Tuesday, January 10, 2012

GSam Screen Dimmer - Users Guide

GSam Screen Dimmer - Users Guide  (Version 1.4)



Is your Android screen too bright for reading at night?  Even on it's lowest Brightness setting, many people find that their screen can be too bright for reading in a dark room.   GSam Screen Dimmer lets you dim the screen way past what many built-in brightness setting will allow, giving you a much better night reading experience. You can dim your screen without ever leaving the app you are currently running. Better yet, you can see the content on your screen while you dim - no need to launch into separate screens.



GSam Screen Dimmer
Main Screen:

GSam Screen Dimmer has one screen.  This can be launched from the Notification Bar (if enabled), or directly from your launcher tray.  Note:  Since this is a utility app you'll use often, it will not always show up on your Kindle Carousel.  This is to prevent this app from always showing up in the first few Carousel items.

Launching GSam Screen Dimmer
In order to work and dim the screen past what the device usually allows, the screen dimmer needs to always be running in the background.  If you want to change the brightness, simply launch the screen dimmer from the notification bar, choose a preset button (or customize it with the slider).  Then close the screen, and continue reading.



Enabled:  By default, the screen dimmer is not enabled.  When it is not enabled, the standard Brightness settings will be used.  When enabled, GSam Screen Dimmer will take over your brightness controls.  Note:  If you change the system brightness settings while the dimmer is enabled, the system settings will rule until you adjust (or disable/enable) the screen dimmer.

Customize Preset Buttons
Preset Buttons:  By default, GSam Screen Dimmer comes with 4 preset buttons (Min, Night, Day, and Max).   Simply clicking on the button will immediately adjust the display to the preset brightness.  Long-clicking the button will allow you to change the name (5 characters only) and brightness setting for the preset.  From hereon-out, clicking the button will set the screen to your custom value.

Settings:  By default, GSam Screen Dimmer will run on startup and show an icon in the Notification Bar.  This provides very quick access to the utility without having to hunt through your app icons.   You can disable either feature, but accessing the app becomes harder - and you want easy access to your Dimmer settings.





Troubleshooting:

  1. The screen is too dim!  I'm in bright sunlight and I forgot to undo my minimum dimmness.   
    • Go into a dark room, or simply reboot your kindle.  This will restore the default screen brightness with the Screen Dimmer disabled.
  2. The screen dimmer says it's Enabled, but the screen is still bright.
    • If you adjust the brightness settings using the default controls while the Screen Dimmer is enabled, then the default controls take priority.  To get the Dimmer back, simply click on the Dimmer and adjust the setting, or disable/enable it to restore the dimmer function.
  3. I don't see the Dimmer app in the Kindle Carousel.
    • This is by design.  Look in your App menu, add it to your Favorites, or simply access it from the Notification bar.   Since this will be a constantly accessed app, it shouldn't constantly show up in the first few items in the carousel, otherwise you lose the benefit of the carousel.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Badass Battery Monitor - Creating An Icon Pack

As of version 2.2 of Badass Battery Monitor (all versions), it's now possible to create third-party icon packs that will work with Badass Battery Monitor.

See the following link for details as to how to do it.  Instructions are provided in the wiki, and the source tab of course contains all the source for a complete Eclipse Android project.  It's fairly simple to do - very little modification is needed - with the exception of the icon sets of course!

You're free to create your own icon packs for your personal use, or make your creations available in the Market or Appstore (for free of for $$$ - up to you).

Here's the wiki showing you how to do it:

http://code.google.com/p/badass-battery-monitor-iconpack-template/wiki/CreatingAnIconPack


You can see available themes in the market using the following URL:

https://market.android.com/search?q=BadassBatteryMonitorTheme&c=apps

Enjoy!