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Old 12-02-2011, 09:00 AM   #1
hieronymos
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Device: Kobo Vox
Advanced Automatic Brightness and Wifi Control

Normally I don't write reviews for apps, but this one just kills me.

I like it when software makes a few things in my life easier. That doesn't always mean that software is easy to use. JuiceDefender is the perfect example, and just became compatible with non-bluetooth tablets, i.e. the Vox.

Now, the Kobo is not a phone, so there's not much battery to save. In that way, JuiceDefender won't save your juice, but will make a few things easier; notably, wifi and brightness issues.
Android's automatic brightness is made for phones - with little screens, that you don't necessarily stare at for a long time. JuiceDefender has a far more balanced brightness curve, and you can modify it to your personal liking (I like it pretty dark, for example). It will still read values from the light sensor, as always, but can apply further dimming below normal Android brightness. As a plus, it calculates dawn and sunset (no joke!) and consequently applies a kind of sepia effect during the night, which I find helps relaxing while reading the last pages before nodding away.
The other new feature is wifi control based on application. JuiceDefender can be configured to turn on or off wifi for specific applications automatically, or to keep wifi on for specific applications. Say, I start Opera, I certainly want to go on the net - JuiceDefender will enable wifi, and disable it when I close Opera. What's more, it can also enable wifi for, say, your preferred internet radio application and keep wifi on even if the screen is off (that's something that really bugs me with the basic Android settings). Otherwise, as soon as the screen's off and no configured applications are running, it turns the wifi off.

[Edit: Never mind the AutoSync - Ping, Haesslich has reported it didn't change anything for him]

For times where it doesn't work how it should, there is a widget that you can put on the home screen instead of the bulky power controls. It will show the connection status, show you 'battery savings' as a total gimmick (hard to assess and generally incorrect because without it you would still save battery - manually), and when you tap on it, you can temporarily disable brightness or connection control.
You can also configure that box to show up when you tap on the message in the notification bar - so instead of getting back to the home screen, disable or enable and then find your way back to the app you were looking at, you could draw down the notification bar and tap directly.

You can get the latest beta (which you'll need) directly here:
http://latedroid.com/latestdev

I do believe that you need the Ultimate License, which is available from the Amazon AppStore (for two bucks!), but also transferable from another phone if you have access to the market there. Try downloading the beta and see if all the little boxes are any good for you.

The first thing to do in JuiceDefender is, in my opinion, to go to advanced settings and disable everything, because it can be highly frustrating when the application does things you don't know or understand.
Then, slowly start to read the descriptions of each action, try to understand it, choose if you want it and then test the behaviour for a few hours / days before going further.
(I also use JuiceDefender on a phone which has a fairly complicated setup and troubleshooting becomes very difficult if two options are enabled at the same time - the whole process of configuring JuiceDefender took me a good two weeks - after that, I never had to press any button related to power control again.)

[issues are fixed from 3.8.6 on]

My configuration looks like this:

controls: WiFi (Auto disable), AutoSync (Ping)
apps: Enable: Opera Mobile
brightness: min -20%, mid 45%, max 150% (you might find this too low - play with the first two values - the third value applies when you're outside and simply means that you're sure the brightness will go up to the maximum)

Last edited by hieronymos; 12-15-2011 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hieronymos View Post
As a BIG PLUS, it can handle AutoSync differently. In my personal experience, since I have AutoSync on 'ping' in JuiceDefender, I do not have the Kobo lock up anymore.
Good post, thanks. Here are you referring to sleep of death or some other type of lockup? If so, you mean that even with wifi off, your vox will wake from sleep properly?
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Old 12-02-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
hieronymos
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[Edit: Never mind the AutoSync - Ping, Haesslich has reported it didn't change anything for him]

Last edited by hieronymos; 12-05-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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