Use a live wallpaper as a daydream

Android 4.2 has a neat feature that allows you to set a clock or animation or almost anything as a sort of screensaver, called a daydream. These show up when your phone is docked or plugged in.

Naturally, live wallpapers are a good fit for this feature. I just released a simple app that lets you use the current live wallpaper as your daydream. The limitation is that it must be the current live wallpaper. This is due to Android security–other apps cannot start live wallpapers on their own.

Use current LWP
Shortcut to LWP settings

Android music visualizer issues

March 12, 2014 update:
See here.

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Here’s an update on what I’ve found regarding the “flatline” issue on some Samsung phones for Audio Glow.

It is caused by the built-in DSP that many Galaxy phones come with. It results in blocking audio data from certain media players from sharing their data with music visualizer apps. This issue can also be reproduced on non-Samsung phones by downloading certain DSP apps. I also had a user with an HTC Rezound (which also has built-in DSP) who had the flatline issue and fixed it by disabling the DSP. He was only able to do this because his phone was rooted.

I have not seen any consistency with which media players it blocks, and many users with these phones never see the problem at all.  So I do not plan to prevent Samsung users from downloading it. If this issue comes up for you, I apologize for your time. If you purchased the wallpaper, just email me and I’ll refund your order. But I do recommend trying the free full screen music visualizer first if you have a Samsung phone or HTC Rezound.

I am still looking for a solution, but it seems to be some kind of Android bug, or bug in the DSP code.

One user told me that the built-in Android music visualizer live wallpapers do not flatline while Audio Glow does.  If this is the case for you, please let me know about it. I have read through the code for these live wallpapers, and they acquire audio data exactly the same way that Audio Glow does, so I don’t think there is a solution to be found there. But if a lot of people have no problems with these built-in wallpapers, that could be a good lead toward a solution.

I also want to thank the makers of Music Visualizer and Epic Audio Visualizer for sharing with me what they have learned about this issue. It seems to be a problem for all music visualizers, because we all use the same Android Visualizer class for obtaining audio data.

Audio Glow

Almost ready! This music visualizer will come in two flavors: a full screen version and a live wallpaper version.

As always, many color and shape settings to tweak. This time, you can save groups of settings as themes, and use the included Tasker/Locale plugin to swap themes!

Stay tuned for the release. Should be up on the store tomorrow!

Glowing equalizer bars
Extensive color settings
Modify the shapes

 

Tasker/Locale plugin
Player controls

Animal Time for Toddlers

 

Introduce your toddler to animals from around the world with Animal Time!

This fun, interactive app for young children is a collection of scenes, brought to life with continuous motion and ambient sounds. See and hear the pufferfish inflate as waves ripple over the coral reef. Watch a toucan flutter over the treetops.

Kids will also see and hear the names of the animals as they tap on them.

Music and SFX by Gavin Keese.

Animal Time!
Coral Reef
Animal Time!
Bamboo Forest
Animal Time!
Amazon Jungle
Animal Time!
Mojave Desert
Animal Time!
Mojave Desert – Night

Digital Flux reviewed

Android Central posted a great review for Digital Flux today!

The review mentioned the unusual name for the app, so here’s an explanation. :)  I actually had three other names in mind first, but they were all too similar to names of existing apps when I searched for them in Google Play.

I chose the word flux because it’s short and memorable, and the tiles in this wallpaper are in a state of constant motion which fits the meaning. The word digital helps tie it to the theme of Digital Hive and Digital Embers–these are all based on  images that have only the faintest hint of the elements of nature that they represent.  This was originally going to be called Digital Waves, but I thought the name might get drowned out among the many wallpapers that feature rippling water effects.

Coming up next…

A few weeks ago, I came across a CG image that looks a lot like a colored-in skyline diffuser. A Google search turned up all kinds of CG images with the same theme. After imagining what a skyline diffuser might look like in motion, I was inspired to make a live wallpaper out of the idea. I’m really excited about how this one turned out. Unfortunately, this week I saw a new live wallpaper on Google Play that seems to have also been inspired by skyline diffusers.

I’ve already put way too many hours into mine to scrap it, but I also think it’s sufficiently different that the two won’t be direct competitors. In mine, the tiles are smaller, beveled in the middle, and cast shadows; touch affects tile height rather than color; and it uses a simpler lighting model. All these factors create a very different look. My new live wallpaper is basically done, but I want to put in a little more testing before release.

One of the really cool features of this wallpaper is the dynamic shadows, and it runs smoothly on the good old HTC Incredible. Here’s a sneak peak: