Sunday, January 22, 2017

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Update: 1/21/2017
For more FAQ, go to our webpage at: BNProBT: Frequently Asked Questions.

What happened to the "unplugged/plugged since" information?
Ever since I updated to the latest version it's gone!

In addition to the dashboard area, the "unplugged/plugged since" info appears in the swipe down notification area.   In order to see it however, you must first plug something into your device before this information will appear.  Also be aware that this "plugged since" and "unplugged since" information will be lost if you reboot your phone or tablet, or if you update or restart Battery Notifier.  For more info on this topic, and to find out how to get battery charging or discharging time, see our blogpost on:
Getting battery charging or discharging time
 

Is there a way to remove the stock android system battery icon?
Sorry, this is not possible. We are only allowed to generate notifications on the left hand side of the status bar, and the right hand side is reserved for system icons which we as developers are not allowed to remove or alter. 

How do I select the charging icons?
To select the charging and full charge icons, touch Settings to the right of your icon choice in the "Change font / Icon add-ons" menu.

I have a custom ROM and your app is not working
Because of the large number of custom ROMS out there it is impossible for us to test our app on them all.   If our app is not working, please report this to the ROM creator as our apps currently work on thousands of devices with all standard Android OS's.
 
How can I turn off the status bar number in Battery Notifier Pro BT?
The status bar icon can be switched off by going to Battery Notifier Pro BT - Settings - Under APPEARANCE go to Notification priority - Change from Default to Minimum

The status bar number icon keeps disappearing from the status bar.  Why?
Both of our apps start at bootup time, run quietly in the background constantly, and under normal operation the icon will not disappear from the status bar unless you choose that option in the settings.

One reason the status bar icon may disappear, is that the Android OS has been updated without reinstalling our app.  When the Android OS has been updated, our app needs to be uninstalled and reinstalled from Google Play.

Another reason the status bar icon may disappear is that a third-party battery saver or app manager you installed that you have given permission to control other apps may be shutting us down to save memory.  Many apps like Juice Defender and Tasker routinely ask for and are given permission to control and even shut down other apps.  In that case, you will need to find a setting in that app to tell it to ignore us.

If you have a Huawei device, you will need to set our apps to be protected at Settings -> Protected apps to prevent them from being closed automatically by the system.

Many times a simple reboot of the phone or tablet will clear up the problem.  If a reboot doesn't help, do a clean reinstall.   To do a clean reinstall:
1) Uninstall our app.
2) Check for an option in your settings (it might be under "privacy" or "Backup and reset") called "Automatic restore" or something similar.  This puts back settings you had when reinstalling an app.  To do a clean install make sure this option is unchecked first.
3) Do a soft reset of you phone or tablet instead of just a reboot.  If your battery is removable, to do this shut off the phone and take out the battery for about 30 seconds before putting it back in and turning it back on.  If your battery can't be removed, a way to do a soft reset on many devices, is to hold down the power button for 10 seconds.
(Check the manual for your device.)
4) Reinstall our app from Google Play.
5) Go back and recheck the "Automatic restore" option.

The status bar icon shows the Battery Notifier logo instead of the battery level!
This is an ongoing problem with the MIUI in Xiaomi and Meizu phones.  They have chosen to use the app's icon image instead of the notifications icon, breaking standard Android OS rules.  Unfortunately, there is currently no known fix for the problem.
http://en.miui.com/thread-294606-1-1.html

The full or low battery alarm either doesn't go off or only goes off sometimes!
There are a lot of factors that can cause alarms not to go off.

For the full battery notification, in the settings for the app, make sure "Notify when charged" is checked, and then choose a unique notification sound that you won't confuse with a full battery alarm that your device might already have built in.  Go to Notification ringtones to see the options you have on your device.  As you select each one, you should hear a preview of the sound.  If you do not hear a preview of each alarm, the volume for notifications on your device may be turned down.  Go to your main Settings and under Sound & notification make sure Alarm volume and Notification volume are both turned all the way up.  Also, when the battery level reaches 100, this doesn't necessarily mean that the battery is full as it will also read 100 when the battery level is between 99.51% and 100%.  Wait until you get the full battery notification in the status bar.  If the sound still isn't playing when the status bar notification is reading full, go to Settings in the app - Full battery charge options - Sound mode  Change from "Use system settings" to "Always" and test again.  Also, when you test again, it's best to stop and restart the app and wait a full 5 minutes between sound tests, as the Android OS has built-in protection against apps abusing sound notifications too often.

For the low battery notification, in the settings for the app, the default setting is for the alarm to go off at 25%.  Make sure this is where the slider is set, and then choose a unique notification sound that you won't confuse with a low battery alarm that your device might already have built in.  Go to Notification ringtones to see the options you have on your device.  As you select each one, you should hear a preview of the sound.  If you do not hear a preview of each alarm, the volume for notifications on your device may be turned down.  Go to your main Settings and under Sound & notification make sure Alarm volume and Notification volume are both turned all the way up.  If the sound still isn't playing when the status bar notification is reading full, go to Settings in the app - Full battery charge options - Sound mode  Change from "Use system settings" to "Always" and test again.  Also, when you test again, it's best to stop and restart the app and wait a full 5 minutes between sound tests, as the Android OS has built-in protection against apps abusing sound notifications too often.

The alarms also may not go off in the Android OS if there is not enough free memory on the device.  Make sure you have at least 10-15% of free memory available on your device or the alarms may not play.

If you still do not hear the full battery alarms, if you have Battery Notifier Pro BT, use the "Custom full charge %" and set the level to 99% or lower and see if it will play.

If you have recently updated the Android OS, uninstall either Battery Notifier Pro BT or Battery Notifier BT Free and do a clean reinstall.  To do this:
a) Uninstall our app.
b) Check for an option in your settings (it might be under "privacy" or "Backup and reset") called "Automatic restore" or something similar. This puts back the settings you had when reinstalling an app.  Make sure this option is unchecked.
c) Do a soft reset of you phone instead of just a reboot.  If your battery is removable, to do this shut off the phone and take out the battery for about 30 seconds before putting it back in and turning it back on.  If your battery can't be removed, most devices have an option such as holding down the power button for 10 seconds to do a soft reset.
(Check your device's manual)
d) Reinstall our app from Google Play.
e) Go back and recheck "Automatic restore".

Friday, April 1, 2016

Battery Notifier Pro BT 2.5.11

Battery Notifier Pro BT 2.5.11 is here and fixes the following issues...

Wrong charging/charged icons displaying in Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Bug fix for charging/charged icons in Android versions earlier than 6.0
Fix for quiet times settings being incorrect after time zone is changed
Small bug fixes and improvements
Updated links to main website and copyright year

If you recently updated to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), be sure to download the latest version of Battery Notifier Pro BT 2.5.11 as well as updating your addon if you are using one, so your charging icons will display correctly.

Android Antivirus update

Just yesterday I was having a conversation with a security guard, and as soon as I mentioned Android, he said, "Do you know there are places you can go on the Internet where all the paid apps are free?  And I sadly replied, "Yes.  But do you think the people that offer these paid apps for free do it because they just think everyone should get free apps?  Or do you think it is more likely they alter it, and then give it to you for free so they can steal information from your phone?"  "Huh." was all he could say.

The above conversation is taken directly from a post on antiviruses I made almost three years ago, and unfortunately the risk of getting your phone or tablet hacked has not decreased much despite several improvements Google has made to the Android operating system.
It's still important to have an antivirus installed on your phone or tablet even if you only install apps directly from Google Play, which is a good first step to avoid getting hacked by an app infected with malware.  Fortunately, there still are some very good solutions, some which are free, and the two we still recommend are still excellent and free.

Recommended Antivirus Apps
Bitdefender Antivirus Free, VirusTotal

Bitdefender Antivirus Free has the same antivirus protection as their Bitdefender Mobile Security & Antivirus, but without all the extras.  The reason we really like Bitdefender Antivirus Free is because of how lightweight it is, and because of how few permissions it needs compared to the other name brand antiviruses.  It uses definitions in the cloud, so you need Internet access to run a scan, but it also scans much faster than the others in our opinion.  It also has options to scan storage, and to automatically scan all new apps, and that's about it.  But if you want something lightweight and simple that isn't going to slow down your tablet or phone, this is it.

From AndroidAuthority...
15 best antivirus Android apps and anti-malware Android apps

"Bitdefender Antivirus Free is perhaps the lightest, most unobtrusive option on this list. It has exactly two features which is to scan and clean your device and then it offers real-time antivirus protection on top of that. The real-time protection scans apps as they are installed and also keeps an eye on what they are doing. The scanning is simple and only takes a few moments to get everything done. This is technically an offshoot of Bitdefender’s much larger antivirus suite, but we found that we loved that there is an option that requires zero configuration and runs as light as this one does."

A great backup antivirus app that also is totally free is VirusTotal.  VirusTotal checks the applications installed in your device against VirusTotal (http://www.virustotal.com).
It will inform you about malware (virus, trojans, worms) on your phone by having your applications scanned by more than 40 antiviruses, flagging any undesired content.  Please note that VirusTotal for Android does not provide real-time protection and, so, is not a substitute for any antivirus product, just a second opinion regarding your apps.

IMPORTANT - Be sure to download only the original VirusTotal and not others with VirusTotal in the name, as the others not created by VIRUSTOTAL have added permissions that allow the copycat apps to find accounts on your device, read your contacts and read your device's usb storage.

If you would like a more complete antivirus solution, check out the following link....
The best antivirus software for Android by AVTest

Some of the antiviruses listed that offered 100% protection at the link above which also have been around for awhile and have developed good reputations are Bitdefender Mobile Security 3.2, ESET Mobile Security & Antivirus 3.2, G Data Internet Security 25.9, Kaspersky Lab Internet Security 11.9 and Norton Norton Mobile Security 3.13.  Any of them would be excellent choices.  It's interesting to note that Lookout Security & Antivirus 9.33 which used to be excellent, seems to have fallen down recently with only a 77.3% detection of the latest Android malware discovered in the previous 4 weeks.

But again, we see nothing almost three years later to change our minds about still highly recommending Bitdefender Antivirus Free and VirusTotal as the best free and lightweight antivirus solutions for Android.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

How secure is your Android Marshmallow device?

From TechRepublic...
If you're interested in knowing whether your Android Marshmallow device includes the latest security patch and the details of each patch, here's where to look...

How to find out your Android Marshmallow Security Patch level

Android Marshmallow key features

Android 6.0 Marshmallow: All the key features explained thanks to AndroidPIT.

Android Marshmallow isn't an overhaul of everything you thought you knew about Android. Rather, it's a refinement and extension of the core features and functionality of Android Lollipop. In this Android Marshmallow review from AndroidPIT, they look at the major features of Google's latest OS version to let you know where it hits, where it misses, and where it has room to improve.

More...
Android 6.0 Marshmallow: all the key features explained

Android Update News

Android Tips and Tricks

Thursday, April 3, 2014

KitKat 4.4.3 update almost here

There are literally dozens of bug fixes coming soon to KitKat 4.4.2 users.  When the Android KitKat 4.4.3 update is released by Google, (hopefully sometime during the month of April 2014), it’s expected that it will fix certain bugs and address other issues that have plagued users of KitKat 4.4.2 for several months.

To cite just two of the bugs that we've gotten e-mails about, in Android 4.4.2, Skype and other apps continuously try to access the camera.  This has caused the battery to drain too quickly, and has resulted in low performance.  Another bug has caused strange things to occur once the battery was charged to full, or when a low battery alert at 15% or 25% appeared, forcing the user to reboot his device to get things back to normal.

So be patient everyone.  Relief is almost here.

Android 4.4.3 details come to light

Monday, March 31, 2014

New permission added

Since an overwhelming number of our users of both Battery Notifier BT Free and Battery Notifier Pro BT have gone out of their way to tell us that one of the things they liked most about our apps was the fact that they needed only two permissions, it was a difficult decision for us to decide to add a third permission.

What Google has done starting with Android 4.4, otherwise known as KitKat, is to create what some have called "a bit of a mess".  In fact, some developers have outright demanded that Google go back to the way it was before.  We were waiting to see what the eventual fallout would be, and to see if Google would change their minds, but they have not.

Prior to Android 4.4, read access to the SD card or internal storage did not require any special permissions.  Beginning with Android 4.4, however, Google has insisted that read access now requires the READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission (for apps that didn’t already have the pre-existing write permission granted).  Data stored in the managed application directories on external storage require no permissions at all if you are the application that owns those files.

While Battery Notifier BT Free and Battery Notifier Pro BT do not add any sound files of their own, we discovered that many of our users who have some version of KitKat like to use their own custom sound notification files that they have saved to either the SD card or internal storage.  And we heard from them.  A lot.  Frequently.  Some sending numerous e-mails, with some willing to patiently help us test to try and find a workaround, with others not so willing to test while simply demanding "Fix it!"

So to our users who really liked the fact that we only had two permissions before, we apologize.  But enough of our users have spoken so that we feel we needed to add the third permission to enable our users to play the sounds on their devices that they wanted.  And it appears Google is not going to revert to the way it was before, or change their minds anytime soon.  Just please know that we are only using the added read permission in order to play sound files located on storage and nothing more.  Also know that we are still as concerned about our users' privacy as ever, and we will continue to strive to keep that as one of our highest priorities.


For our more technically savvy users, you can read much more about the Google and KitKat change regarding external storage here...
On the Edge of the Sandbox: External Storage Permissions
Written by: Dave Smith on March 20