Theme Thursday: Missed It!

Theme Thursday: Missed It!

Aug 23, 2012

Many custom launchers have the option to remove the status bar, which makes for a much cleaner look but obviously leaves the user without the very helpful notification bar. A while ago I did a Theme Thursday post about using Tasker in conjunction with Minimalistic Text to give a nice and highly customizable text notification widget, but this week I found a slightly easier way that, while not containing the high amount of customization as the Tasker and Minimalistic Text combo, still delivers a high quality widget that looks great. Simply called Missed It!, this app takes the middle-man out of the widget experience and combines the two jobs of Tasker and Minimalistic Text into one, simple app.

The first thing to do after opening this app is to pick what notifications are going to be displayed. There is a short list of the usual phone functions, such as missed calls and text messages as well as another list that displays notifications for the rest of the applications. As in Minimalistic Text there is a bevvy of customization options and I will go as far to say that I almost prefer this app than Minimalistic Text; simply because it is more user friendly and with a little patience no idea is too big to be represented. Fonts are easy to import and certain variables can be shared with other applications and widgets which adds some extended Tasker-like use to Missed It!.

It is hard to see how this app escaped my gaze for so long but after some work I feel like my set up with Tasker feeding Minimalistic Text might have finally met its match. Missed It! is a premium app but at only $1.25 it is a steal, and I even failed to mentioned the ability to display Missed It! on a custom locker with stunning results. For anyone who does not feel like wading through the messy details of Tasker, or pay its exorbitant price tag, should take a hard look at Missed It!, because it is quickly becoming one of my new favorite home screen modification tools.

Theme Thursday: Dark for GO Locker

Theme Thursday: Dark for GO Locker

May 10, 2012

This week for Theme Thursday, we are going to be looking at a slick little theme by a design team, ZT.art, that has done a lot of fabulous work in the past and are seemingly a regular on Thursdays. Some of ZT.art’s handiwork has been featured in the Theme Thursday posts (C.Black, Touch, and Cry Cloud) and this is the first time I am actually doing a Locker review from them. The theme is called Dark and, some hiccups aside, is a very competent and compelling addition to any Android.


Those familiar with or running the Nexus-style live wallpaper should feel right at home here with Dark’s linearly sprinting colors. The thin sans-seriffed font adds a great touch of class as does the diagonally striped wallpaper. The screen is segmented vertically into four different labeled sections for the time, SMS, Phone, and Unlock. Obviously, swiping across the latter three will open up their respective applications, but unlike my current locker, Four Key, there is no option to assign custom apps to messaging. This means that no matter what messaging app is defaulted, be it GO SMS, HandScent, or ChompSMS, the only one this theme unlocks is the stock Android, which is honestly disappointing.

That aside, the consistent color coordination is a great touch and the vibrant colors jump out of the dark background displaying missed calls or messages. The large time and date at the top adds a touch of class and overall the whole theme is very elegant looking. For those looking to give their phone a sophisticated look this is really the locker theme to do that. Unfortunately, this theme really becomes more style and less practical for anyone who has ditched Android’s boring SMS app in favor for its more exciting competition.

Theme Thursday: Four Key for GO Locker

Theme Thursday: Four Key for GO Locker

Apr 12, 2012

Rarely on Android is the lock screen customized. Most people are not even aware that this is an option, even those who have custom launchers. I, for one, am not entirely sold on non-stock launchers simply because I have not found one that consistently works faster then HTC’s Sense locker. Sometimes there is a slight lag between unlocking and when the custom locker actually appears, giving a glimpse of the home screen before slyly taking it away. Nobody wants their software to be laggy, which is exactly why I have been regularly off and on with custom launchers.

Just a while ago I decided to give GO Locker a chance because I am already using GO Launcher and I had grown tired, yet again, of stock Sense UI. A big reason I chose to go back to this mistress again is because I have found that GO Locker, at least for me, is the most consistent and quickest locker that I have used. So this week we are switching it up and busting out a theme for GO Locker called Four Key. With the new version of HTC’s Sense UI they introduced a locker that allows opening of selected actions or apps directly from the lock screen. Seeing as my phone is deemed too old to receive this update I am stuck looking for alternatives.

This brought me to Four Key with its center button that is simply dragged to either the unlock position or to the other three corners to open any application of my choosing. Most likely these applications will be the dialer, a text messaging app of choice, and either a camera or media player, but the options are entirely up to the user aside from the unlock panel which is always on the bottom of the circle. These custom apps open up with a snap and there is nary a hint of lag. As a theme, Four Key looks great and there are certainly no complaints there. It would be nice to change the clock font, but everything else from the transparency to the cool blue tones are excellent. There are not many options to fiddle with but all the core ones are present, which is really all that is necessary.

I was impressed by this theme’s swiftness and its ability to get out of the way if all I wanted to do was simply and quickly unlock my phone. The biggest test of a good launcher is not so much the bells and whistles but if it can get out of the way the moment the user wants it to. Fortunately, Four Key and GO Locker deliver where so many locker apps fall short.