Elixir 2: Android’s Swiss Army Knife

Elixir 2 is a massively powerful ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of an application that can tell you a great deal about your Android. It gives you quick access to just about every setting, detail and function your device has, in addition to providing you with a set of fully configurable and customisable widgets. If you want to take control of your device like never before, read on for my comprehensive review…

A Huge Box of Tricks

Put very simply, Elixir 2 is a system information app with a wide variety of highly configurable widgets. Whether you need more personalised toggle widgets that control brightness, WiFi, Airplane Mode, Silent Mode, and so on, or perhaps want to monitor the fluctuations of battery heat, Elixir 2 is a comprehensive tool that gives you every piece of information you could want about your lovely Android.

Main Screen

Main Screen

The main screen of the app is simple and straightforward. You have a choice of:

  • Information: This will give you a number of levels based on your phone’s hardware — battery, internal storage, external storage, live processor usage levels, memory, WiFi signal, bluetooth, location, display information, airplane mode, synchronization, audio levels, camcorder information and input devices. Additionally here you can see software details — build, operating system, settings, configuration, clipboard contents, environment variables, features, Java system properties and shared libraries.
  • Applications: This shows your all your applications in one list, and shows which apps can be moved to your SD card.
  • Running: This shows which applications are currently running on your phone.
  • Shortcuts: This allows you to create two kinds of system shortcut: a widget that contains the info you want, or a shortcut to access such information.
  • Statusbar: If the above shortcut options weren’t good enough for you, Elixir 2 also lets you add a widget to your drop-down notifications bar.
  • Widgets: this provides an in-app shortcut to your widgets, enabling you to manage existing or instructions on how to create new ones.
  • Sensors: This lists the various sensors contained in your phone, like the accelerometer or gyroscope. There are also buttons that let you test each of these.
  • Report: This lets you generate a report regarding your device and applications. This can then be sent or shared via any number of methods.
  • Help: This provides a list of various how-to instructions and information about the app.
  • Add-ons: There are three add-ons available in the Android Market for Elixir 2, which are listed here (see below for more information on these).
  • Donation: This allows you to support the developer by either reviewing the app on the Android Market or send a donation.
  • Translate: This contains a small request to help with translating the app to other languages.
  • Logs: Huge scrolling collection of live logcat information.
  • Uninstall: This feature allows you to uninstall any of your Elixir 2 add-ons.

The Add-Ons

Elixir 2, as you can probably tell by now, is about as feature-rich as you can imagine, but with the additional add-ons, things get even more functional. The Widget add-on makes it possible to add widgets to your home screen. The Personal add-on enables details such as missed call numbers, unread messages etc. The Admin add-on enables some of the features above which require administrator permissions. All of these are free to download in the Android Market, and add significantly to the functionality of the app.

Widget Creation

Widget Creation

Design and UI

Elixir 2 looks quite good, with its black background and off-white icon theme. The layout is simple and all the features you need are easy to access. It doesn’t aspire to to be a beautiful app, and nor does it rely on impressing you with aesthetics, but it does look professional and cool.

The depth of this application, and the way you really are straight into the heart of it when you start using it, might put a beginner off. The widgets are great but some people may find the array of options hugely overwhelming. There’s no kind of filter to sift some out, so navigating some of the more intimate functions could probably confuse many.

Functionality

As system information control apps go, I have never encountered anything quite like Elixir 2. At first glance it’s a free little app with a few add-ons, but beneath this cosy exterior is an extremely powerful tool. I imagine developers, designers and full-on Android uber-geeks would still be impressed with the functionality here.

Comprehensive System Information

Comprehensive System Information

Performance

The thing that struck me about using the app is just how quick it is. It genuinely feels like it is retrieving information from the very deepest guts of your phone, but it takes no longer than a couple of seconds to get the results you might want. Controls are responsive and speedy and it has a really rich feel to it.

Many screens have a host of additional options

Many screens have a host of additional options

Similar Applications

I genuinely feel that Elixir 2 has no serious peers in the Android Market. The two apps that come the closest, based on my experience, are Superbox and MySettings Pro.

MySettings Pro is a basic settings adjustment tool and while Superbox has many features, it has far less settings control. Elixir 2, however, genuinely makes both apps look very simplistic indeed. It completely outperforms both in every way — it is so feature-rich, even the Swiss-Army Knife comparisons feel a little understated.

Conclusion

Elixir 2 is free. FREE. It, by far, is the most detailed and comprehensive systems information tool I have encountered on Android. The sheer configurability of the widgets and the wealth of information available is staggering. The way the app can generate reports is also very handy. Imagine if you were having major phone problems and needed to convey to an engineer what state your phone is in — if Elixir 2 can work for you, you have a huge amount of critical information that can be retrieved and emailed within a couple of seconds.

The overwhelming glut of data contained possibly makes it unsuitable for the Android beginner, but if you want a settings and systems information panel that literally does everything you can possibly think of — and then a whole lot more — Elixir 2 is absolutely for you.


Summary

Suitable for all phones with Android 2.1 and above, Elixir 2 is a fully comprehensive systems information tool. Users can additionally utilise highly configurable home screen and notification panel widgets. While possibly unsuitable for the absolute beginner, Elixir 2 is very impressive utility for complete Android management.

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