FYI: Changing LED Notification Color based on App - Light Flow

ranova

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Light Flow (Lite Version, Full Version) works on the Atrix!

It allows you to pick a different color for each application when you get a notification (I set missed call to white, gmail to red, google talk to blue, and google voice to lime). It also works in succession, so if you get a notification from gmail, google talk, and a missed call it will blink red to blue to white.

No root is required. The Atrix can do about 10 or so colors.

The downside to this is that if theres an app that light flow does not support, you will not get ANY color for that app. Luckily my main apps I want notification lights from are Gmail, email, missed call, voicemail, google talk, and google voice.

The succession is somewhat weird. I think it blinks one color 4 times, then goes to the next. Has anyone noticed a pattern for the succession?

Overall, well worth the $1 for the app support. Based on reviews, the developer updates frequently, which seems true from the Appbrain History

This was one thing I missed from my Nexus One, now made possible!
 

Krak-a-Lakn

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Thanks for the tip. This app seems to work pretty good. Except it refuses to notify me if any mail comes in through my IMAP account. Gmail and SMS work.
 

andrewpmoore

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Thanks for the tip. This app seems to work pretty good. Except it refuses to notify me if any mail comes in through my IMAP account. Gmail and SMS work.

Hi, I'm the developer of the app. I stumbled across this post while looking for how to add something else to my own app!

Feel free to ask any questions.

tjp888 - if you get in touch via the "contact us" directly within the app and tell me which app you use for your IMAP account I'll see if I can add it. Also note that your are tjp888 as it's handy when I get the mail as I get about 30 per day at the moment for the app.

The notifications for e-mail work off monitoring the notification bar for new notifications and then seeing which app they have come from. (Some notification are more sophisticated like the gmail one which monitors for specific changes in the content database).

So if I get the details from your phone (hence the request to send from directly in the app as it sends me some package information) I will probably be able to help.


As for ranova's comment on the weird succession, generally by default the app will change the notification succession color ever 2.5 seconds while on charge and ever 5 seconds when on battery (that's the full version - the free version is once every 20 seconds)

It could change it even faster, but it would end up taking too much of a hit on the battery as it has to partially wake the phone each time the notification color changes. Battery use has been something I'm very aware of since day 1, so I'm keen not to add features that will hit the battery hard, but am happy to consider other features.
 

andrewpmoore

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Awesome! Thanks for the heads up. I hope this app works on the Thunderbolt!

At the moment it probably won't work on the Thunderbolt as for some reason HTC don't implement the standard notification method accessible via the android API.

I'm aware of a hack for most modern HTC phones that I'm going to look into implementing in the future as my wife has just got a Desire HD which should help me test things out.
 

andrewpmoore

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Always nice to see devs posting here! Thanks!

Thanks, it's a site I view daily at work - although not the forums as they are blocked :'(

I've avoided posting anything about the app as I didn't want to get flamed for self promotion, but once somebody else has mentioned it, that's different :p

ok, back to adding more features:
Notifications coming next for:
* liveprofile
* touchdown
* ebay
* craigsnotifica
* taskos
* Jersey productions tv guides
 

ranova

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good stuff.

So turning on priority (which should disable succession) should lessen battery usage, correct?

I know succession on the nexus one with cyanogen mod uses an extra 3% battery per hour. Do you know how much of a hit having succession on takes with this app vs no succession?

Battery concern is a huge thing for me, but I love the different available colors.
 

ranova

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Is there a difference between this and Blink?

Blink only supports a few:
"Blink extends your default Android LED alert system and allows you to customize LED color for SMS/MMS, Incoming Call/Missed Call, and Low Battery/Memory"

Light flow (even the free version) supports a whole lot more of apps such as Gmail, google talk, and more.
 

andrewpmoore

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Does it have the ability to change the notification color led for SMS MMS?

Yes, the full version has the following notification types - which can each have their own color, and optionally repeating sound or vibration patterns.

* Missed calls
* Voice mail
* Calendar reminders
* gmail (multiple accounts each with a different group of settings)
* email
* SMS messages
* MMS messages
* Low battery
* No signal
* Google talk
* Facebook
* Twitter
* Twidroid
* Tweetcaster
* Tweekdeck
* Skype
* Whatsapp
* Tapatalk
* Yahoo mail
* Google Voice
* Plume and Plume Premium
* K9 mail
* Handcent
* Basic SMS Popup support
* Astrid
* Foursquare
* ChompSMS

The free version has:
* SMS messages,
* MMS messages,
* gmail (multiple accounts each with a different group of settings)
* New e-mails
* Calendar reminders
* Missed calls
* Low battery
* Google Talk notifications.
* Handcent
* SMS Popup
* ChompSMS
* K9 mail
 
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dchandler

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Hi, I'm the developer of the app. I stumbled across this post while looking for how to add something else to my own app!

Feel free to ask any questions.

tjp888 - if you get in touch via the "contact us" directly within the app and tell me which app you use for your IMAP account I'll see if I can add it. Also note that your are tjp888 as it's handy when I get the mail as I get about 30 per day at the moment for the app.

The notifications for e-mail work off monitoring the notification bar for new notifications and then seeing which app they have come from. (Some notification are more sophisticated like the gmail one which monitors for specific changes in the content database).

So if I get the details from your phone (hence the request to send from directly in the app as it sends me some package information) I will probably be able to help.


As for ranova's comment on the weird succession, generally by default the app will change the notification succession color ever 2.5 seconds while on charge and ever 5 seconds when on battery (that's the full version - the free version is once every 20 seconds)

It could change it even faster, but it would end up taking too much of a hit on the battery as it has to partially wake the phone each time the notification color changes. Battery use has been something I'm very aware of since day 1, so I'm keen not to add features that will hit the battery hard, but am happy to consider other features.

Wow this is rare for the Dev to help out and add features. Im speechless and just off that alone im going to buy the paid version. Thanks
 

andrewpmoore

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Wow this is rare for the Dev to help out and add features. Im speechless and just off that alone im going to buy the paid version. Thanks

Thanks for the comment! I guess it all comes down to doing this as a sideline to my main work and this is much more fun! I enjoy doing it without having a large corporate company saying you can't do 'x' because of money without thinking of the savings they make by doing 'x'.

I only set off doing this app for myself, but I think if you write an app because you really want it for yourself then there's probably other people that will want it too.
 

andrewpmoore

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good stuff.

So turning on priority (which should disable succession) should lessen battery usage, correct?

I know succession on the nexus one with cyanogen mod uses an extra 3% battery per hour. Do you know how much of a hit having succession on takes with this app vs no succession?

Battery concern is a huge thing for me, but I love the different available colors.

Missed this post earlier. Yes priority will lessen battery. In that mode it seems to use so little it doesn't register.

As for succession, it depends on the speed of change. Priority and "very slow" succession should use about the same amount of battery.
Having it set to "medium" - the default for the app can use up to about 10%ish on the battery use monitoring page in android.

I say up to because when you have 0 or 1 notifications the app goes into a "keep alive" mode automatically which will use the same amount of battery as the priority mode. Once you get more than 1 outstanding notification it then needs to keep waking up to alternate.

I keep fairly on top of my notifications so usually it doesn't even register in the battery use section, but can if you leave multiple notification open for quite a while.

Hope this makes sense.
 

andrewpmoore

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@andrewmoore ... can you explain why it needs access to "all the text I type....."?

Not sure why it would need this access.

Thanks

Certainly. The truth here is that it doesn't. It's a standard android notification message when switching on any accessibility service.

When I set out on the development I had the app working for a few notification types such as SMS/Gmail/MMS and Voicemail (way back in version 1.0). These all monitor the content databases within android to get information.

I started getting requests for facebook, twitter and a few other notification types. I started out down the route of using their official API's, but this meant using internet access, setting polling frequencies and such to get the information. It's slow, means the app didn't tie up to the notifications from the official apps and drained the battery, so ditched that idea.

I began to give up hope of working out a way of monitoring the apps until I came across the accessibility services. They are really intended for helping people out who find using their mobile difficult (like the talkback, soundback type services), but I noticed that it had the ability to obtain when a notification was received and this was part of exactly what I wanted. The other thing it offers me is an event of when a user enters focus into an app (ideal for removing the notifications again).

So as far as I am aware, and going by the lack of response I got on any forums asking for help on monitoring notifications (i.e. no responses) this is the only way.

If you want to know more about the information on the events see here (AccessibilityEvent | Android Developers)

So while this service can get apps to information people type (to help with things like text-to-speech for accessibility aids) light flow has no need and only monitors notification and new window focus events.

Just to reassure you, the app does not require internet access, have the ability to send sms messages, e-mails or any other messages as you can confirm in the user permissions the app required.

Wow, only planned on sending a small message, but I know it's an area of concern for people.
 

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