App to notify me when phone is offline


Does your phone's connection have this problem?

  1. Yes, once a month or more

    44.4%
  2. Yes, but infrequently

    22.2%
  3. Not that I know of

    33.3%

Last Updated:

  1. Dec One

    Dec One Member This Topic's Starter

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    Today I didn't get a single e-mail from 10:00 to 1:00. It was just a slow e-mail day... or so I thought. Turns out that my phone (Hero) had some kind of hiccup with the Sprint network, and was offline that whole time. E-mails had been sitting there unread for up to three hours! This happens from time to time, and I can fix it by disabling the mobile network and then turning it back on.

    But that only works if I know that the phone is offline! Is there an app that will check the phone's internet connection every x minutes and fire a notification if it's not working? Or if the app wanted to be really smart, it could disable and then re-enable the mobile network and see if that fixes the problem.

    Is this even possible? If the OS killed the app and the user had to re-start it all the time, that would render it pretty useless. Would it have to be running all the time? Or could it start itself, check the connection, then terminate itself every x minutes?
     

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  2. gohausmachine

    gohausmachine Well-Known Member

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    That's an awesome idea. I've had similar problems on my MyTouch and thats what I usually do.
     
  3. cmh0114

    cmh0114 Well-Known Member

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    I think Android's security stops an app from starting itself, but as long as you leave it running, it sounds like a great idea.
     
  4. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    I don't think it would be very hard to do. In fact, sipdroid (which is opensource) uses some code that detects when the "main connection" changes from one to another (3G to Edge, 3G to Wifi, Wifi to 3G, etc.).

    Would you like to only get a notification in the notification bar with sound/vibration?

    I do some Android work at my job, and I was looking for a small project like this for home. Do you think this app could sell well @ 0.99$?
     
  5. cmh0114

    cmh0114 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it would be very hard to do at all, and it would probably sell well for $0.99. After all, the people who would use this are those who absolutely need to be connected 24/7, usually businesspeople, and they can afford to pay $0.99 to be ensured that they're always connected.

    Edit: I'll see if I can whip something together this weekend - it all depends on whether or not I have time to access my computer while traveling. If I can't, it'll wait until next weekend.
     
  6. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    Got an app working already which notifies whenever your connection state changes.

    It is almost "deliverable" to the market, I just have to make some polish.

    I got a good news, it's gonna be free. Problem is I can't sell it since I am in Canada, and Google Merchant is not available *yet* for canadians.

    Took me less than 8 hours anyways to put all that together. When Google Merchant will be available here, I'll probably pack some new features and make a "pro version" (got some ideas already).

    Edit: I'll post the market link here as soon as it's available...
     
    aldamon likes this.
  7. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    Just posted my app in the market...

    Look for "Connection State Notifier"

    Hope it fills your needs. Give comments/suggestions/violent reactions to my email or here :)

    Edit: I just uploaded a new version compatible with API level 3 (Android 1.5)
     
    aldamon likes this.
  8. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    If you are on this phone, use this link
     
  9. Dec One

    Dec One Member This Topic's Starter

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    cletourneau,

    I downloaded it and it looks great, but I don't think it's the app I had in mind. The problem I have is when the phone thinks it is online - the Ev (3G) symbol is in the status bar - but if I were to try to connect to anything on the internet, it wouldn't work.

    I tested your app by unplugging my cable modem while my phone was connected to my wireless router. The phone stayed connected to the router and the app didn't seem to notice that the internet was suddenly not available.

    Maybe add a feature that tries to access www.google.com every 5 minutes?
     
  10. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    OK, I know what you mean. You want to know if your phone has "access" to the Internet at any time.

    This is slightly different, since the phone connection state changes (GPRS/EDGE/3G/Wi-Fi, etc.) are broadcasted to any application that wants to listen to it.

    Now you want to know if your connection gives you access to the Internet. While it is an easy feature to implement, the behavior might be problematic sometimes.

    What if "www.google.com" is the only website down when the app is doing the connection test? Would you like to test more than only one website (set in a configurable list)?

    Also, it will take a little more "power" for it, since the phone will have to "wake-up" every X minutes and initiate a connection to the Internet. There are some cost to that for sure, but I'll make it a feature that can be toggled off.

    Since you had the idea for the app, I'll make this feature the next task in my backlog...

    Another thing, the company I work for has offices in France, and I might put the app under their name and charge 0.99$ for it. Not that I want to make money (I don't expect to become millionnaire with this), but we're getting into Android development and we want to experiment the merchant market and what impact it has on the app downloads.
     
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  11. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    Hi Dec One, I just released Connection State Notifier 1.0 RC1. You can find it on the Market obviously, and it now has the "Check for Internet" option.

    Right now it's hardcoded to "http://www.google.com", but I plan on making this a setting that the user can change.

    Leave a comment on the market if you like it :)
     
    aldamon likes this.
  12. Dec One

    Dec One Member This Topic's Starter

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    I've been using it. It works great!
     
  13. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    If you guys think about other options to put in there, go ahead and tell me!
     
    aldamon likes this.
  14. aldamon

    aldamon Well-Known Member

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    This app seems to be perfect for detecting the 3G drops with the Optimus. I'm going to give it a try.

    Any chance you could implement a vibrate-only option for network drops?

    Also, does this program use a lot of resources when running in the background?
     
  15. cletourneau

    cletourneau Member

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    Hi aldamon,

    The program uses almost no resource in the background as it is not really "running in the background". It uses the BroadcastReceiver system of Android, same system that is updating your notification bar with the connection info. It is basically something that is "sleeping" (eating no resource) until the system wake him up only when there is a change in the connection state.

    I will try to implement the "vibrate only option for network drop" later this week if you want.
     
  16. aldamon

    aldamon Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I think it's OK the way it is. Losing the connection is pretty important and I don't want to miss it so I've picked a suitable sound effect with vibration. As long as the app doesn't override the system's sound scheme while I have it muted, it should be fine.
     
  17. aldamon

    aldamon Well-Known Member

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    Does this app leave notifications in the status bar? I lost my connection from ~9PM last night until this morning and I didn't see any signs of notification.
     

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