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Android software that 1) exit current screen  2) go to Standby mode

Posted on 2014-04-21
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Last Modified: 2014-05-26
I've seen in iPhone there's this feature
  Settings => Accessibility => AssistiveTouch
which I can use if the "Exit" button at the
bottom is not working anymore (& not
worth the $ to repair it)


I've heard that many Smartphones 'Exit' button
(as well as the power button by the side to
switch the screen off to standby to save energy)
tends to be among the first components to fail
as the button is pressed often.

Q1:
Is there a freeware for Android that I can install
to perform this 'Exit' button.  Sometimes with a
single finger (while the other hand is not free),
I can't reach the 'Exit' button at the bottom of
the screen

Q2:
My Note 2's power button is by the side: I
prefers to have a software button on the screen
which I can just press to turn the screen into
Standby mode.  Of course, to turn it on back,
I guess there's no such software but I'll make
do with pressing the power button by the side
to 'wake' the screen up.

Hope to preserve the 'Exit' & 'Power' buttons
lifespan for longer duration as I had a few
costly 'button' repairs for my kid's iPhone &
my Windows phones
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Question by:sunhux
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Expert Comment

by:mvidas
ID: 40012562
For both of those, you can use the "Tasker" app. It's a really useful program to control and automate many parts of your android.

For the basic functions you're looking for, after installing Tasker you can add a widget for "Task Shortcut". Click New Task then make a name for it (like "go home" or "screen off")

Q1: Click the + at the bottom of the screen. Go to App, then Go Home. Then click back. Then choose an icon for the widget by pressing the "9-boxes" icon in the bottom right. Click back after selecting an icon, and you're done

Q2: Same as above, but instead of "App -> Go Home" go to "Display -> System Lock"

Tasker might exist for iphones, but I've never looked. Its amazing for an android though.

If you didn't want to use icons for it, you could even set it up to trigger when you shake the phone left and right, or up and down, or back and forth--both would be very easy (profiles->new->event->sensor->shake).

Matt
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40012863
I saw a "Tasker Factory App" : is this the "Tasker" app you are
referring to?  After installing it, I can't seem to exit it.  It will
always launch when I go into "Play Store"
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40012892
That's the free version;  there's another Tasker by the same
developer for $4-$5 : which one will be just enough to meet
my requirements specified above?
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Expert Comment

by:mvidas
ID: 40012908
I just looked on the play store too, and the use I see is apparently $3 (just called "Tasker" by Crafty Apps EU). The "Tasker App Factory" (free) is an add-on that turns what you create in Tasker to a distributable app (which you could use if anyone else in your family gets an android)

The one for $3 is the one I use, and I'd pay much more than that for what it can do.

EDIT: typo
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40014410
Got that version for US$3 but still trying to figure how to get it to
emulate 'Exit' & go into Power Standby mode.

Can you guide me along, step by step?
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40014411
I'm first time Android user : was on Windows phone all these years
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Expert Comment

by:mvidas
ID: 40014662
Absolutely i can, I'll be on a computer in a little while, it will be much easier for me then
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Assisted Solution

by:mvidas
mvidas earned 500 total points
ID: 40015264
Ok, back at the computer. By "Exit" I assume you mean the button at the bottom of your Note 2 (I have a Galaxy S4 so it is nearly the same). Androids refer to that button as the "home" button, which is also what Tasker will call it.

1.

Go to the screen where you want the icon placed, and press-and-hold for a couple seconds. A small popup should appear asking if you want to set wallpaper, or add something. Click "Apps and widgets" (or "Add Widget" or whatever your operating system version says). You should likely have Android version 4.3, so I'll base my instructions on that.

2.

Next you're at a list of apps and widgets; click Widgets at the top, and scroll right until you see "Task 1x1". Press and hold on that, and drag it to where you want the icon located.

3.

Tasker should have opened up now, and you should see a window saying "Task Selection". Go to "New Task +" and it will prompt you for a name. Put something like "Home screen" and press OK

4.

Next you'll see a screen saying "Task" at the top, and there should be a "+" at the bottom. Click that plus.

5.

It will then ask you to Selection Action Category, click "App", then "Go Home". Leave "Page" at zero and the "If" unchecked. Either press your back key (to the right of your home button) or the little "<" symbol at the top next to "Action Edit".

6.

Now you have to choose an icon, so press the little '9 boxes' thing in the bottom right. Select an image to use from a variety of sources.

7.

Once the icon is chosen, press the < or back again, and you should be all set
As for your standby mode, the steps are mostly the same. For step 3, change "Home screen" to "Screen Off". Then, for step 5, on the Selection Action Category screen, click "Display" then "System Lock". Leave the "If" unchecked, and press back. The rest of the steps are the same.

Tasker now has those two functions of yours saved as Tasks, which gives you some more options if you're interested. I'll walk you through setting up the ability to shake your phone side-to-side to turn the screen off.

1.

Open tasker. On the "profiles" page, click the "+" at the bottom, and enter a name like "Shake screen to turn off" and press the checkmark to proceed

2.

For "First Context" (think of this as 'when do you want the task to occur'), select "Event". Go to Sensor, then Shake

3.

Make sure the Axis is lsited as Left-Right, and you could keep sensitivity and duration as medium.

4.

Press < or back, and it will now ask you to Enter Task. Choose "Screen Off" (or whatever you called it above)Exit tasker, and now with that done, when you shake the phone left and right the screen will turn off.

If you'd like screenshots with any of the steps above, I'd be glad to make them so just let me know.
Matt
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40022118
That's a wonderful detailed instructions, give me till this Sun to try it out.
Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:mvidas
ID: 40022392
Take your time, I'll be around. It is a great program with a terrible UI, but if you want almost anything automated on that phone you can do it with tasker.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40025800
Yes, the 'Exit' button is the 'Home' button at the bottom of Note 2 that
I'm referring to.

> Go to the screen where you want the icon placed, and press-and-hold for a
> couple seconds. A small popup should appear
I go into Whatsapp & SMS, press+hold for about 5-6 secs but did not get any
popup.

I then launch Tasker, press the Home to exit Tasker & go into Whatsapp &
SMS again & press+hold, still no popup.  What did I miss?
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Accepted Solution

by:
mvidas earned 500 total points
ID: 40027048
I'm sorry, I misunderstood. You can't put an icon within another app; I thought you wanted an icon on some of your "other" home pages to go back to home (or my suggestion to shake the phone to go home so you didn't have to press the button). From within whatsapp and sms, you can either hit the back button next to home, the home button itself, or an alternative like a shake or gesture. Same with the "screen off" button, I thought you wanted it on a home screen.

If you're looking for an on-screen button to work everywhere, I've known people to use an app called On-Screen Button by "nartus" ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nartus.osb.ads ) when their phone has been broken.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40027109
Think within the 1st day after purchase, there's an option to refund:
how can I still refund Tasker app?

Yes, the On-screen button app was what I'm looking for (that's the
equiv of iPhone's AssistiveTouch.  However the free version of On-
screen appears to be not able to be set to 'Home' function
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40034742
Just a last query:

how can I still refund Tasker app?
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Expert Comment

by:mvidas
ID: 40035045
As far as I'm aware, there is no way to refund an app after the initial 15 minutes has passed. Google support says you can ask the app developer. You could tell then that you thought you'd be able to add the functionality of tasker to an On Screen Button; I imagine they would refund it to keep the peace, but I can't say for sure. I feel bad that you bought it on my recommendation and am not using it, so if they won't refund you, maybe I can help you find a use for it yet.

I think its a great app that has automated my phone use immensely:
-turning notification sounds off when I go to bed
-changing my volume settings based on my calendar entry
---sometimes turn off only ringer sound
---sometimes turn off everything
---let specific people call no matter what
---auto-reply to text messages on first contact to say I'm busy and I'll reply later
-shake the phone to enable USB tethering to my laptop
-specific apps when I get in my car.
Any time I want the phone to do something it doesn't already do, I turn to Tasker and usually with success. I can help walk you through it if you're interested in more, but like I said I think they would likely refund you anyways.
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Author Comment

by:sunhux
ID: 40038956
No worry, it's only $3.  Appreciate your patience & elaborate explanations.

One automation I would like is to auto-disable my 3G or 4G when the
phone is connected to Wifi so that I make use of Whatsapp over Wifi
& not over 3G/4G.

Another is to turn the SMS texting & Whatsapp sound to very very
low volume between 2330-0730 hrs when I'm asleep & normalize
back the volume after that.

Can Tasker be used on iOS or it needs to be separately purchased?
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