AndroidEditorials

Upgrading a highly customized phone to ICS+, part 3: Flipping the switch

flipping the switch - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

After my quest to upgrade my over-customized phone to ICS+ got off to a shaky start, things started looking up a few days ago. That lead me to today, when I finally “flipped the switch” and moved my SIM to the new phone.

Moving my SIM and main SD card is a big step, as I’m now actually using the new phone in normal use. Even with a ton of preparation, there were a fun things I didn’t really have a chance to try out before this point, and luckily most of it went fine.

AutoRemote was the biggest unknown, as it’s key to so many of my Tasker creations, but operates with a unique device ID system to send and receive messages that essentially means I had to stop using one device in order to restore that ID to another device. There’s a feature to do that in AutoRemote itself, but I just restored the AutoRemote app data using Titanium Backup, and that worked perfectly. It would have taken a while to reprogram everything with a new device ID, so I’m glad it worked as smoothly as it did.

I did however discover more things that needed fixing in my Tasker creations once I started using the phone normally, but were able to fix them. I’m sure more will pop up, but I’ll take them as they come.

The bigger problem is Unlock With WiFi, an app that has allowed my Gingerbread phone to have no pattern unlock at home, but have one everywhere else. With ICS or later it can’t do that trick with pattern locks, and I really don’t want to use a PIN. I’ve set up Tasker and Secure Settings to try to replace it, but it’s too early to say if it’s reliable enough; It most certainly wasn’t when I tried the same thing on my old Android tablet, though I’m hoping that different ROM and device means I’ll have more luck. It’s working so far, but we’ll see.

Other than those hiccups, I’m slowly starting to enjoy Jelly Bean. It’s faster, which is always nice, but the big feature has definitely been per-app DPI settings. After scrapping Paranoid Android, reader Geni suggested I try Xposed and a per-app DPI module for it, which works great and has given my Chameleon ROM S II per-app DPI abilities. I really like being able to fit more on the screen by setting the DPI lower in apps like Gmail, as I find Android’s stock UI sizes way too big. I’m however not surprised that the feature that I really like on the new OS has nothing to do with Google, whose additions to Android over the last two years are in my opinion mostly pointless copies of veteran third party software.

One thing I do like however is the new advanced notifications. Some of them are more annoying than useful, but others are really neat. More importantly, AutoRemote supports these new notifications, and the dev also has a new app called AutoNotification, which gives Tasker the ability to create Jelly Bean notifications. This means you can create your own notifications with buttons, icon, custom title and text, and so on. I plan on using this functionality to its fullest in Tasker, I just need to figure out how best to do it first. The best thing would be to find a way to display those notifications on the lock screen, but unfortunately this isn’t iOS, where that’s quite easy with jailbreak. No matter what I end up doing, however, there will probably be a post on it for those who want to learn more about AutoNotification.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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3 thoughts on “Upgrading a highly customized phone to ICS+, part 3: Flipping the switch

  • Not sure if it applies to you, cause I use Tasker Beta, but if it does, here it is:

    I use Secure Settings to disable my Pin Lockscreen when connected to my home wifi. But Tasker (for me at least) has an annoying bug that whenever I’ve disabled the keyguard with Sec.Settings and I launch Tasker, it’ll lock the device and ask for a Pin (without turning off the screen). After that my keyguard is on again, until I manually switch it back off.

    My workaround to this is a profile which is running only when connected to my home wifi and activates at event screen unlock. Basically that happens only in the previously described case. The task simply turns autoguard on and then off – it has to do both in order to work.

    Reply
    • Avatar of Andreas Ødegård

      I use the latest beta of Tasker, but have not seen that behavior. I do however believe that this particular Tasker/SS setup is highly dependent on device/ROM, as I had a ton of issues with it on my now.sold 4.1.2 tablet, but none so far on a 4.1.2. phone.

      Reply

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