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All of my development team are Computer Engineering students at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo CA. Currently midterms and homework are slowing our progress. We hope to get to more of the updates and new features in the summer. Right now our main priorities are removing the ads via a purchased version and any changes needed for application stability.
Since LockMenu controls access to your phone we must test extensively before releasing an update. We have 6 different models of android phones we test on before releasing the code to a test group. Our extensive testing slows down adding new features. If we were implementing a game, a mistake would not be as critical, we are controlling your phone so a mistake is more then annoying.
Since each phone is different (yes, android on each phone is slightly different) we need to make sure any change is compatible with all of the phones. And this takes time.
Our priorities are: First do-no-harm to your phone, second add features that make your phone easier to use.
Every type of android phone is slightly different. Changes we make may work differently on different types of phone (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S vs. Droid 2 vs. any HTC phone). We currently test on 6 different phones prior to releasing to a small set of users for testing. Even with all this testing, there are some quirky behaviors (like the normal android unlock slider showing itself) that we cannot completely fix. We have to fool android into letting us do what we do… and it is not always happy about it.
If there is a particular Quirky behavior that annoys you please let us know so we can look at changing it. But until Android provides better access to replacing the key guard app and better access to the phone security features some of the Quirky behavior cannot be changed.
The background service (as seen on the notification bar) does not take up any power (does not drain your battery) while your phone is asleep. In fact, it does nothing while your phone is asleep. This service’s function is to make sure LockMenu wakes up correctly when you turn your phone on. If the ICON bothers you, you can make it transparent via the preferences screen.
We have looked at other apps and how they use/not use services and feel having a background service provides the most stable environment.
HTC Sense does not always play well with other Apps. Especially Apps that take over the home app or replace the key guard… both of which LockMenu does. One solution is to not use HTC Sense while using LockMenu. Instead configure LockMenu to use the normal Android Home App (via the LockMenu preferences then “Other Preferences” and then “Normal Home App”.)
This has two advantages: First, any issues between HTC Sense and LockMenu will be removed. Second, HTC Sense takes a lot of resources and can really slow down your phone.
We are constantly looking at ways to improve the performance of the LockMenu application. For HTC users please see the “HTC Phones” discussion on the support page. One use of the Lockmenu Background service is to prepare the screen for display of the LockMenu as the phone is going to sleep. This eliminates having to generate the screen when the phone wakes up. We will continue to look at ways to improve the apps performance and welcome any suggestions.
If you use Android’s unlock security (e.g. PIN/Password/Pattern) please see our FAQ at http://lockmenu.com/faq. While LockMenu works with Android’s unlock security (works the best with Pattern), it’s not as clean as we would like…we find this very frustrating but its due to Androids security implementation. Hopefully future updates of the Android software will allow us to improve our implementation.
We have found that it works better on some phones and worse on other (the worst is the Droid X… for some reason it by-passes some of the normal security features.)