Screebl 3.0 Ships! Print E-mail

Dim lights

Well, it's finally here.  After a year of development, over 10,000 beta users, and installations to more than 28,000 devices, Screebl Pro 3.0 finally hit the Google Play store today.  You can download it here.  Thanks to all of those that participated in the beta.  It's taken a bit longer than I expected to get things ready for Pro, as features kept being added and I occasionally put the project on hold for other more urgent work, but I'm pleased with the overall result.

This is a ground-up rewrite of Screebl, with a focus on cool new features, hardware compatibility, battery consumption and simplification.  Android is a shifting target lately for an app like Screebl, as Google and hardware manufactures make tweaks to Android builds to squeeze every little second possible out of battery life and improve the overall multitasking experience.  Hardware varies dramatically, sensors work differently, and even end-user usage patterns for an app like Screebl vary widely.  In the end though, I think that things have reached a point of stability with 3.0 that makes it a no brainer to replace the aging Screebl 2.x code line.


For the first few weeks, Screebl 3.0 will only be available in Screebl Pro.  At some point I will release a new version of Screebl Lite as well, which will offer in-app upgrades for the first time ever, but I wanted to reward those of you that have been loyal Pro customers for so long with an exclusive early access to the features of 3.0.

Here are some things to look for in 3.0 that I find particularly useful.

First, PocketLock is a departure from the normal Screebl approach to screen management in that it is the first time that Screebl provides a feature that actually turns the screen on. Specifically, if you have PocketLock enabled and you put your phone into your pocket upside down, the phone will lock instantly and turn the screen off.  Taking the phone out of your pocket will turn the screen on without touching the power button.  This feature does use power, so when you enable it, you can choose how long you want Screebl to monitor for removal from your pocket -- up to 60 minutes.  PocketLock uses the Android Device Manager capabilities introduced in Android 2.2, and as a result, once enabled, Screebl must be removed as a device administrator before it can be uninstalled.  This can be a bit tricky for Joe User, so I added a menu option that takes care of the details of unregistering Screebl as a device administrator and also uninstalling the app.

Second, AppExceptions is a great way to tweak how Screebl interacts with other utility apps used in Android.  A common example is an app like Handcent SMS that registers notifications in the lock screen.  If your phone is in your pocket and Handcent displays a notification, the screen can be kept locked on by Screebl.  To solve this problem, simply register an AppException for Handcent, and your done!  Screebl will not keep the screen on when Handcent is the foreground app.

Third, Locale/Tasker integration has gotten much more comprehensive and offers even better control over Screebl.  Tweak away!

Finally, Customization of the look and feel of Screebl has gotten a lot more sophisticated in 3.0.  You have pretty fine-grained control over icon color, added sound indicators, and the ability to remove the icon from the notification bar (not the drawer, unfortuantely).  I've become very dependent on the sound notifications at this point, and similar to how I use a GPS, find them more helpful than the visual indicator.

I hope that everyone likes the improvements.  If you have trouble, let me know.  Also, if you're interested in improving or adding translations (some are rough, I know) please download the english strings file here, and send to me your updates as a UTF-8 encoded file.

Finally, if you absolutely HATE 3.0 and want a way to get back to the old familiar Screebl 2.x, just search for and install Screebl Classic on Google Play.  It's free and you're welcome to it, but I will not be spending time supporting this older software.