Android Ideas

Color Sounds 2.0 released

My generative music app Color Sounds has been completely rewritten with a lot of improvements and new features.

See the website for more info, including a web version (requires Flash).

The first version of Color Sounds was native Android written in Java. This time I wrote it in ActionScript 3 since I wanted to both make big changes to the app and learn the Flash/AIR platform anyway.

Some major perks were the efficient built-in functions for color detection and the great Robotlegs dependency injection framework. Also cross-platform possibilities, although certain things like the video playing and sharing features make use of Adobe AIR native extensions I had to build specifically for Android.

As before the Android app is available free from Google Play.


Video Toolbox released!

Video Toolbox provides a set of tools to do the simple things you want with videos on your Android phone or tablet: rotate, trim, flip, resize, and convert.

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Color Sounds released!

Color Sounds is a generative music app that translates color into sound. It can be used as a step sequencer, somewhat like the Tenori-on or Monome but based on colors. There's also an experimental camera mode for using colors from the environment to create music.

Download the app or go to the app's YouTube channel.

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Getting started with TaskBomb

This video is an introduction to TaskBomb, my task scheduler app. The video briefly discusses the app's major features and how to automate toggling WiFi and Sync.


I wish I could search the Android Market by intent filters.

I was wondering recently what apps out there implemented ACTION_SEND. It would be great if apps in the Android Market listed their intent filters just like they list their permissions. Then there could be a way to filter by these, or I could use a Google site search of the Android Market.

If you don’t know what intent filters are, they’re how apps tell each other what they’re able to do and with what types of files. One example is media players, they often have long lists of file types (mp3, wav, etc.) for which they are able to handle ACTION_VIEW intents, which basically means to open a file.

If it was possible to search the market by intent filters, you could instantly get every app that can play FLAC files, or every app that can edit JPEG images. It would be more precise than relying on the description. Many details are too subtle/inside baseball-ish to make it into app descriptions. This would also greatly benefit developers who are wondering what apps out there could interact with their apps, or even wondering if an app they’re thinking of creating exists already.


TaskBomb Released!

TaskBomb is my task-scheduling / automation app for Android.  It can theoretically do anything your Android device can do. It gets a little trickier in practice, but it's being rapidly improved. There's already enough functionality to build one great alarm clock. My personal alarm includes waking up to streaming radio (or a backup if that fails), having the volume gently increase, and switching to a playlist of nostalgic songs to get me out of bed if I still haven't after 10 minutes. [1]

With the announcement of Android@Home and the Android Open Accessory API this app comes just at the right time. TaskBomb's unique scheduling system is well-suited for automating things around the house. Imagine a space heater that begins making your bedroom toasty and warm 15 minutes before you wake up to your favorite internet radio station. Meanwhile your curtains slowly open to let the sun fall on your face. You hit the snooze button on your Android phone to delay the music for another 9 minutes while you lay back in the sun like a happy cat. The possibilities are endless.

Learn more about TaskBomb or get it from the Android Market

1. The nostalgic songs thing works by the way. It gets my heart racing and before I know it I'm wide awake. I try to only use it when I really need it, like the Philadelphia Flyers and Kate Smith. If you try this method, here's a song you might want to add to your playlist.