PhoneWeaver - Be quiet and turn out the lights...
Tested version: 1.2.1
Latest version: 2.4.2
Requires Android: from 2.1
Profile managers: Android’s little helpers. If you immediately have flashbacks to flunking exams, getting the evil eye from the person sitting next to you at a conference, or dead batteries you know how important they can be. If you don’t have one yet you’re really missing out because a good profile manager guarantees saving time and energy (both yours and your phone’s). It’s so much more than just dimming the display or muting the sound.
PhoneWeaver’s origins are in WindowsMobile and it has recently become available for Android. Let’s find out if the new kid in town can measure up to stars such as Locale in today’s review.
Features & Use
Test device: HTC Desire
Version: Android 2.2
The energy controls widget is nice and all, but in the long run it takes too much time to always find the correct settings. Some settings can’t even be accessed via the widgets on the homescreen; you can only find them by combing through what seem like infinite settings menus.
PhoneWeaver lets you create a profile for every possible scenario. Not only can the volume of incoming call alerts be influenced, the actual ring tones, the display brightness, and much more can also be altered. Profiles can be activated according to location, time, connection, or events listed in your calendar.
The app comes with pre-established profiles which can be altered or deleted. Creating your own profile is simple: give it a title and make the appropriate settings.
The manual type allows you to set a time-out; once this is reached the profile becomes invalid. If you’re looking to connect profiles to a time then obviously the time option is the one for you. It’s ideal for settings related to volume of incoming calls, W-Lan connection during the night, and anything else that might disturb your nightly slumber. The location option (place and radius) will work for you when you’re at the office. Once you step foot in the office your Android phone will be silent as a graveyard. The calendar/agenda option can also be useful. Select a calendar using keywords and it will be used as a trigger for a corresponding profile. For instance: if PhoneWeaver finds the keyword “meeting” in your business calendar it will automatically turn the volume down or off. The connection option is also interesting. The app recognizes a connection to another device, but unfortunately it can’t figure out which W-Lan connection you’re in or which Bluetooth device you’ve hooked up with. It does however recognize connections to headsets and docking stations.
That’s all well and good, but what other choices can you make? First of all you can decide if an already existing profile can overwrite another. You can also change the sound profile via the Sound tab. Choices range from vibration to mute. Ring tones can also be set, you pick the volume level for ring tones and alarms, as well as notifications for SMS.
You’ll find all settings related to battery life under the Communications tab, so that you can program profiles to switch certain things off when you don’t need them. You can alter the display luminosity and display time-out under Other.
Cool feature: it’s possible that an app is automatically started when a certain trigger is active.
Things can quickly become messy when you start amassing too many profiles which is why PhoneWeaver comes with the Auto option: this option recognizes which profile should become active in given situations.
• Quick and easy profile management
• Shortcuts on the homescreen
• Easy configuration and controls
• No additional Plug-ins
• Does not recognize W-Lan-Routers or Bluetooth devices
PhoneWeaver can definitely be useful and with the right configurations can even help stretch out your battery life. Unlike its competition – Locale – it doesn’t support plug-ins, which is unfortunate… but this is also definitely the cheaper app. It’s up to you to see what is essential and how much you’re willing to spend.
Screen & Controls
PhoneWeaver’s design is basic and doesn’t distract from the app’s essential functions. The profile icons are pretty neat and appear in the status bar so that you can see which profile is currently active.
Controls are child’s play. In order to configure a profile you have to go via the menu button. By pressing on the profile for a while you can access a lock function as well as a time-out.
Speed & Stability
PhoneWeaver ran very well throughout the testing phase; there were no crashes.
PhoneWeaver can be downloaded for € 3,00/$ 3,95 in the App Center or Android Market.