.  I didn't mention it as I really didn't use this function but I have now tested it out and it works -- with a caveat. 

First, I decided to set up a new Profile (I copied my Night profile and named it Meetings).  Next, I set a new Rule for meetings.  Unlike my previous rules, which were all TIME-based, this rule was triggered by Calendar notifications.  You can include and exclude calendars if you have multiple calendars (e.g. the Holiday Calendar or Birthday Calendar).  I set up a test appointment to see if it worked... and it didn't!  But upon examining my new meeting rule, I found that the calendar based rules need a KEYWORD (or trigger word).  This is both good and bad: Bad -- because I have to remember to set a consistent keyword (e.g. MTG or Appt), and Good - because I may not want to silence EVERY meeting that I have... I may just want to silence certain ones.

S, the test: I modified my Rule to look for keyword "MTG" and made a test meeting called "MTG: Test" for 5 minutes away, and sure enough, when the time came, my phone switched to the Meeting profile (mostly silent but not completely silent) and after the test meeting was over, it reverted to the profile that was active previously (in my case, Daytime Weekly).  So the changing of profiles based on the Calendar seems to work well.

6
G2 Apps / Periodic G2/Android App "Spotlight" -- Klotar's Korner ?
« on: March 05, 2014, 08:10:46 AM »
On a periodic basis, I'm going to start posting about an app that I may be using on my G2 that might also be useful for others.  This is not intended to be an in-depth app review, nor promotion of any particular app or developer.  I am not a developer, nor affiliated with any developers, nor am I sent apps for review.  Generally, I won't be writing about games nor "in-your-face" apps; but more towards "Utility Apps", or apps that you set up once more or less, and then they run behind the scenes doing their thing.  Perhaps apps that one never considered (or knew that there was an 'app for that') but might wonder how you got along without after you've tried it.

I will make no promises on how often I might post about an app or how long I might continue these.  Not all apps that I like will appeal to everyone.  I encourage you to also post if there is an app that you'd like to tell the community about (but start your own thread), maybe some of us (myself included) would be interested.

A bit of background about myself: I consider myself an intermediate level user.  I have been using cellphones since about the mid-1990's (my first cellphone was an analog Motorola StarTAC), first smartphone was a Nokia E-62 (about 2006), currently using the LG G2 -- my second Android device, the previous being a Samsung Galaxy S3 -- and various BlackBerry models in between.  I usually have 70 - 90 apps installed at any one time.  I'm not really a Facebook/Twitter/Social Media type person or a blogger; but do consider myself a bit in the Geek Category (5 PC's, 4 laptops, 2 tablets, 2 smartphones, 2 game consoles, etc. -- 19 devices on my home network).

7
G2 General Discussions / The Back Buttons
« on: September 12, 2013, 05:20:38 PM »
Without having held a G2 in my hand, what has me most curious is how the device will sit on a flat surface (screen up).

Will the volume button "stick out" higher (when viewing it with the back facing up) than the rest of the back cover, thereby making it rock back and forth when face up.

While I certainly don't want to place the phone screen down to scratch it up, I am thinking I don't want to place the phone screen up either if the button sticks out, know what I mean?

Ideally, there would be a cover for the G2 that will have a cutout for the button in the back and that the thickness of that cover will be enough to have it higher than the button (if it does indeed stick out).  I'm also a holster user (which is against the stream these days, especially with these larger smartphones these days) and worry that the back button will snag or catch on the holster while sliding the phone in.

I think I can really get used to using that back button but I kinda worry that I'll snap it off somehow, hehe.

So, how much does it stick out?  Any early device owners able to tell me?

8
New Member Introductions / Howdy!
« on: August 29, 2013, 09:56:30 PM »
Don't have a G2 yet but hoping to get one soon!

Sent from my SGH-I747M using Tapatalk 2


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