It’s Customization Month on Android.Appstorm! Throughout March, we plan to share with you all our tips, tricks, apps and resources to help you improve your phone or tablet experience and make them suit your style.
In Android 4.2 there were many new updates such as gesture typing and multiple users. These were the features which took the headlines as they were the most beneficial to Android users. However, one feature which was probably overlooked by the majority of us, including me at first, was Daydream.
Daydream is one additional aspect that users can customise in their Android device and there are apps which enhance it even more. Read on to find out what Daydream actually is and the best ways to use it!
If you were to ask me what Daydream was a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t have even been able to tell you that it was something on Android. And it wasn’t until I was randomly searching through my settings that I came across this exciting little addition. Basically, Daydream is a screen saver for your Android device while idle or docked. And from that sentence alone, you’re probably not that impressed.
However, now it’s time for the cool part. After you’ve navigated to Daydream by going into Settings > Display > Daydream on an Android 4.2 device, you have some choosing to do. The first decision you need to make is which Daydream you want to view. These range from a basic clock to a photo frame which circulates pictures from a certain folder, technically turning your device into a digital photo-frame. You can also choose to start Daydream now or decide when it occurs — while docked or while charging.
That’s where the official Android features stop, however, app developers have been keen to advance this software further.
On top of the six standard Daydream options you can also find much more in the Google Play Store. Today, I’ve picked out my five favourite apps to write about and show you just how good they are!
All of these work as standard applications and can be downloaded from the Play Store. Once downloaded, they will be automatically added to your list of Daydream options.
As you’ve probably already guessed “Daydream Quotes” shows random quotes on your homescreen. After selecting this Daydream you can customise the size of the text and the delay between different quotes.
While the personalisation options here are pretty limited, you’re sure to be impressed once the quotes start. The text is crisp and all of the quotes are from well known authors or figures from history. Overall, this is a nifty little addition which will appeal to a large number of people because of its simplicity.
The next Daydream app is “Website Daydream.” This allows users to always have their favourite website on their screen. After downloading you have a few options which you’ll need to change before you start. Firstly, you’ll need to type in the URL of your desired webpage — of course I’ll pick android.appstorm.net ! After that you have options to make the page touchable and automatically refresh for new content. Once you’ve sorted all your settings out that’s it — start Daydreaming.
Giving you easy access to your favourite webpages is a great time-saver for your device. Do remember to type the full URL address into the options though (including http://) because the app won’t work without this. But all in all, this is fantastic!
Flipboard, for those who don’t know, is a massively popular news application. And the Daydream side of it comes under the same app. Out of all the Daydream apps, this one comes with the least added options too, only letting you choose under which connection you download articles.
The Flipboard Daydream integrates perfectly with the standard app and will search for articles related to your likes in the screensaver. Showing a title and a picture, Flipboard lets you click on the article you prefer, the app will then take you straight there. This is definitely one of the most advanced and aesthetically pleasing Daydream systems I’ve seen to date.
On the standard Daydream options you do get the choice of a clock, but this lacks options and frankly looks bad. On ClockPlus, you can choose between digital or analogue and even set the brightness. Changing the brightness may at first seem pointless, however, when using the app as a desk clock this really helps.
In Clock Plus you can also modify which notification icons will appear and even set the battery status. It was the notification part which really attracted me to this app. Normally, it’s a hard task to keep on top of everything, but these simple reminders do it for me.
The final, and my personal favourite is Battery Widget Reborn. With this Daydream app you can create a beautiful and completely personalised battery indicator. This is achieved through a wealth of different options and slide bars. Being able to personally configure this Daydream is brilliant.
This basic widget is effective yet simple in the way it executes its purpose, making it a great way to check up on your battery while the device is charging.
Daydream is quite interesting, and we’re just starting to see developers take advantage of it through their apps. It’s a hidden feature, but should be used more by Android users.
The problem, however, is that you can’t schedule to use every single one of these apps at a specific time. Yes, you could change the default Daydream app every so often, but you’re much more likely to pick one and stay with it forever. I hope that one of these apps is suited for you and if not, don’t fear, there are plenty more in the Play Store.