Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Revised project vision & release plans

I have identified 3 steps to the realization of the myLock vision in the first weeks of research and initial alpha programming, therefore I am revising our overall design vision & release plans.

  • The existing keyguard is an obstruction to end user convenience on the Droid since the device has no face buttons; since the only way to even awaken it is the power button on top (impossible to pocket-press accidentally vs the volume or camera keys could be) we will begin this project by simply bypassing the lockscreen automatically.
  • The existing keyguard is not 100% obstruction. It does give us some examples of useful ideas that we want to retain. On the first screen the user sees on wakeup, it is a nice option to have clock display and some shortcuts. We will create a utility widget of sorts to converge the idea of the clock display, battery %, some power controls such as a brightness level button and optional switches for other power-consuming componenets, and of course the silent mode/vibrate toggle similar to the one on the default lockscreen.
  • Finally, it would be useful to see a timeline of waiting events that have occurred while the device has slept in the wakeup or regular homescreen. The creation of this will be most complicated, as it seems it will require programming mini clients for email, twitter, SMS handling, and phone-event handling. I am not sure we have any way to talk to the existing notification panel or pull information from the default email client at all.
To define the boundaries of these goals then in release components:

  • myLock: basic service which skips the lockscreen when the device is awakened, and gives the user customization of how they want to wake the device. This app is the first to be developed as it accomplishes the biggest part of our total vision.
  • Untitled utility widget: a clock/utility interface that provides battery %, brightness & sound/vibrate shortcuts. essentially a converged tool to display a large digital-style clock that also gives access to most useful power controls and status indicators. Fills the gap left by the immediate skipping of the default lockscreen.
  • WakeHome application: Replace the lockscreen with a home-like environment incorporating the myLock widget components, also allowing other widgets & shortcuts. The app will model itself after the default home app, minus the All Apps drawer at the bottom. Essentially a home on top of your home that comes up anytime you wake up the device. The advantage of this component is the nice flexibility of a new screen to house most important widgets or functions user would like to see immediately on waking the device, without compromising or detracting from how they would use the normal home screens. This is a separate component so that the user has the choice if they prefer to have the device wakeup to whatever they were last doing and place our widgets on their regular home screen.
  • Event Timeline widget: provides a timeline for email, twitter, sms, and call events.


  1. thanks for the post! it's great to see these plans written down in detail. i'm definitely interested in myLock, WakeHome, and Event Timeline, especially combined so that i can have calendar, music controls, and recent calls/smses/IMs all available on the lock screen before i have to enter my lock pattern to fully unlock the phone.

    i have one minor question. i use (and love) AutoLock, which waits to turn the lock pattern until a certain amount of time has passed, instead of having it turn on every time you sleep the phone.

    my only problem is that AutoLock keeps the slide to unlock. if you wake up the phone before the lock pattern has turned back on, you still have to slide.

    i tried ScreenModeWidget, KeyGuard Disabler, and myLock alpha 2b, hoping they would help. they all disable the slide to unlock, but they also prevent AutoLock from ever turn on the lock pattern.

    i suspect the only answer is an app that does both, so that both the lock pattern and slide to unlock are turned off initially and then turned on based on the timer. still, let me know if you have any thoughts!

  2. Hey- does autolock wake the device back up with camera/volume when it is "delaying" the security lock? Trying to think of what they are doing specifically- I wanted to integrate control of whether your pattern lock is used as a function of myLock complete, but I haven't yet researched the pattern feature

  3. A quick update- I emailed the MooApps dev about autolock to ask if it works whether or not you use a pattern lock. They replied saying that would soon be added.

    I am certain now that I can integrate pattern control into this, as I am testing a version of the Lite widget that toggles the pattern off when you enable it. I can also implement a timer where if left idle the pattern mode would re-engage.

  4. awesome! thanks for the updates, both on their side and yours. in the short term, i'll probably use whichever one combines disabled keyguard and timed lock pattern first. long term, i'm looking forward to mylock complete, since i'm very much a fan of your "rich lock screen" vision.