My name is Stephen and currently an IT Professional doing administration and support, however I've always had a deep passion for software development. I've started mobile application development when I got my first Android phone in October 09. This blog catalogues all my progress with creating mobile apps for not only Android, but eventually iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7. Hope you enjoy.


Tasker/Locale Support for Floating Widget

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This post is to help users understand what Tasker and Locale are, and how Floating Widget plugin support works.

First off I'll let the developers of each app tell you what they are:

Tasker is an application for Android which performs Tasks (sets of Actions) based on Contexts (application, time, date, location, event,gesture) in user-defined Profiles. 

Locale's advanced artificial intelligence manages settings automatically. For example: arrive at work and instantly your ringer silences, your wallpaper snaps to that scenic Caribbean photo, and Wi-Fi switches on. With Locale, never worry about your ringer going off accidentally again. 

So what does that mean for Floating Widget?

Well I added plugin support for these apps into Floating Widget.  Which means you can now use Tasker/Locale to create a condition that will then trigger Floating Widget to either Start up the selected profile(s), Hide them (leaving the notification) or Stop all Floating Widgets.  The widgets work exactly like they do as if you launched from the Floating Widget app itself.  Here are some examples I've setup.

  • When 8tracks is loaded, Start profile #1 (which I have set as 8tracks widget)
    • This will let me just open 8tracks like I normally do and then the widget will start so I don't need to open Floating Widget afterwords.  The widgets acts just like it would if I did use the app. Even after 8tracks is out of the foreground, the widget stays.  You can setup an exit task, but I choose not to here...but for the next one...
  • If my headphone jack is plugged in and docked in my car dock, load Pandora, Floating Widget profile #2 and Waze.  When no longer docked, close Waze, Pandora and Stop Floating Widget.
    • So when my phone is docked and I plug in my headphones (for my car AUX), my phone automatically starts playing music via Pandora w/ an accompanying Floating Widget and then loads my GPS app Waze then when I undock, stops everything. 
  • When accessing work email. Stop all floating widgets.
    • No distractions while work email is open.

Tasker let's you export profiles, if requested I'll export and upload my 3 profiles above.

This section will tell you exactly what your options are with Floating Widget.

You get prompted with 3 options, Start, Hide, Stop & checkboxes for all 5 of your profiles.
  • Start -> Start the Floating Widget service
    • It will start the profiles selected
    • If no profiles are selected, it'll start the last used profile(s) from either another task or from using the app itself.
  • Hide -> Creates just the notifcation for Floating Widget
    • Profile selection works the same as Start. Either choose specific ones or let it use the last used ones.
  • Stop -> Stops the service
    • Regardless of which profiles are selected, stop always stops all floating widgets.
Each Floating Widget task is exclusive.  Here is some examples of what I mean.
  • Say you have Profile 1 & 2 floating, then a task is called to Show just profile 3.  The previous service will stop (1  & 2) and then just profile 3 will show.  You would need to add 1 & 2 to the task to show all 3
  • You can't have 1 task that shows Profile 1 & 2 and then another that hides profile 2 and expect profile 1 to stay.  The outcome will always be the last task, in this case only a notification for profile 2 will be created.  If you want to make profile 2 close and leave profile 1, just use a Start profile 1 task. It will stop both then recreate #1.
Hope that helps you understand what I mean by saying I created Tasker/Locale plugin support and helps you get even more out of Floating Widget!

Floating Widget v3 and v3.1

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Quick post to mention that Floating Widget has been updated twice in the past month.

v3 added the ability to resize widgets!  I'll admit it's not perfect, but it gets the job done.

  • Not all widgets resize equally, in my testing some took full advantage of the space by scaling properly, like Google Music, 8tracks and TuneIn Radio
  • Some barely changed size, if at all, notably Pandora and MLB At Bat
  • The resize drag doesn't give a live preview of the new size, I'm trying to figure this out. 
v3.1 was a quick update with 1 new feature added as well as some code cleanup and update. Custom home screen shortcuts, to easily float any of your 5 configured profiles with ease!  I also took this opportunity to update the libraries I use.  Notably Jake Wharton's ViewPagerIndicator and devmill's ColorPicker - Thank you both very much for making these open source libraries!

So update your Floating Widget install, or give it a try for the first time: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.milone.floatwidget