Elixir and E-Robot for Android by Tamás Barta

2Feb/120

Elixir 2.11 is available

What is new

  • Better widget performance: do almost nothing when screen is off
  • Widget editor: icon transparency, new UI, sort applications by label option, new swap mode
  • Mute toggle: can be set to enter silent or vibrate mode when activated
  • Uptime widget: can display real uptime value, awake time without sleep and awake ratio
  • Uptime, external storage and volume widget: custom image can be set
  • Device information screen / input row: displays current input method, select input method option
  • Device information screen / display row: density displays the real density
  • Applications screen: add label to multiple applications in batch mode
  • Other small changes, bugfixes: 1x1 widget fix, next alarm widget fix, shortcut widget fix, ...

Widget editor

The UI of the widget editor changed because it was a bit messy. Now the background, label, icon and other parameters are grouped. One of the new features is icon transparency:

Some improvements were made to make it easier to reorganize slots in a widget. If you click on the right arrow icon in the header there is a new Sort applications by label option. If you have multiple application icons in the widget and you would like keep them sorted by name then this feature is for you. If you would like to add a new application icon to the widget then you can add it to a free place and by clicking on the new option the application icons will be sorted in place.

If you would like to reorganize slots then there is a new Swap mode. Using this mode makes it 50% faster to swap icons. If you click on the eye icon in the header you can select between three modes:

  • Edit mode: this is the default mode. You can change a slot by clicking on it and you can swap slots by long clicking on one and selecting the Swap slots option and then selecting the other slot.
  • View mode: this mode can be selected only if you have empty or hide slots in your widget. This is the YGWYS mode.
  • Swap mode: you can change a slot by long clicking on it and selecting the Change slot option. Swapping slots are faster. Just click on a slot and then an other one to swap them.

Select input method

On the Device information screen the input row displays the name of the current input method. There is a new Select input method option too where you can change the current input method:

 

Add label to multiple applications in batch mode

On the Applications screen you can add labels faster to applications using batch mode. If you click on the list icon in the header select the Turn batch mode on option. Select the applications and then click on the Batch: add label option. A dialog window appears where you can select the label you would like to add to the checked applications:

19Jan/120

Elixir 2.10 is available

What is new

  • Ringtones: new ringtone toggle for widgets; can be used in profiles; can be opened from device information screen
  • Running applications widget: can display applications or processes; new dialog with user and system filters, customizable label and image
  • Screen timeout toggle: level 0 can keep screen on
  • Popup window for list icons displays selected filters, sorting types in different color
  • Bluetooth 3 state toggle: selecting No on permission request dialog turn bluetooth off
  • Better handling large screens
  • Other small changes, bugfixes

Ringtones

Changing ringtones is a new feature in Elixir 2. On the Device information screen if you click on the audio row there is a new Change ringtone option which opens the Ringtone selector screen where you can change your ringtone.

There is a new Ringtone toggle and you can use it in widgets. The widget displays the name of current ringtone as label and opens the Ringtone selector dialog if you click on it.

Maybe the most useful usage of ringtone toggle is that you can use it in profiles. So if you use profiles then now you can change ringtone if you arrive at home or at work with one click.

Running applications / processes

The Running applications widget opens a redesigned dialog where you can set filters for user and system applications / processes. If you click on the Details button you can open the Running tasks / processes screens if you have Elixir 2 installed.

 

If you click long on the widget icon on the widget editor screen there are three new options:

  • You can change type to show processes instead of applications
  • You can change the widget icon
  • You can set label to display to the information you want in format you want

If you would like to change the default label you can use the $u, $s, $t variables to display the number of user, system and total applications / processes. If you see the first screenshot you can see that:

  • The first icon displays the number of user applications by setting label to $u
  • The second icon displays the number of user and system applications separately by setting label to $u+$s
  • The third icon displays the number of user applications and total by setting label to $u/$t

Keep screen on

Now you can keep screen on by using the Screen timeout toggle. You can change timeout levels for a widget on the widget editor screen if you click long on the timeout toggle and select the Set levels option. You can use the 0 to keep the screen on. If you would like to change screen timeout from the Device information screen or using a profile you can select now a new never option.

Popup windows

On some screens (applications, running screens) there is a list icon in the header where you can set filters, change sorting mode, etc. Now this popup window displays selected options in a different color:

5Jan/121

Elixir 2.9 is available

What is new

  • Profiles: turn multiple switches, change settings, launch applications by one click
  • Statusbar widgets: icon packs can be used in the notification area on every device
  • Bigger percent icons in statusbar for battery, cpu and memory usage
  • Device information screen: you can hide rows you don't want to see
  • Device information / memory: the more information dialog displays values from the /proc/meminfo file
  • Contact widge typet: diplays type of the phone number in menus (work, home, ...)
  • Wifi toggle: can display IP address instead of wifi state or network name as label
  • Small changes, bugfixes

Profiles

The most important new feature in Elixir 2 is handling profiles. You can create multiple profiles and you can set what actions should be executed when you activate a profile. You can turn a toggle on/off, change a setting or launch applications. You can create a Home, a Work and a Car profiles for example and you can set different configurations for them. You can set in the Car profile to turn off Wi-Fi, turn on Bluetooth, set volume to maximum, turn speakerphone on and launch the Car Home application for example. After you have done it you can activate this profile with one (or a few) click.

You can activate a profile in several ways:

  • Press long on the profiles icon in the main screen and select the profile to active
  • Open the profiles screen and click on the Activate button to activate the current profile
  • Add an Elixir / Profile selector shortcut to your home screen which opens the profile selector dialog
  • Add an Elixir / Profile shortcut to your home screen which activates the selected profile
  • Add a Profile toggle to a widget which displays the last activated profile and opens the profile selector

 

On the profiles screen if you click on the right arrow icon in the header you can rename or delete a profile. You can select an other profile by using the selector component or swiping left or right. A new profile can be created by clicking on the New profile button.

After you have created a profile you can add a new action to the selected profile by pressing the New action button. A dialog opens where you can select a toggle or an application to launch. If you select a toggle then you can set the expected state or value. An action can be changed or removed from the profile by clicking on it. If you have configured a profile you can active it by pressing the Activate button.

There is a new Profiles toggle which displays the last activated profile name and opens the profile selector dialog if you click on it. The Profile selector dialog displays the available profiles and you can activate a profile by selecting one. You can press the Edit button to open the Profiles screen.

 

This profiles feature will be improved later with trigger functions.

Hiding rows on Device information screen

This feature can be useful if you would like to hide a row because it is not interesting for you, an error occurs in a row or you want to improve performance by hiding an unnecessary row.

To hide rows open the settings screen by pressing the Menu button on the main screen and selecting the Settings option or on the Device information screen click on the configure icon in the header. You can disable a row by unchecking the proper checkbox:

 

If you hide a row then information related to that row won't be included in the report either.

7Dec/112

Elixir 2.8 is available

What is new

  • New screen for downloading icon packs from web
  • New icon packs: CHBS GlassPack, Snap Gradient
  • New widget type: mobile data toggle
  • Clear cache toggle: bugfix, displays the size of cache by default but free internal space can be set too
  • Maximum character count setting for widget types that display space amount
  • Volume dialog: close button in the header and OK button to close the dialog
  • Bugfixes: statusbar widget refresh problem, widget editor fix, ...

Icon packs

A new screen has been created for icon packs available for download. Now you can see the preview of the icon pack with 10 example icons so you can choose easily. The icon packs are downloaded from the web so internet connection is needed to view this screen. If you click on an icon pack a popup dialog appears and you can download that pack, view the web site of the designer or write an e-mail to the designer if it is available. If you had a custom icon pack selected before you opened this screen then you can download the selected pack into the custom pack too.

If you don't know where you can find this screen:

  • open the widget editor
  • click on the right arrow icon in the header and select the Customize icons option
  • on that screen click on the right arrow icon again and select the Download from web option

 

There are two new icon packs available too. The first one is CHBS GlassPack created by Gál István and the second one is Snap Gradient by Daniel Eke. You can see these packs on the screenshots above. Thank you guys for these packs.

Mobile data toggle

There is new Mobile data toggle that can be used in widgets to enable/disable mobile data. The first icon is the icon for the new mobile data toggle now and the APN toggle get a new icon.

 

Change accuracy for space amount labels in widgets

Labels which display space amount in widgets displayed at most 5 character before because usually there is no space to display more characters. In some cases it would be fine to display more accurate values because there is enough space. Now you can do it for the following widget types to change maximal character count:

  • Clear cache toggle
  • External storage
  • Internal storage
  • Memory
  • Mobile traffic
  • Wi-fi traffic
  • SD mount toggle

To change this value click long on the icon in the widget editor and select the Set max character count option. The second screenshot shows an example widget where each row contains different max character count settings.

24Nov/110

Elixir 2.7 is available

What is new

  • Volume dialog: dark theme, new layout, displays percent values, looks well on tablets, full screen on small screens
  • Volume, reboot, brightness level and screen timeout level dialogs can be closed by touching outside (on Android 3.0)
  • Swipe left/right gestures can be used to change screen, data or selected widget
  • Logcat/Dmesg log screens: you can save log data to external storage
  • New widget type: clear cache
  • Battery current can be detected for Acer Iconia

Changes in volume dialog

The following changes made in volume dialog are requested by users to make it better. The theme is changed to dark and the layout is reorganized: the stream titles are aligned to the left, the min and max buttons are moved to the right in the line of the title and the current settings value in percent is displayed between these buttons. The seekbars can be used easier now even on small screens. There is an other optimalization for small devices, the volume dialog is displayed in full screen.

 

Swipe left/right

In this version of Elixir you can use swipe gestures to change screens, pages or widgets. You can use these gestures everywhere where the selector component is available:

 

You can use swipe to:

  • switch between device information and software information screens
  • switch between running data, running tasks and top screens
  • switch between logcat logs and dmesg logs screens
  • switch between widgets on the widget configuration and performance screens
  • switch between icon packs on the customize icons screen
  • switch between pages on properties dialogs

On the widget configuration screen only the widget container can be used to change widget by swiping.

 

Save logs

On the logs screens you can save logs to your external storage by clicking on the right arrow icon in the header and selecting the Save data option. After saving finished a dialog displays the full path of the saved log file.

 

Clear cache

There is new Clear cache icon that can be used in widgets to clear application caches. This icon displays the free space available on the internal storage as a label.

 

If you click on it a toast message appears and displays how much data was cleared.

16Nov/111

About widgets performance

Fortunately very rarely, but sometimes people say that Elixir widgets drain the battery too fast. I have made a little test on my own device to check the performance. Of course, the performance depends on the device, the operating system, the environment, the operating mode, the type of widgets and other factors so this article should be regarded as a specific case.

  • Device: HTC Desire
  • ROM: CyanogenMod-7.1.0-Desire
  • Operating mode: Wi-Fi is turned on continuously in the daytime, under normal use, reading e-mails, making calls, using internet
  • Widget: a 4x2 widget: internal storage, battery usage, screen timeout toggle, reboot toggle, wifi toggle, screen lock toggle, volume, application launchers, shortcuts, empty slots

The following pictures show that I could use my phone more than 85 hours, three and a half days without charge, using wifi continuously in the daytime.

 

But if you suspect that an Elixir widget is responsible for the battery drain then you can check the performance of your widget on the Widget performance screen. This screen can be opened in two ways:

  • on the main screen of Elixir 2 click long on the widgets or statusbar icons and select the Widget performance option
  • on the widget editor screen click on the right arrow icon in the header and select the Widget performance option

On this screen you can see the following:

 

The first row shows the beginning and duration of measurement. You should wait at least a day, do not draw a conclusion for a few hours.

The next row displays the number of widget updates and the total and average update times of the widget for this period. The most important value is the percent value which displays the ratio of widget total update time and the duration of measurement. If this value is 0-1% then the widget has a good performance, doesn't drain the battery.

If this percentage is large then you can check the list to find out which icon has the worst performance. Foremost in the list are the types which need more time to be updated. We can see that the internal storage icon was updated 59 times. This icon is updated in every minutes by default so it should have been updated 17*60+22=1042 times for the testing period. The widgets are not updated if the screen is off so this icon is updated only 59 times because of this optimization. You can see that other icons are not updated if the storage icon is, for example the Wifi icon was updated only 12 times. This is an other optimization available in Elixir 2.

The Wifi icon needs the more time to be updated but it uses only 22% of time so the widget is absolutely ok. If you put an "Unread e-mail count" icon into this widget and set 10 seconds refresh rate then you would see that updating this icon needs more than 90% percent of widget update time so it would be suggested to increase refresh rate of this icon to achieve better performance.

To sum it all we can see that the widget on my device has a very good performance.

Tagged as: 1 Comment
10Nov/116

Elixir 2.6 is available

What is new

  • Volume dialog: handling profiles, min and max buttons
  • Running processes screen: batch mode is available, you can stop / uninstall multiple processes
  • Applications screen: batch mode is available, you can uninstall multiple applications
  • Widget settings screen is available when there are no home screen widgets to be able to enable/disable widget sizes
  • Widget configure screen: icon size seek bar is changed, minimal value is for the smallest icon size
  • Messages and missed calls widgets: on click action can be set to change the default action
  • Bugfixes: battery current fix, widget configure screen handles screen rotation well, etc...
  • New language: française

Changes in volume dialog

There are a left and a right arrow icon for every stream and you can set the stream value to minimum or maximum value easily if you click on those arrow icons.

 

The volume dialog can handle profiles now. If you click on the Profiles button then a dialog window appears where you can restore or delete a profile.

 

If you click on the Save button then a dialog appears where you can select a profile to save current volume settings or you can click on the + item to create a new profile.

 

Batch mode in running processes screen

You can stop or uninstall multiple processes easily using batch mode.

  • click on the list icon in the header and select the Turn batch mode on option to enter in batch mode
  • checkboxes appear for every processes and you can select as many processes as you want
  • after you have selected the processes click on the list icon again and select the Stop selected processes or the Uninstall selected processes option to execute the batch operation

You can exit from batch mode by clicking on the Turn batch mode off option.

 

Batch mode in applications screen

You can uninstall multiple applications easily using batch mode.

  • click on the list icon in the header and select the Turn batch mode on option to enter in batch mode
  • checkboxes appear for every applications and you can select as many applications as you want
  • after you have selected the applications click on the list icon again and select the Uninstall selected applications option to execute the batch operation

You can exit from batch mode by clicking on the Turn batch mode off option.

 

How to set on-click actions for widget icons

Changing on-click action for many widget icons is available from Elixir 2.0 but now you can change this action for Messages unread count and Missed calls count icons too.

To change on-click action open the widget editor screen, select the widget and click long on the widget icon. A popup window appears where you can select the Set on click action option and then select the action to be executed. If you would like to reset the default action then click long on the icon again and select the Clear on click action option. Don't forget to save your widget.

27Oct/110

Elixir 2.5 is available

What is new

  • Next alarm widget: opens the alarms screen by default instead of date settings, needs SET_ALARM permission
  • Reboot toggle: choice list with OK button and a new Shutdown option
  • Statusbar icon can display internal storage usage
  • Device information: the telephony row can display information about WiMAX network if available
  • Running processes/services: processes can be ordered by network traffic or current network traffic
  • Displays information available in Android 3.0, 3.1, 3.2
  • Bugfixes, most important: statusbar widget refresh problem fixed

New reboot dialog

The new dialog contains a choice list where you can select the reboot mode and you have to click on the OK button to do reboot.

 

The reboot toggle now works on devices which don't have a built-in reboot system command.

Order processes by network traffic

If you order processes by network traffic then total, received and transmitted traffic will be displayed for every processes.

 

The order by current network traffic option displays and uses the total traffic since this screen appears so this feature
is good for determining which processes uses network right now.

New information available in Android 3.0, 3.1, 3.2

Elixir now displays a lot of new information and has new possibilities available only in Android 3.0 or newer. Some of the properties are optional so not necessary available on your device.

In Android 3.0:

  • Device information screen:
    • audio row: displays if device has vibrator or not
    • camera row: displays preferred preview video size and supported video sizes
    • display row: displays user rotation and preferred icon size
    • external storage row: can detect if storage is emulated or not
    • input row: can open input method subtypes settings system screen
    • memory row: displays large limit
    • sync row: displays is always syncable and parallel sync properties
    • telephony row: can detect eHRPD, LTE networks and SIP phone type
  • Software information screen:
    • displays mime type and label of clipboard content
    • displays available DRM engines
    • displays auto time zone settings
    • can detect faketouch feature
  • Applications screen:
    • displays LARGE_HEAP, SUPPORTS_XLARGE_SCREENS and STOPPED flags
    • displays external cache, data, media and obb size

In Android 3.1:

  • Device information screen:
    • input row: can detect joystick, gamepad classes
    • usb row: this new row displays information about connected usb devices
  • Software information screen:
    • can detect usb accessories and usb host features
  • Applications screen:
    • displays received and transmitted packets

You can see the new USB row on the screenshot below. If an external device is connected to your device via USB then Elixir can display information about it.

 

In Android 3.2:

  • Device information screen:
    • displays bluetooth network properties
    • can detect HSPA+ network type
  • Software information screen:
    • displays screen width, screen height and smallest screen size configuration properties and can detect television mode
    • can detect faketouch distinct, faketouch jazzhand, screen portrait and screen landscape features
  • Applications screen:
    • displays compatible width limit, largest width limit and requires smallest width properties
13Oct/110

Elixir 2.4 is available

What is new

  • The background of widget popups can be disabled
  • Applications screen: the more information dialog displays uid, received bytes, transmitted bytes. Sorting applications by network traffic
  • Reboot toggle: you can set custom reboot commands, options are displayed as dialog
  • Customize widgets: you can set 6 different icon sizes, larger and smaller icons can be used too
  • E-mail unread count widget: you can set if the whole e-mail address should be used as username or not, view password checkbox
  • Brightness, Screen timeout toggle: new open dialog parameter to display choices as dialog
  • New language: polish (polski)
  • Bugfixes

Disable background of widget popups

Open the widget editor for shortcut or statusbar widgets and click on the configure icon in the header. You can hide background by enabling the Hide window background option.

 

Sorting applications by network traffic

On the applications screen click on the list icon in the header and select the Sort by network traffic option. If applications are sorted by network traffic then total, received and transmitted network traffic are displayed for every applications.

 

Change reboot commands

If built-in reboot commands don't work for you then you can set device-specific commands. If you use the reboot toggle then these commands will be executed. To change commands click on the reboot icon and press the Settings button. A new screen appears where you can modify default commands. If you set an empty text as a command then that option will be removed from the dialog.

 

Change widget icon sizes

On the widget editor screen you can change icon sizes by the Icon size property. There are 6 options to choose from.
The image below displays the same widget with 4 different settings.

 

New e-mail account dialog

The new use e-mail as username setting is needed to access Gmail for Google Apps accounts. These accounts uses the whole e-mail address as username and it was not possible in Elixir before. The show password checkbox is useful if you would like to check if the entered password is correct or not.

 

Display choices dialog for brightness and screen timeout toggles

On the widget editor screen if you long click on the brightness or screen timeout toggle then you can select the Set open dialog
option to enable this new feature. If this option is enabled then clicking on the toggle will open a dialog with the predefined levels to choose from. You can set these levels too in the same way.

29Sep/111

Elixir 2.3 is available

What is new

  • Reboot toggle: reboot in normal, recovery, bootloader mode
  • Volume toggle/dialog: save and restore settings
  • Statusbar transparent icon is on right so it is invisible now
  • Bugfixes and other small changes

Reboot modes

If you click on the reboot toggle then a popup window appears where you can select reboot mode.

 

Save and restore volume settings

If you open the volume dialog from a widget or the main application and click on the More or the Menu button then a menu appears and you can select Save to save your volume settings or Restore to restore the saved settings.