Saturday, 4 June 2011

Noisy Contacts, sneaky Facebook

One of the most requested features for Llama was to be able to pick some Contacts that should be able to ring even when the phone is silent. The new version which does this is ready for testing :) Make sure you backup your current data, as this version adds some more stuff to saved profiles. If you have to downgrade back to the market version, the old version may crash because it's not expecting the noisy contact settings to be there.
Version 1.2011.06.04.1215

You can now specify a list of contacts for each of your profiles. You can also set a volume level that these contacts should ring at. When you receive a call from one of the contacts that you've picked, your phone will ring at the volume level that you've set.

This means you can potentially have two Silent profiles: one for work and one for home. You may want your Silent - Work profile to be active at work. This profile would have all of your work contacts, so that your boss can always get hold of you during working hours, however everyone else wouldn't ring and disturb your  meetings. Your Silent - Home profile would then be active at night. This profile would only have your wife and kids, so they can contact you in an emergency, while your boss's calls will be silent so he doesn't disturb you whilst you aren't getting paid.

Of course, there's nothing limiting it to silent profiles. You can use Noisy Contacts on a quiet profile, so that your phone still rings quietly for everyone else, but loudly for your family. You can also make it work the other way around. You can set up a profile that normally has the ringer on, and then set the Noisy Contact Volume to zero, so that the ringer is always silent for whoever you select.

You'll currently have to add people manually for each profile. I plan on improving the people picker by adding searching and Google contact group selection (the documentation on contact groups is fairly poor). Also, Facebook seem to deliberately block any app aside from the official contacts app from reading Facebook contacts stored on the phone. The HTC Sense Facebook app apparently works as expected though, but I no longer have Sense on my phone. If you want to add a Facebook contact as a noisy contact, you'll have to create a Google/Phone-only contact for them (and then merge it with the Facebook one to keep your contact list tidy).

Here's some info about Facebook being mean:

One day I'll put a page on this blog listing all of the limitations of Android and other apps (mainly looking at at you, Facebook) so you can prod their devs to fix any shortcomings and get Llama (and other Android apps) working better.

Llama doesn't do any special handling of the ringtone; it will just use whatever one is associated with that contact or the default ringtone. Make sure your silent profile doesn't switch to the 'Silent' ringtone from the ringtone picker. Instead, make sure your Silent profile is defined by setting the ring/vibrate/silent mode to Silent.

Also in this version:

  • 4G on/off switch. If someone could test that and let me know if it works I'd be grateful. I don't own a 4G phone :( If you want to send me a 4G phone for free, then get in touch :D
  • Some of you reported that the Ignore invalid cell/no signal stopped working, so this has a possible fix
  • Minimalistic widget stuff is back
  • Weird BROADCAST_STICKY force closes on MIUI should hopefully be fixed.
Please email me any bugs. Use the Llama-help button in the app or the contact developer button in the market. Cheers.

EDIT: This version will be on the market in a couple of weeks if no one finds any bugs.