How Does It Work?
DimBot obtains your location via any available location provider and calculates sunrise/sunset. Based on the calculated sunrise/sunset, DimBot will then adjust the brightness of your display at the appropriate time.
DimBot is purposely biased to use the network location provider as it requires far less power than the GPS. DimBot is smart enough to detect various location related errors and will continue to search for a new location provider should your environment prevent its use. As an example, if you walk inside and the GPS loses your fix, DimBot will automatically fail-over to use the network provider. The inverse is also true.
This means DimBot is fully compatible with WiSyncPlus. In the event the network provider is unavailable because both your WIFI and APN are disabled, DimBot will automatically use the GPS as needed.
Why Not Use A Timer Or A Fixed Time?
Timers are almost always wrong! Every day sunrise and sunset changes. With these changes come a change in available daylight - every day. Setting a timer which properly adjusts your display now will most certainly be wrong in a week or a month from now, depending on where you're located on the planet.
If you enjoy constantly tweaking your display's brightness, likely at a minimum of twice every day as well as updating various inferior applications with new times of day to make the adjustment, by all means, continue to do so. If on the other hand you enjoy using your phone as a smart phone, then you need DimBot.
Bluntly, DimBot is always right relative to the time of day. DimBot is the only smart display management solution available for your Android phone.
Using DimBot is very easy. Simply install, configure, and optionally create shortcuts on your desktop to suite your needs. That's it. After you have configured DimBot, your daily display management burden is automatically eased.
The Main GUI
The main GUI has three primary elements. First and foremost is the display brightness slider. The second and third elements are disabled for input, by default, but still provides information to the user. These last two elements are called TimePicker widgets. The widgets display the calculated value for sunrise and sunset based on your physical location. As long as they remain disabled, the calculated values contained in each can not be manually changed.
The fact the TimePicker widgets are disabled by default causes no end of confusion. Many people, for whatever reason, believe DimBot is broken without further investigation. Rest assured, they are, by default, disabled on purpose and for a very good reason.
Display Brightness Slider
The brightness slider allows you to immediately adjust the system's brightness. To use, simply grab the slider and move it left or right. Moving the slider to the right brightens and moving it to the left dims.
Sunrise And Sunset
Assuming you have a location provider available, DimBot will quickly pinpoint your location on Earth and calculate Sunrise and Sunset based on this location. As you travel, DimBot will automatically recalculate new values.
The Virtual Dimmer is a slick feature which allows for one handed brightness adjust. In many cases, especially when the display has been dimmed and its very bright, it can be difficult to locate a brightness slider, in addition to any other navigation required to make a slider accessible. With the Virtual Dimmer you need only locate the associated shortcut and can then adjust by simply rotating your phone left and right.
The Virtual Dimmer has a small dead zone when the phone is held upright. You must rotate your phone several degrees left or right to exit the dead zone. The dead zone exists to prevent instantaneous dismissal of the Virtual Dimmer before you've had a chance to make your selection.
To make your brightness selection, simply hold the phone still, at the selected brightness, while outside of the dead zone. Once selection has been made the Virtual Dimmer dialog is automatically dismissed.
The Virtual Dimmer is only accessible by means of a shortcut.
Configuring Your Preferences
While the main GUI is visible, selecting the menu button will cause the menu to appear. Almost all configuration is performed in preferences. Selecting the Preference menu item will take you to the preferences screen.
If you want to disable DimBot, for whatever reason, simply uncheck the Enable option. Doing so will save some memory and prevent periodic location updates as well as brightness adjustments. Generally speaking, you want this option enabled.
Custom Sunrise and Sunset
Checking these options will allow changing the values of TimePicker widgets on the main GUI. For each option which is enabled, the corresponding value will no longer be calculated. In stead of operating relative to real-world sunrise/sunset, any user provided times will be used in their place.
This feature has been added because of user requests. Unless you work a non-standard day and night cycle, it is very unlikely you'll ever want to provide your own values as they will be incorrect the bulk of time - just like all other applications which automatically adjust your display.
Should you enable this feature, you MUST press the back button from the main menu for your selections to take effect. You will see a message displayed indicating the use of custom times. Any time a customer sunrise/sunset time is entered, you MUST back out from the main GUI for the settings to take effect.
Enabling this option will cause DimBot to periodically notify you of sunrise and sunset changes, as well as when its adjusting the display's brightness.
Enabling this option forces a non-clearable notification to always be present in the notification bar. Once enabled, the Toggle Brightness and Dimmer options are available for selection. Enabling this option allows for a speedy way to directly effect settings on your display without having to first go to your desktop.
Many dislike this option claiming use of notifications always require additional finger moves. This is simply not true. In situations where you are not at your desktop, meaning running an application, use of the notification is likely to always be faster - in both terms of time required and finger moves.
Selecting the notification will cause your display to adjust between the two extreme brightness settings you have configured. When selected, the notification will always adjust to the brightness value farthest away from its current brightness.
* This option is mutually exclusive with the Dimmer option below.
Selection the notification causes a dialog to appear. Contained within the dialog are two sliders. One slider controls brightness while the second (bottom) controls your display's timeout.
* This option is mutually exclusive with the Toggle Brightness option above.
Adjust Over Time
This setting controls how long it takes before full brightness adjustment is completed. Depending on where you are in the world, it generally takes thirty minutes to an hour for transition from full daylight to full dark. As such, either one of these values make for a good starting value.
Its also important to remember sunset is not the same thing as night. It can take fifteen to thirty minutes after sunset for darkness to be fully realized. The same is also true for sunrise. As such, using a time-span of less than thirty minutes is not recommended as you may create conditions where the intensity of your display not can suite the time of day very well.
But, don't let me stop you from trying different values.
Adjust Over Time Offset
This setting confuses a lot of people. By default, half of the Adjust Over Time value is use before the event time and half is used after the event time. If you're not sure why, read the Adjust Over Time section above. Even though the defaults make a lot of sense for most people, some people live in very far north of south latitudes. Because of this, sunrise and sunset does not work like most people expect. This setting is in place to allow those living in very extreme latitudes to compensate for their position on earth.
For the vast majority of people, you want this value to be the default of centered.
Daytime And Night Brightness
This provide a means to select your maximum and minimum brightness levels to which DimBot will automatically adjust. The minimum threshold has purposely been set to prevent the display from ever going completely dark.
Day And Night Screen Timeout
Once DimBot begins to adjust the display based on an event time, DimBot adjusts the display's timeout. Selecting the preference does not immediate change anything. The timeout value is only ever changed via activation of an event time or via the Dimmer Dialog.
I strongly urge you to select your desired timeouts before DimBot has a chance to complete an adjustment cycle. Some users are surprised to find the default timeout values are in use. So to prevent any surprises, make you selections at installation time.
This is another confusing feature. Very few people will want this enabled. Enabling this feature causes the Daytime Brightness level to be used at sunset and the Nighttime Brightness level to be used at sunrise. Unless you have an odd day/night cycle, chances are very unlikely you want this enabled. The default is unchecked.
Enable the various animation effects you wish to have enabled.
Sensitive Virtual Dimmer
This option is only used by the Virtual Dimmer. Enabling this option causes the Virtual Dimmer to become more sensitive to position selection. This generally makes for faster selection when using the Virtual Dimmer. Its a personal preference, select as you desire.
To create a shortcut, the easiest method is to simply long press (press and hold) no an open space on your desktop. An open space means the area where icons can be placed. After your long press has been detected, Android will pop up a new dialog. Select the Shortcuts option. It may take a second or two for a new dialog to appear. Once it appears you have a choice of three DimBot shortcuts. Simply select the desired shortcut and it will be placed in the desired space.
Each shortcut is associated with a different action. The DimBot Dimmer shortcut causes the Dimmer dialog to appear. This dialog allows for speed selection of both brightness level and timeout. After only one value is changed, the DimBot Dimmer dialog automatically dismisses itself.
The second shortcut is the DimBot Toggle. This shortcut toggles between the day and night brightness levels you have configured.
Lastly, the DimBot Virtual Dimmer creates a dialog, with full instructions, which allows for use of your phone as a rotating dimmer knob. While the dialog is present you can dynamically adjust the brightness of your phone by simply rotating left and right.