14 April 2011

v1.6 - Full and looking forward

Hello TI Users! I first off would like to say thanks to all the loyal users out there. v1.5.x hasn't been the most friendly but it was a step for TI. I'd like to thank everyone for sticking in there with us and now I am proud to announce v1.6! Should make everyone happy and to celebrate, we've lowered TI Full from $1.99 to $1.59!!! The black screens during setup are now gone and CPU usage should go down significantly in this version. Please upgrade today for the best TI experience possible!!! The simplified lite version will be updating soon too so keep your eyes open!

Version 2.0 is coming soon, and we want you opinions! The UI needs some sprucing up so please comment here and let's start discussing how to make the TI UI better! From all the feedback Ill start posting concepts on here. Should be fun! Let's do it!

Thanks again for all your support, we really do appreciate it! We're approaching 12000 users on TI Simplified and growing stronger everyday! Tell your friends to give it a try!!!


30 March 2011

TI Simplified

So for all the free version users out there, your phone has probably told you v1.5.1-Lite is available for download. Great! You've probably also noticed a couple of things. 1) The name changed to TI Simplified... why? Based on user feedback, the Lite version was not as useful and powerful as the full version and was a little tricky to understand how to set up, etc, and so we listened. Unleash change 2) TI Simplified changed the look and feel of TI...why?

Simple. We wanted to make this version simple to use and understand. Using background TI processes, the app will automatically set every app installed on your phone to a given level, Green, Yellow, Red and Red with Auto Kill. Automating this processing involved leveraging one of the customizable options of the full version, permissions based setup, with a default permissions watch list. Next, we heard a lot of people upset about the number of popups being displayed so we fixed that. Green alerts will not be displayed. This should eliminate close to 50-75% of pop-ups. Only Yellow and Red alerts will be displayed. Simple, right? Finally, the 'Click to display all yellow and red alerts' is what List Alerts used to be, except, this time again, only showing yellow and red alerts. From there, with a whole new code base behind it to alleviate problems had in List Alerts, the user can change alert levels, kill tasks, and see what an app has access too and what it can do. We really hope this helps out a lot! Did I also mention battery life should be improved significantly?

The old UI and version will still live on in the full version,  to be upgraded as TI Advanced. Everything you've come to know and love, with the additional ability to switch between TI simplified and Advanced mode, new settings including pop-up transparency setting, a new setup alerts screen which shows EVERY app installed on your phone, a new robust, re-coded List Alerts, lots of bug fixes, and much more! Here's the full change log for TI Advanced:

v1.5.1-Full: Added TI Simplified
  • Redid Setup Alerts to show all apps installed
  • Added Color to Setup and List Alerts
  • Reworked List Alerts code
  • Reworked permissions based settings
  • Optimized shut down sequence so app stops more efficiently
  • Fixed issue of re-opening TI and having it stay in the background
  • Minor UI tweaks
  • Minor Bug Fixes based on User Feedback
  • List Alerts now returns to previous list position
  • Sequence from Alerts to exit optimized in all cases
  • Turning off screen off activities also pauses monitor while screen is off to save battery
  • Added slider for transparency of alerts
We will continue to listen to our users. This update took awhile to bring to fruition  but we think it's well worth it! Please tell your friends and family and be sure to check back here often for tips, info and more!


06 March 2011

Task Identifier - The Configurable/Reconfigurable Tool

Lately I've had multiple opportunities to speak with potential users as well as existing users of our Task Identifier Productivity Tool (TI). The main comment I find from existing users has been "I keep getting pop-ups" (AKA 'Toast'). My response is if your are seeing too many pop-ups your settings may not be configured the way you'd like Task Identifier to behave.

Remember, TI allows you to 'Take Back Control Of Your Phone'! In order for TI to be effective, it must be configured to your liking and according to your usage. In the illustration to the left, the settings screen allows the user to set which level of alerts will be displayed. This screen-shot shows all alerts will be displayed for the user.

Too many 'greens' going off? Change the setting to Yellow and above. Remember to save. I know I've exited the screen without doing so on a number of occasions. In fact, because it is so easy to miss, Josh has moved the button for the Save function from the bottom of the settings screen to the top. I really like the new location and hope you do as well.

Another comment I've received has been related to the settings function as it pertains to TI's "Monitor Refresh Time". Why is it there? It's there, to again, provide flexibility to the user, allowing full configuration control, (TI Full Version), for the fetch time, as I call it. By increasing the setting, the user preserves more battery life and vice versa. The benefit of this setting is directly associated with the level or type of user you are.

If you are a "Power User", you'll enjoy the ability to save on battery and still protect yourself. If you're like most folks, a setting of 5 seconds will do just fine. Those of you who are using the phone for specific tasks like Maps or Pandora, will love the 2.5 second setting as nothing will be able to get by you. However, remember this will increase battery usage. Note though, that this function, has been high on our list to optimize and Josh continues to make great progress.

Out of all the feedback we've received, (We love it, keep it coming!), the single most widely shared comment/question has been "How should I configure it? I haven't a clue what's what! And don't have the time to mess with it."

We hear you... Enter 'TI Simplified'!

We're gearing up to make our next version release. Look for many new enhancements, not the least of which is 'TI Simplified'. This new function adds even greater flexibility and control of your smart phone then ever before.

'TI Simplified'
will provide you with a means to kick start your tool while you get use to the endless configurations and permissions Apps request. With our 'TI Simplified' function we'll setup your alerts based on what you typically have running on your Smart Phone. With the press of one button, VOILA !!! Your smart phone is now set based upon the Apps on your phone and their current permissions.

Use your phone as you normally do, but pay attention to how TI is running. Soon you'll be reconfiguring TI and its permission threshold settings based on your usage. Remember, you're in control and we're always here to address your comments and questions.

We're on a quest to give our users the ability to Take Back Control Of Your Phone, with the best Productivity Tool available!

Till Next Time!


21 February 2011

Us vs Them

I would like to begin by saying thanks for visiting our blog! I was doing some random Google searches on the internet and found an interesting article on Android Security programs. One of the comments to this article was with regards to Lookout. This user convinced me that Lookout gathers all your data and stores it on a server, which it can, and that how do you truly know your data is secure at a 3rd party site and that it isn't being used for other purposes? As part of the Task Identifier team, I would like to ensure everyone that we would NEVER take your data or use any data related to your phone for any reason. We are here to try and help you: a) make you more aware of what your phone is actually doing allowing you to optimize your phone and b) protect you from intrusive apps with pesky permissions from stealing  your personal data. We wish to make Task Identifier more powerful as we keep going. None of our venture into this great unknown would be possible without users like you, so thank  you for using Task Identifier and thanks for visiting the blog!

20 February 2011

Your Apps Really Are Watching You!

Wow, the more we look into this the more we find. Just check out this recent article from the Wall street Journal, "Your Apps are watching you " by Scott Thurm and Yukari Iwatani Kane. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704368004576027751867039730.html )

Armed with data of this nature, users can be targeted for advertising and other trending information. In fact, several apps receive permission to access a users mail list, telephone contact and call lists. Imagine what someone can do with that information! Some apps are even allowed to send e-mails using your smart phone and it’s e-mail contact list.

With TI, our Mission is to provide a tool for users to take back control of their Smart phone by being alerted when conditions as noted above and in the WSJ article are started so that users can decide whether or not they want to allow it.

Task Identifier aims to become the number one data protection and control tool available. Once configured, TI will notify the user when an app starts with a Green, Yellow or Red alert. Additionally, Task Identifier offers an ‘Auto-Kill’ function, which allows the user to immediately “Kill” an offending application.

We'd like to hear your stories on what you've seen your Smart Phone doing and how TI has helped. We look forward to hearing from you!

R2 & JG

17 February 2011

Great News - Android 2.1

Great news!!! The hurdles I was facing with respect to Android 2.1 are almost all jumped now. When the program was initially coded, I had the target set for Android 2.2. Therefore, TI ran on 2.2 and 2.3 (Froyo and Gingerbread) and even the 3.0 Honeycomb SDK, but not 2.1.

Backwards compatibility I guess is a good thing and I now believe we have it. We are testing the latest build out and will most likely roll out to Android 2.1 phones (as well as a minor update to all phones) this weekend.

With that in mind, A new lite version should also be part of this roll-out.

Thanks to everyone out there for your support and interest! Together we will continue to make this a winning app for everyone!

If you have any feature suggestions please let us know. We are always open minded to our users!!!


13 February 2011

Task Identifier - Battery Usage

Task Identifier - Taking Back Control !

Thank you all for downloading our product and more so for your honest and candid reviews. Keep them coming.

Through your usage of Task Identifier (TI), you have helped us prove that TI is an extremely useful tool which allows users the ability to take back control of their Smart phone!

However, as we all know, everything has a price. In order for TI to be a great tool and alert you, it must monitor your phone's activity. Monitoring uses battery life. That said, we understand how precious battery life is and as such, have made TI provide a means to allow the user control of this by allowing you to set the interval at which TI performs a 'sweep' of your system.

Under the 'App Settings' radio button, users can set the interval time from 2.5 seconds to 7.5 seconds.

The more often the 'sweep' is performed, the greater the percentage of battery usage TI will consume. Normal battery usage is definitely dependent on an individual users usage of the phone, but, we've found that using the 5 or 7.5 second interval setting, TI will far less battery.

Our trials show with normal phone usage, (call, browser usage, E-Mail, Etc.), TI will use anywhere from 3 to 12% of the battery during a 24 hour period, while all other Apps will be much higher.

Depending on how concerned a user is about what's running when, is how the interval setting should be determined. Our recommendation is to start at 7.5 seconds and the track battery usage. Then switch to 5 or 2.5 and gauge the difference in consumption. Your results will help you determine the best setting for you. I'd also like your feed back on the interval length. Depending on your inputs, we may add additional interval settings.

Thanks again for being a user and for providing your comments and questions. We'll keep working hard to make TI the best of the best!

R2 & JG