Here is the first material from a series of articles on the customization possibilities of Android devices. In it we talk about the features of Android such as widgets and live Wallpaper, consider the process of replacing the lock screen and analyze in detail several different types of modern keyboards.
Part one. First steps:
A Little history
A dozen years ago to change something in his phone was almost impossible. To replace one program to another it was as unreal as to replace the processor or the camera module. In any review of any phone focused on not its technical characteristics and peculiarities. Does the phone have the program notes? What is the capacity of the address book? How interesting game it is installed by the manufacturer?
Over time, users have the opportunity to download on phone simple app. Although at first this too was not easy. First working version of the desired application for your phone model it was necessary to find another. Secondly, it was required to connect the phone to the computer using a special cable, which is not always came in the kit. And then using a separate program to install the selected application. About changing some of the system functions and does not speak. Sometimes you couldn't even set the melody as a call.
Then there were the communicators on Windows Mobile, and the first phones with a custom firmware, and devices with support for Wi-Fi, with which you can easily download and install apps without using a computer. But really popular among the common users the opportunity to customize your machine did not become. Too complicated and unclear. Too much takes time and effort. Too few really high-quality apps and too many pitfalls. It is easier to accept the shortcomings of your phone, but in a year or two just to change it to the new device.
The Apple iPhone was the first smartphone that clearly demonstrates the advantages of intuitive interface and a unified app store with ratings, reviews and a convenient classification of programs. People who, until recently it was thought that installing applications on the phone – the inheritance of the rare "geeks" and bored schoolchildren, plunged into the Apple App Store and could not get out of there literally for hours. Since then, its own app store – the same familiar part of any mobile OS, like the dialer or phonebook.
Android has taken another step forward, becoming the first operating system where the user could easily replace any pre-installed program or game, and almost any system component. Simple, fast, convenient, without a long search and lots of possible problems. The flexibility and customizability of Android, and to this day is one of the main advantages of this operating system.
About the benefits of customization
Why is customization so important? It's very simple. Everyone is different, and as smartphone manufacturers tried to please everyone, to do this obviously will not work.
A Reputable businessman Bob did not need the smartphone game "Crocodile Swamp" the fifth-grader Masha can not live a day. But he needs a powerful email client and functional phone book with many additional fields that the pensioner Lyudmila Petrovna attend. Ivan is secretly a big fan of anime, and he just needed support video player multiple audio tracks and popular subtitle formats. But the camera he used is not able, and the presence of unnecessary buttons and switches, its just completely confusing. Although his colleague Roman, on the contrary, very upset that his smartphone is no possibility manually to set the level of light sensitivity, which pictures on a cloudy day turn out worse than it could be.
Of Course, all manufacturers try to pick up more or less the best option of software that will allow you to comfortably use the smartphone immediately after purchase. But they always provide buyers with the opportunity to download their desired games and apps from the Google Play store. Whether it's the latest version of Angry Birds, full-fledged text editor, beautiful "live" Wallpapers or keyboard with Swype support.
It would Seem, is the perfect solution. Those who the built-in apps enough to use them. Other downloaded from Google Play more advanced options. The result happy with those and others. But for many people there has long existed a kind of psychological barrier. Download to your smartphone a new game client for social network or player they could without any problems, but in exactly the same way to replace the standard address book or the keyboard anymore. From their point of view it was completely wrong and even a little ashamed. Although logic in this division applications for "permissible" and "impermissible" was no, for many buyers it was like a recognition of the fact that they bought the best device which is now forced to "finished file" by itself.
However, the time to quickly put everything in its place. Soon in Google Play there are a lot of great alternative programs from professional developers of software that is very liked by the users. Some of them even got into the Guinness Book of records. Many manufacturers of Android smartphones happy to pick up interesting finds, and sometimes even included the app in its proprietary shell.
Not so long ago the ability to change the standard keyboard for some alternative solution appeared even in the conservative iOS. And now even the most ardent opponents of Android do not turn the language to call it a simple action with a lot of "geeks" or "technology-obsessed students." Developers of some operating systems still trying to make a good mine at bad game, claiming that their users don't need it. But, actually, they have to go nowhere. Now it is a kind of standard that will have to follow all. And use these opportunities or not, each user decides for himself.
Over time even the most successful pre-installed ringtone time pretty bored. You can change it to another song from the same preset, but in fact, this is the replacement sewed on soap. Moreover, all the options out there usually quite similar. Therefore, many people prefer to set up the call the music that you like them personally.
However, it's not only drawn to the beautiful or the desire to stand out from the crowd. It is also a matter of convenience. You must have noticed that when in a public place one person's phone rings near him, owners of vehicles of the same brand also involuntarily reach for their smartphones. Nothing surprising here – in most cases one and the same tune for many years used by the manufacturer for several lines of their smartphones. For the same reason you missed the call, thinking that rang the unit for a neighbor. The use of more or less unique ringtones completely removes all these problems.
The easiest way to install the call the tune by using the audio player. All you need to do is run the track in the player and select "install to call" the pop-up menu.
But through the settings menu of the phone to do this is not always possible, in some shells the list will contain only tunes from the standard set.
In older versions of Android was a nasty "bug", because of which so appointed melody "flew" after rebooting the smartphone. Solved the problem easily – at the root of the memory card it was necessary to create the Media folder inside that Audio folder and sub folders Alarms (for alarms), Notifications (SMS, email, etc.), Ringtones (for ringtones), Ui (for sound interface). After that, it was enough just to move the selected ringtone in the right folder, reboot your phone and browse to the desired ringtone in the settings of the smartphone. As far as I know, starting with Android 4.0 this problem is no more. Anyway, I have not experienced it for several years. In the same way, you can set your ringtones, alarm or SMS even in the case of kogda shell smartphone does not allow you to do this through the settings menu.
The easiest way to quickly change the appearance of the smartphone interface – change the Wallpaper on your desktop. Beautiful Wallpapers can bring a sense of novelty even in the old boring smartphone. On this subject one of the readers Android.MR was even written a whole article.
|[Contest] Change themes on your Android smartphone as a necessary requirement|
In addition, there is the practical aspect – in many smartphones are displays, made by technology AMOLED. One of the features of this technology is that the dark colors appear the screen spends significantly less energy than the display light. Competently design theme desktop, can significantly increase the operating time of your device.
This is the easiest type of Wallpaper, which is present in most OS. However, in Android, even the Wallpaper is not as simple as they seem at first glance. The size of the background picture a little more than fits on the screen. And while paging desktops it a bit horizontally scrolled. Some manufacturers such effect not like and they take it out of their corporate shells. But in most cases the Wallpaper on Android phones behave this way.
As a picture for Wallpaper, you can use any photo or image. Her final resolution can be calculated by the formula "height of screen" * "2x screen width". However, to specifically adjust the required resolution is not necessarily — if the picture is bigger than you need, you will be asked to choose what part of it goes to the Wallpaper.
The Compilation of Wallpaper on the Internet devoted to the various sites. In recent years, there was even a special collection of Wallpapers for mobile phones. For example, the excellent collections of background images from time to time puts Artem Lutfullin. Some editions are devoted to a specific topic, others are a hodgepodge of good pictures.
|Robotboy”, the link for all releases|
App "Wallpapers HD"
Any, even the most successful collections is not suitable for everyone. As is known, on taste and color markers are different. But for a long time to find suitable Wallpapers on the Internet also want not all. Too many have to perform extra steps – first, find suitable Wallpapers on the computer (because to use the small screen of the smartphone not always conveniently), then download, transfer to your smartphone, install to your desktop and then to rate how they look on the screen.
With the help of special software to select a Wallpaper, the process is much easier. To find them will not make anyone work – enough to drive a search string in the Google Play store the word "Wallpaper" and download the first any option. Fortunately, the opportunities they have all almost the same. As an example I will give the Wallpapers HD app, which is already more than 40 000 000 users worldwide.
All of the background pictures are divided into categories and have their own popularity rating. The most successful of them are displayed in a separate tab. In addition, for each image attached several thematic tags to help you quickly find the image. Want to choose a woodland, a photo of big Ben or a picture of a kitten? There is nothing easier.
Any Wallpaper you can add to your list of favorites, download to your smartphone or set as background. In the latter case, you can choose one of several types of scrolling. Or even to disable it.
In my opinion, the app is pretty nice, and the selection of images it a good. Although there is nothing original there, and if you prefer to use any other analog, you have nothing to lose.
Live Wallpaper – one of the "chips" of Android, which was first introduced in Android 2.1. Simple live Wallpaper is a simple animated picture. More complex variants are full-fledged applications that have a lot of options and is able to respond to user actions.
Unfortunately, I must admit that Google Play is clogged pretty bad quality "articles", most of which are replete with advertising or requests to install some third-party applications. However, among the live Wallpaper there are real masterpieces. Some of them are done in the spirit of minimalism, while others represent a complete virtual world. What more appropriate to look on the desktop, everyone decides for himself. To tell about all the interesting options in this article I will not. Too many of them, and to illustrate the animation using screenshots is highly problematic. To give just one interesting example.
My Log Home iLWP
My Log Home iLWP is one of the examples of complex live Wallpaper with many different settings. In fact, these Wallpapers represent the three-dimensional model of a cozy home in the mountains. Swipe across the screen allows you to "bypass" all the rooms, moving the camera from one place to another.Most of the environment is interactive. You can move the chair, open the drawer, turn the bulb to turn on or turn off the TV. Do all watches show time, and the corners of the room gradually overgrown with cobwebs, which sometimes have to clean up.
No samaya interesnaya osobennost My Log Home – otobrazhenie realnoy pogodi i vremeni sutok. Esli v realnom mire idet dozhd, to vi obyazatelno uvidite ego i za oknom narisovannogo doma.
V platnoy versii programmi dostupna detalnaya nastroyka virtualnogo doma. Razvesit na stenah svoi fotografii ili kartini, ubrat iz komnat lishnie veschi, nastroit otobrazhenie pogodi za oknom.
Eti oboi stoyat togo, chtobi na nih posmotret. Ved eto tot redkiy sluchay, kogda interesnaya ideya poluchaet kachestvennoe voploschenie. Razrabotchiki ne prosto narisovali krasivie oboi, oni prakticheski sozdali otdelniy mir. I pust etot mir poka ogranichivaetsya tolko domom i gornim peyzazhem za oknom, zato v nem tschatelno prorabotana kazhdaya detal. Vozmozhno, imenno poetomu on i poluchilsya takim uyutnim. Goryaschiy ogon v kamine, nespeshno otschitivayuschie minuti nastennie chasi, molbert s nedorisovannim gornim peyzazhem, kruzhaschiesya v svete nastolnoy lampi pilinki… Pozhaluy, imenno tak mog bi viglyadet otel «U pogibshego alpinista». A postoyannoe oschuschenie chego-to nezrimogo prisutstviya tolko dobavlyaet shodstva. To sluchayno otodvinetsya ot stola kreslo, to kto-to otkroet okno, to slovno sam soboy vklyuchitsya televizor. Razumeetsya, na samom dele, vse eto prosto rezultat sluchaynih kasaniy ekrana, no viglyadit vse ravno zdorovo.
Dolgoe vremya vidzheti bili otlichitelnoy chertoy Android. Za vremya suschestvovaniya etoy OS bili sozdani tisyachi raznoobraznih vidzhetov vseh tsvetov i razmerov. Bolshinstvo iz nih sposobno rabotat na lyuboy proshivke ili firmennoy obolochke, no est i takie, kotorie ustanovit na «ne rodnie» smartfoni nelzya.
Kak ne stranno, v «chistom» Android interesnih vidzhetov vsegda bilo ochen malo. Zato razrabotchiki firmennih obolochek, naprotiv, obichno udelyali im ochen mnogo vnimaniya. Inogda takie vidzheti dazhe stanovilis vizitnoy kartochkoy toy ili inoy kompanii. Stoit vspomnit hotya bi pogodniy vidzhet HTC iz rannih versiy HTC Sense, kotoriy, bez vsyakogo preuvelicheniya, poluchil vsemirnuyu izvestnost.
Mne kazhetsya, chto i razrabotchikam drugih populyarnih OS ideya vidzhetov prishlas po dushe. Vot tolko prosto vzyat i skopirovat ee oni ne mogli – fanati obeih operatsionnih sistem tut zhe nachali bi krichat o slepom kopirovanii idey konkurenta. A eto, kak minimum, plohaya reklama. A to i sudebnie razbiratelstva s «patentnimi trollyami», v zakromah kotorih naydetsya patent dazhe na «Cherniy kvadrat». Poetomu ideya vidzhetov dobralas do etih OS v neskolko izmenennom (i chasto zametno menee udobnom) vide. K primeru, v OS Windows Phone analogom vidzhetov sluzhat «zhivie plitki», a v poslednih versiyah iOS vidzheti ispolzuyutsya v stroke uvedomleniy.
O tipah vidzhetov
Po suti, vidzhet predstavlyaet soboy nebolshuyu programmu, kotoraya otobrazhaetsya pryamo na rabochem stole. Ih glavniy plyus zaklyuchaetsya v tom, chto oni pozvolyayut poluchit neobhodimuyu informatsiyu mgnovenno, prosto brosiv odin vzglyad na rabochiy stol. Chasto s ih pomoschyu mozhno bistro vospolzovatsya kakoy-to funktsiey ili izmenit nastroyki, ne zapuskaya pri etom samo prilozhenie.
Vidzheti mogut bit raznogo razmera, ot miniatyurnih 1x1 do polnoekrannih 5x4. Chasto odin vidzhet imeet srazu neskolko versiy, i polzovatel imeet vozmozhnost vibrat naibolee udobniy dlya sebya variant. Krome togo, poslednie versii Android pozvolyayut proizvolno menyat razmer vidzhetov, hotya na praktike vospolzovatsya etoy funktsiey udaetsya sovsem ne chasto.
Stoit otmetit, chto samostoyatelnim prilozheniem vidzheti yavlyayutsya daleko ne vsegda. Chasto oni idut v dovesok k toy ili inoy programme. Naprimer, ustanoviv na smartfona RSS klient, vi poluchite vidzhet, otobrazhayuschiy na rabochem stole poslednie novosti. A skachav noviy audiopleer, vi navernyaka obnaruzhite na telefone noviy vidzhet, pozvolyayuschiy bistro pereklyuchat treki i stavit vosproizvedenie na pauzu.
Rasskazat o vseh tipah vidzhetov nichut ne prosche, chem opisat vse vidi Android programm. V kachestve primera ya privedu odin iz naborov pogodnih vidzhetov. Na samom zhe dele, tipov vidzhetov v razi bolshe: pereklyuchateli, kalendari, fotoramki, indikatori zaryada ili balansa, ikonki bistrogo dostupa k kontaktam, okna chatov, vidzheti dlya bistrih zametok i mnogoe-mnogoe drugoe. Po-horoshemu, etomu voprosu nuzhno posvyatit otdelniy obzor. No dazhe v etom sluchae rasskazat i o desyatoy chasti vseh suschestvuyuschih vidzhetov fizicheski ne poluchitsya.
Obichno pogodniy vidzhet – eto pervoe, chto vidit polzovatel posle togo, kak razblokiroval smartfon. Konechno, hochetsya, chtobi etot vidzhet bil krasivim. Nu, i prognoz pogodi bolee-menee tochno otobrazhal. Pered vihodom na rabotu bivaet ochen polezno uznat, chto sobiraetsya dozhd i luchshe zahvatit s soboy zontik. Takzhe ochen vazhno, chtobi vidzhet podhodil k tsvetu oboev. Beliy vidzhet na svetlom fone budet sovershenno nechitaem. A yarko-zheltie tsifri na fone chernih oboev, naprotiv, budut ochen rezat glaza. A tak kak oboi lyudi lyubyat vremya ot vremeni menyat, to luchshiy vidzhet – tot, chto podderzhivaet raznie temi oformleniya.Nabor pogodnih vidzhetov HD Vidzheti polnostyu otvechaet vsem etim trebovaniyam. Fakticheski, pered nami nastoyaschiy konstruktor, iz kotorogo bukvalno za paru klikov mozhno sobrat imenno tot vidzhet, kotoriy maksimalno udachno vpishetsya na vash rabochiy stol. Prichem, v otlichie ot mnogih drugih pogodnih vidzhetov, HD Vidzheti otobrazhaet ne tolko tekuschee vremya i prognoz pogodi. Krome etogo, mozhno dobavit spetsialnie ikonki-pereklyuchateli, s pomoschyu kotorih mozhno bistro vklyuchit ili otklyuchit Wi-Fi, perevesti smartfon v bezzvuchniy rezhim, vklyuchit fonarik ili otregulirovat yarkost ekrana. Vsego na vibor dostupno bolee 50-ti variantov.
Ne hotite vozitsya s nastroykami? Togda prosto viberite odin iz uzhe gotovih variantov. Ili zhe vospolzuytes knopkoy «generator vidzhetov», kotoraya soberet iz imeyuschihsya detaley sluchayniy vidzhet.
Esli dotronutsya do vidzheta, to okno s prognozom pogodi otkroetsya na ves ekran. Zdes vi mozhete prosmotret podrobniy prognoz pogodi srazu dlya neskolkih gorodov, zaodno sravniv prognozi srazu neskolkih izvestnih meteorologicheskih kompaniy.
V kontse nelzya ne otmetit podderzhku planshetov i vozmozhnost ustanovki vidzhetov na ekran blokirovki (funktsiya podderzhivaetsya Android 4.2 i vishe).
Alternativnie ekrani blokirovki – odin iz samih populyarnih sistemnih komponentov, predstavlennih v Google Play. V printsipe, nichego udivitelnogo tut net. Na ekran blokirovki mi ponevole smotrim ochen chasto, desyatki, a to i sotni raz za den, berya v ruki zablokirovanniy smartfon. No po kakoy-to tolko im samim vedomoy prichine, mnogie proizvoditeli Android apparatov sovershenno ne udelyayut ekranu blokirovki dolzhnogo vnimaniya.
V pervuyu ochered, rech idet ob esteticheskoy storone dela. Mnogim lyudyam hochetsya, chtobi ekran blokirovki bil ne tolko krasivim, no esche i originalnim, «ne kak u vseh». Ili hotya bi prosto podhodil k toy teme oformleniya, kotoruyu oni vibrali dlya rabochego stola smartfona. Uvi, na standartnom ekrane blokirovki ne vsegda est vozmozhnost dazhe prosto smenit oboi, chto uzh govorit o chem-to bolshem.
Ne menee vazhniy moment – udobstvo raboti i vozmozhnost «tonkoy» nastroyki takogo ekrana. Naprimer, ochen zhelatelno, chtobi ikonki vseh osnovnih prilozheniy srazu prisutstvovali na ekrane blokirovki. Eto pozvolyaet izbezhat lishnih klikov i pri kazhdoy razblokirovke ekrana sberegaet neskolko dragotsennih sekund. K sozhaleniyu, vibrat ikonki bistrogo dostupa na svoy vkus do sih por mozhno daleko ne na vseh smartfonah.
Esche odin primer – uvedomleniya o novih pismah, SMS ili propuschennih vizovah. Vo mnogih firmennih obolochkah uvedomlenie o prishedshem pisme ili novom soobschenii iz storonnego messendzhera na ekrane blokirovki prosto ne otobrazhaetsya. Konechno, ikonka novogo pisma budet vidna v stroke uvedomleniy, vot tolko raskrit ee na ves ekran na ekrane blokirovki chasto nelzya. V rezultate vi vidite tolko ikonku novogo soobscheniya, no ponyat, ot kogo ono prishlo, vi ne mozhete do teh por, poka ne razblokiruete telefon. I takih spornih momentov v standartnih ekranah blokirovki mozhet bit ochen mnogo.
Go Locker 3.0
Eto, pozhaluy, samiy izvestniy ekran blokirovki vo vsem Google Play. I s kazhdim novim obnovleniem on stanovitsya vse luchshe i luchshe. Ego vozmozhnosti mozhno perechislyat prakticheski beskonechno: otlichnaya realizatsiya uvedomleniy (polzovatel samostoyatelno vibiraet, kakie uvedomleniya stoit vivodit na ekran), bistriy dostup k neobhodimim prilozheniyam i zapusk kameri, osobiy «intellektualniy» ekran, na kotorom otobrazhayutsya imenno te prilozheniya, kotorie nuzhni v danniy moment (naprimer, kak tolko vi podklyuchite k smartfonu naushniki, tam poyavitsya znachok vashego lyubimogo pleera) i mnogoe drugoe.No samoe glavnoe – ogromnoe kolichestvo potryasayuschih tem na lyuboy vkus i tsvet. Bukvalno v dva klika vi mozhete poluchit ekran blokirovki, kotoriy pohozh na standartniy ne bolshe, chem VAZ-2107 na zvezdolet Enterprayz.
Glavniy minus Go Locker 3.0 v tom, chto dlya nachinayuschego polzovatelya ego vozmozhnostey mozhet okazatsya slishkom mnogo. Razbiratsya s nimi zahochetsya daleko ne vsem, mnogim nuzhen prosto prostoy i krasiviy ekran blokirovki s minimumom nastroek.
Imenno dlya takih polzovateley i bil sozdan ekran blokirovki Locker Master. On podderzhivaet vse neobhodimie dlya ekrana blokirovki funktsii, a takzhe imeet neskolko interesnih «fishek». Mozhet bit, temi u nego ne nastolko raznoobraznie, kak u Go Locker, no podobrat oformlenie pod nastroenie vi vse ravno smozhete bez osobogo truda. Ne verite? Posmotrite ofitsialniy videorolik nizhe.Vse temi vipolneni ochen kachestvenno. Bolshaya ih chast krasivo animirovana i imeet raznie interaktivnie elementi. Prichem animatsiya chasto ne brosaetsya v glaza. Naprimer, plivuschiy nad ozerom tuman i legkuyu ryab, probegayuschuyu po vode, mozhno s pervogo raza i ne zametit. No imenno blagodarya im narisovanniy peyzazh viglyadit po-nastoyaschemu zhivim. Vprochem, dlya lyubiteley yarkih spetseffektov podhodyaschih tem budet dazhe bolshe. Ot kosmicheskih korabley do stoyaschey u steni gitari, kotoraya vspihivaet yarkim plamenem vo vremya razblokirovki.
Gorizontalniy svayp ot levoy kromki ekrana otkrivaet menyu s ikonkami bistrogo dostupa. Analogichniy svayp ot pravoy kromki – menyu so spiskom osnovnih deystviy. V nem nashlos mesto fonariku, muzikalnomu pleeru (esli na smartfone ih neskolko, to mozhno vibrat lyuboy), prognozu pogodi, skaneru QR kodov, ikonkam-pereklyuchatelyam i pr.