In the first case Minimalistic Text is a widget app that displays information in a minimalistic way.
„Yet another Text Clock?“ one may ask.
The answer is „Yes“, but more than that.
Minimalistic Text tries to give you much more control about what information to show and how this information should be presented. The architecture of the widget allows (the developer) to add easily new sources of information and let the user integrate them in a widget.
Today Minmalistic Text knows 3 sources of information:
These information sources provide a set of variables that can be used in the widget configuration to build up your very own widget.
Minimalistic Text tries to update the widgets only when necessary. Each widget analyzes the information (variables) it uses and knows when it has to be updated. So the update service updates only the widgets that have to be updated.
When the screen of the device goes off, Minimalistic Text stops updating any widgets immediately and restarts the update process when the screen goes on again.
For example: If a widget only has time variables and the voltage of the battery changes, the time widgets doesn't get updated. Sounds naturally? I don't want to know how many widgets out there don't take care about there update frequency :).
Still under development
Minimalistic Text is still under heavy development. So many ideas are on my todo-list that haven't been implemented yet.
This can lead to breaking changes (that would force you to re-add your widgets to the home screen). Of course I will take care to avoid this, but it could happen.
Adding the widget
Adding the widget to your home screen is as simple as tapping and holding your finger on a free space on your home screen. In the menu that pops up choose „Widgets“. In the list you should see some Minimalistic Text entries. Choose the entry with the desired dimension.
After that the property dialog for this widget pops up.
The preference screen is the center of Minimalistic Text. Here you can take care about the design and the content of your widget.
Here you can choose a name for the widget. This name is optional and get's displayed in the Preference Manager
This flag defines if the widget should get a (semi-transparent) background. The color of the background is chosen in the next property
Here you can define the color and the transparency of the background. If the flag for showing the background is switched off, this color doesn't get used.
The horizontal orientation of the Text block
The vertical orientation of the Text block
Here you can choose between different predefined layouts or select „Custom...“ to activate the layout defined in the next property
Here you can specify what information should be displayed how on the widget. See the chapter „Defining your custom layout“ for details.
Normal, Accented and None-accented text style
Here you can define how the different texts in the widget should look like. More about the text styles in the chapter „How the widget determines the style for a text“
The specialties in this preference screen are:
Unlike the default preference screens the preferences aren't stored directly. The behavior is as you would expect it (leaving the dialog using the back button saves the preferences) but you are able to cancel (with the help of the context menu in the screen). So you can make changes and look how these changes would look like. When you don't want them, simply click „Cancel“ in the context menu
In the bottom of the preferences screen you can tap the Preview bar to see a preview of the current preferences. The Preview shows the widget exactly the way it will look like when you save the preferences.
How the widget determines the style for a text
The different variables in the widgets deliver texts for the current state of the device. Let's take a simple text clock with the variables „Hour_Text_Part_1“, „Hour_Text_Part_2“, „Minutes_24h_Text_Part1“ and „Minutes_24h_Text_Part_2“. (The names of the variables are imaginary)
The presence of the parts has to do with the textual representation of numbers. Let's say it is 22:04 o'clock.
The update service runs through the variables and gets the following texts:
The architecture of Minimalistic Texts allows different behaviors of accentuation. To this time the only implemented behavior is „alternation“. There are more to come and to choose from in the future.
The alternation behavior starts with none-accented and alternates through the effective texts. In our example this would result in:
Twenty (<= none accented style)
Two (<= accented style)
<Empty> doesn't affect the alternation
Four (<= none accented style)
You may wonder where the normal style goes. This style only get's used by a few variables. For example the bar-variables (Day of week bar and battery level bar) use this style.
Defining your custom layout
A special feature of Minimalistic Text is the layout editor. It is not really polished yet, so expect more to come in the future (mainly design improvements).
In this dialog you can define your own layout. This is done by drag&dropping the desired variables.
The little „plus“ icon to the right opens the variable chooser (image 2) here you can select the category (Date, Battery, Time) and scroll through the available variables. Adding a variable to the current layout can be done by dragging (long tap to activate dragging) the variable to it's desired place and dropping it. You can drop a variable when the drop-indicator (it is red in the third image) gets green.
If your widget should contain more than one row of text you can add (or remove) a row using the two buttons below the add button for variables (green = add row, red = remove last row).
You also can drag a variable from the layout to the trash (that pops up when you start to drag) to remove it from the layout. Whenever the trash or the variable selector is hidden (you can force them by tapping the little „minus“ in the upper right corner) you can see a preview of the current layout.
The layout rows can be scrolled vertically (separated from each other).
To see a little hint for a variable, simply tap it in the variable selector.