Free App Recap – Unplug and Reconnect

Free App Recap – Unplug and Reconnect

Sep 4, 2012

Editor's Note: The Free App Recap is a new feature running every Tuesday covering some useful free non-game apps.

Being connected to email and the web and everything else digital is something many people strive for. What happens when being connected to everything becomes a reality? Information overload, that's what. At some point unplugging from all things digital is a good thing. Unplug and Reconnect is just what the doctor ordered.

In a nutshell, Unplug and Reconnect is an application to let you set times of the day to automatically be disconnected from all of the digital distractions an Android phone can bring. The options for eliminating distraction are:

    • Airplane Mode
    • Call Reject with optional message
    • Silent
    • Vibrate

    To automate the process, a schedule can be made to unplug. If there is a common routine such as work or family dinner, there are several repeating schedule options to be created. Otherwise, if there is a one time event such as a meeting or sports event, just add in the start and stop time to be unplugged. A reminder can be set to go off several minutes before the quiet time. This is to give warning in case the event isn't happening or there is a need to have the phone make noise.

    Some calls are important and need to be taken no matter what. An option to white list certain contacts is available allowing calls or messages from a spouse, babysitter or boss to get through during quiet time.

    When scheduled quiet time arrives, if connected, Unplug and Reconnect will place an update to Facebook and/or Twitter to let everyone know not to call until the meeting or whatever is over. This is huge because most people think just because no calls are being taken, they can send a Facebook message or a tweet and get a reply.

    When the time is up, everything is back to normal and ready to make and receive calls as usual.

Siesta Text App Review

Siesta Text App Review

Dec 22, 2011

In an earlier blog post I briefly mentioned a 2 dollar app called Siesta Text. I’ve spent a few days with this app and after a few initial problems I found Siesta Text to be very useful, especially for the holidays and other social events. Be warned, however, if you use third party messaging services such as the very popular Handcent. Siesta Text does not play nice with Handcent or GO SMS, but I was able to work around this in Handcent by deselecting Handcent as the default messaging app. This doesn’t affect how Handcent works; it will still send notifications, and you also need to disable notifications in Android’s stock messaging service because it becomes active again. Doing this allows Siesta Text to gain access to your text messages that GO SMS and Handcent intercept.

Ignoring this issue, Siesta Text really brings a lot to the table for a relatively low price. In case you aren’t familiar with the aforementioned blog post; it dealt with ways to unplug for the holidays while not completing dropping off the face of the earth. Siesta Text allows you to set an away message similar to away messages frequently used for work emails; this works for by sending out a custom text message to those who call or text you. Other than the issue between third-party messaging applications, Siesta Text runs extremely well and, other than a few force closures, I found no performance issues with the app.

This app allows you to save up to 20 different away messages which can be set to repeat for specific time periods. For example, if you have a meeting every Monday morning from 10-11 am Siesta Text will automatically silence your phone and send an away message to those trying to reach you. Calls and text messages still display as they normally would so you can answer if you want and there is a built in limit to how many times Siesta Text will respond to one phone number.

Overall, Siesta Text is a great idea followed up with great execution and a helpful dev team to boot. I would recommend giving Siesta Text a shot even if it means doing some finagling with your current messaging client.