Display timeout for Android—a love and hate story. Basically, the screen timeout is the amount of time that needs to pass in order for the screen to switch off automatically when the display hasn't been touched. This can be regulated within the settings (provided another app is not dictating this behaviour).
In my case, I find the timeout to be useful in most instances, though sometimes I find myself cursing the display for switching off when I'm right in the middle of something. It is in precisely these instances that intelligent display timeout controls would really come in handy. Let's find out if IntelliScreen can do the trick.
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|Reviewed version||Latest version|
Features & Use
Test device: HTC One S with Android 4.04
IntelliScreen allows users to designate when their device's screen is to timeout as well as make individual settings for different apps. The app has five categories:
The Accelerometer Service monitors the device's position in relation to the ground. If the device is held in a position that has been designated as an “on” the display will remain active. This can mean, for instance, that whenever you hold the device in your hand it won't switch off. There is no option for doing the inverse, i.e. switching the display off by holding the device in a given direction.
App rules are fairly self explanatory: they allow you to select tailored timeouts for individual apps. This is a great option to have if you enjoy playing games that are controlled via the inclination sensor or take longer whilst taking individual shots using a photo app. Please note that settings are quite laborious if you've got a ton of apps installed because you will have to go through each one individually. To circumvent this process you can also set up timeout profiles to which you then add whichever apps you please.
Different perimeters can be set up for when a device is charging or a dock is being used. For instance, you could programme that a display remains active throughout the charging process.
The pro version of the app comes with a widget which provides an option to click off the screen, as well as a widget with direct links to the separate categories and a feature that accesses the light sensor so that the screen switches off when a device is tucked in your pocket, for instance.
I tested this feature and it did not work on the One S.
IntelliScreen is a thoroughly practical app to have round, and it's well made. The different options on how to influence the screen timeout are good and useful, even if some controls features would benefit from some ameliorations.
Screen & Controls
IntelliScreen comes with a simple but decent design. The overall positive impression is dragged down, however, by the animations which we found to be rather obtrusive and distracting, as well as counter productive because they cause delays.
Controls on the other hand are nicely done and intuitive to use, even though some aspects could still be simplified.
Speed & Stability
IntelliScreen was stabile throughout our test runs but due to the animation there's usually an at least one second long delay when opening new content.
IntelliScreen is free and can be found in Google Play. The pro version costs EUR 1.99 and can be installed via in-app purchase.