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Author Topic: Minimalistic wind speed widget for Android  (Read 3901 times)
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« on: October 05, 2011, 06:37 PM »

Having recently upgraded (finally) from a miscellaneous regular old cellphone to a ridiculous new Android phone, I of course immediately set about to trying to get some sort of desktop widget on the thing that would display the wind speed at my favorite kite field on a continuous basis. After having tried pretty much every available option and found them wanting in one or more of the following respects:

  • Too much eye candy (do I really need half my screen being taken up by some gigantic pretty sun/rain/cloud/tornado icon when all I really care about is the wind speed?)
  • Too big (see item no. 1 about home screen real estate; I prefer to not use multiple home screens because I am just weird I guess)
  • Information overload (I don't care about the 25-day crop forecast three time zones over; just show me the wind speed!), and/or
  • Not enough configurability (can't get it to show the information from the location/wind meter that I want).

But by golly I actually did manage to find something that not only works, but works perfectly, as though it was designed just for absurdly picky kite nerds like myself. It's called "Minimalistic Text" and it's free (including no ads, nice). All it does is display bits of text (including numerals if you wish) that it gets from any number of sources, in a widget that takes up as much or as little space as you wish (including down to a 1x1 space). Takes quite a lot of configuring to get it to do what you want, but the beauty of it is that it's so ridiculously configurable (down to the subpixel level, basically) such that you can get it to do exactly what you want. In my case, I set it up to display the date (since I wish my phone would show me that on my home screen, again without taking up half the screen with eye-candy), battery percentage (ditto), and, most importantly of all, the current readout from the most reliable meter that's closest to my favored kite field. All in plain, easily readable, size-configured, color-configured, font-configured text with no eye-candy background or effects (although one can add them in if one wishes).

I did sort of luck out in that the widget can pull its wind info from one of two weather APIs, and one of those two (Google's) happens to have a location setting that appears to pull data from the exact wind meter that I find most reliable. But you cannot enter a specific source for your weather data, only a location, so YMMV.

You also can customize what the widget does when you click on it (default is to enter the configuration screen). Among the trillions of options (you can basically have it execute any service from any application on the device) is one to "force refresh weather information" for the widget. As I said, perfect. Like, Leeloo-Dallas-multipass perfect.

For those who might also want a windspeed-at-the-favored-field widget, I urge you to give this one a try. Won't work for everyone of course for reasons stated above, and is useless I guess if you need to know info from multiple fields. But still, it's rare to find a bit of software that's so awesome for what one needs it to do, with zero unneeded features, hence the absurd level of fanboyism in this post.  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: October 05, 2011, 06:46 PM by kairusan » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 07:59 PM »

This is a great app! Thanks for telling us about it.
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