dimanche 22 octobre 2017

Wake up Gently with the Yeelight Smart RGB LED Bulb and Tasker

It’s getting darker and gloomier here in the northern hemisphere, especially in the United Kingdom where natural light is out past 6 PM. Since these conditions are not going to improve anytime soon (at least not until Spring), let’s use Tasker and the Yeelight Smart RGB LED bulb to emulate a sunset and a sunrise on demand.

Sounds like a good plan! If you want to know more about the Yeelight Smart RGB bulb check out this post. In short, this WiFi light comes with Tasker integration, so there is no need for hacks. It supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant too! I’ll show you how to trigger an artificial sunset when the phone is flipped upside-down and how to create an alarm that will gradually enable the lights in your room.

Tasker and Yeelight Sunset and Sunrise behavior

Yeelight (Free, Google Play) →

AutoTools (Free+, Google Play) →

Locale/Tasker Twilight Plug-in (Free, Google Play) →

To save myself some hassle I’m using the Twilight app for its Tasker plugin which tells Tasker if it is day or night. I have a night and day trigger which sets the variable %Sunlight to the corresponding values. I’m going to use these to control the Tasker and Yeelight triggers.Tasker and Yeelight


TASKER PROFILE Twilight Sunrise/Sunset

Profile: Sunlight Day 
        State: Twilight [ Configuration:From SUNRISE to SUNSET at Device location. ]
Enter: Sunlight Operator+ 
        A1: Variable Set [ Name:%Sunlight To:day 
            Recurse Variables:Off Do Maths:Off Append:Off ] 
Profile: Sunlight Night 
        State: Twilight [ Configuration:From SUNSET to SUNRISE at Device location. ]
Enter: Sunlight Operator- 
        A1: Variable Set [ Name:%Sunlight To:night 
            Recurse Variables:Off Do Maths:Off Append:Off ]


Tasker and Yeelight

Since Yeelight app comes with pretty neat presets, we can use it to create the Sunset behavior. The preset lasts 15 min and goes from warm orange/red through dim colors to finally a complete blackout.


Profile: Sunset 
        State: Orientation [ Is:Face Down ]
        State: Wifi Connected [ SSID:FASTBERRY MAC:* IP:* Active:Yes ]
        State: Variable Value  [ %Sunlight ~ night ]
Enter: Sunset 
        A1: Yeelight Device [ Configuration:Device: lamp, Action: SCENE, Param: 70 Timeout (Seconds):0 ] 

Tasker and YeelightIf you want to extend/shorten the artificial sunset, you can use the app to create a couple colour presets and mix it in Tasker using a combination of wait and brightness actions.

In my scenario, I used the WiFi information and value of %Sunlight to prevent the Yeelight smart bulb from switching the sunset mode accidentally. Feel free to assign another trigger or a voice command.


Tasker and YeelightSunrise behavior is best combined with a set alarm. In my scenario, I turn on the light 5 minutes before the alarm would go off. The light stays dim at first, then changes color and brightness over next 15 minutes until it reaches the full intensity.

Tasker and Yeelight alarm

I used AutoTools to get the proper time picker dialog. If you would rather create a scene, feel free to do so. You could also link this to a voice command. Whatever suits you, it’s great as long as you get the time in the 15:43 format.Tasker and Yeelight


        A1: AutoTools Dialog [ Configuration:Dialog Type: Date And Time
                Pick Time: true
                Time Picker Title: Set alarm
                Format: HH:mm
                Date Format Separator: , Timeout (Seconds):60 ] 
        A2: Variable Set [ Name:%Sunrise1 To:%atdatetimeseconds-300     
                Recurse Variables:Off Do Maths:On Append:Off ] 
        A3: Variable Set [ Name:%Sunrise2 To:%atdatetimeseconds-300 
                Recurse Variables:Off Do Maths:On Append:Off ] 
        A4: Variable Split [ Name:%atdatetime1 Splitter:: Delete Base:Off ] 
        A5: Set Alarm [ Hours:%atdatetime11 Minutes:%atdatetime12 
                Label:With lamp Sound: Vibrate:Default Confirm:Off ] 


Tasker and Yeelight


The time set via AutoTools is available in seconds,  we can use it directly to assign the values of %Sunrise1 and %Sunrise2 (we need this to create the time context and bypass any time issues).


To set the alarm, however, we will need the hours and minutes provided to us separately. We can split the existing variable %atdatetime1 with “:” as shown in A4. Once this is done, we have %atdatetime11 for hours and %atdatetime12 for minutes.

Sunrise Profile

Tasker and YeelightIt’s time (no pun intended) to set the context and trigger the Yeelight. The action is simple, pick the Yeelight action and set the scene to Sunrise.  As per context, use time, and assign %Sunrise1 and %Sunrise2. 


Profile: Sunrise 
        Time: From %Sunrise1 Till %Sunrise2
        State: Variable Value  [ %Sunlight ~ night ]
Enter: Sunrise 
        A1: Yeelight Device [ Configuration:Device: lamp, 
                Action: SCENE, Param: 68 Timeout (Seconds):0 ] 

Conclusion and Download

As you can see, Tasker and Yeelight are almost a match made in heaven. The light looks great when you go to sleep and hopefully it will reduce some stress of getting up early. I have passed on feedback to the Yeelight team in regards to support for Tasker variables. It would be nice to have the brightness, color, and scenes accessible with the variables.

Download the Tasker Yeelight Gently Wake Project

Download the above ZIP file and extract the contents onto the internal storage of your Android device. Open up Tasker and disable “Beginner Mode” in Preferences. Then, go back to Tasker’s main page and long-press on the home icon in the bottom left corner. You will see an option to “import” a project. Tap that option then find the .prj.xml file you extracted earlier. Once imported, you will see a new tab at the bottom alongside the default home icon in Tasker. This contains the profiles and tasks of this helper project.

Follow the XDA-Developers Tutorials feed for more posts such as this. Also, check out our Tasker Tips & Tricks forum for the latest creations among the automation enthusiasts in our community.

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Amplify, Xposed Module to Block Wakelocks/Alarms and Save Battery, Updated for Nougat

Before Android 7.0 Nougat was launched, one of the most popular modules for the Xposed Framework was Amplify. Amplify, to put it short, is an Xposed Module which allows users to take full control of wakelocks and alarms on your Android device. Since it’s able to control some of the worst system wakelocks, like NlpWakelock and NlpCollectorWakeLock, Amplify has been shown to significantly improve battery life. It, along with GravityBox, was one of the most sorely missed features when users upgraded to Android Nougat and left behind Xposed. Now that the Xposed Framework has been updated with full Android Nougat (7.0/7.1) support, though, Amplify has now followed suit and is compatible with the latest version of Xposed.

The tool, which is developed by XDA Senior Member cryptyk, has received a major version bump to 4.0.0, since it brings two key changes. First of all, it has now received official support for Android Nougat, meaning that 7.0/7.1 Xposed users can now take advantage of Amplify to optimize the battery performance of their phone. Also, SELinux support for wakelocks, services, and alarms is also present with this update. The developer says that support for Lollipop and Marshmallow is not being dropped as the app is meant to work for everyone, meaning that those still on older Android releases should not fear for their device being dropped with this release.

Amplify Xposed Module Block Wakelocks, Alarms, and Service to Improve Battery Life Amplify Xposed Module Block Wakelocks, Alarms, and Service to Improve Battery Life Amplify Xposed Module Block Wakelocks, Alarms, and Service to Improve Battery Life Amplify Xposed Module Block Wakelocks, Alarms, and Service to Improve Battery Life

If you are using Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat, you should head over to the official XDA forum thread to download the latest version and find out what wakelocks, alarms, and services you might want to block. The developer is also active on that thread, so be sure to stick around! Be mindful that you will obviously,need the latest version of the Xposed Framework and the Xposed Installer in order to use Amplify on your device. We have a tutorial on how to install Xposed available on our YouTube channel.

Also, this is the first official Nougat release, and it could indeed come with bugs. However, these issues will be ironed out with time. This was one of the most widely used Xposed modules back in the day, so we’re glad to see it come back in full force.

Amplify Battery Extender -Root (Free+, Google Play) →

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Developer Ports Xiaomi Mi A1’s Android One ROM to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4/4X

With the release of the Android One-branded Xiaomi Mi A1 and the Moto X4, and the upcoming HTC U11 Life, Google seems set on delivering a no-frills, Google-supervised stock Android experience with a more global focus and big hardware partners like Motorola and HTC. The Mi A1 is the first of such “global Android One” phones, and it’s also coincidentally the first phone ever made by Xiaomi using close-to-AOSP software. And because it’s officially supported firmware rather than a custom ROM, the developer community has set out to port the Mi A1 firmware to other, MIUI powered Xiaomi devices. After a successful port for the Xiaomi Mi 5X, we’re now getting an Android One port for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and Redmi Note 4X.

This port was developed by XDA Senior Member GLokin666, and as the name says, it’s pretty much a barebones port of the Xiaomi Mi A1 firmware for the Redmi Note 4 phones (not like that’s a bad thing!). It does not bring any additional debloating or added features/apps: what you see on the Mi A1 is what you’ll get on the Redmi Note 4. While the Mi 5X port was achieved due to the identical hardware, the Redmi Note 4 packs similar hardware, as lots of things aside from internal specs are different from the Mi A1. As such, it’s not completely functional: both the fingerprint sensor and the infrared are not working as of now, and the camera is missing some features. Those can be a dealbreaker for some people, but it’s otherwise working perfectly.

If you’d like to test this out on your Redmi Note 4, be sure to head over to the official XDA thread to download it and flash it on your device. Be mindful that, while the developer claims that the ROM can be considered stable, and runs just as quickly as on the Mi A1, there are broken features here and there that could be essential to many people, as we just said, so we would rather consider this an alpha/beta quality ROM. It already comes with Gapps as well, so there’s no reason to install them separately. Head over to the thread using the button below!

Download the Mi A1 port for the Redmi Note 4 now!

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Android getting “DNS over TLS” support to stop ISPs from knowing what websites you visit

A DNS (Domain Name Server) is what translates a website address from a URL that you enter to an IP address which your computer actually connects to. For example, when you type “http://ift.tt/2zuu5h9; into your browser, your computer queries a DNS which looks up and returns the IP address “” to the client. This process is hidden from the user, but every website you visit (so long as it has a human-readable URL) will go through this same process. The problem for those security conscious out there is that these requests are done in plain text through UDP or TCP protocols which are readable by anyone that can see your connection, including your ISP if you use their DNS. This is where DNS over TLS comes in.

DNS over TLS is a protocol where DNS queries will be encrypted to the same level as HTTPS and thus a DNS can’t actually log or see the websites you visit. This uses TLS, or Transport Layer Security, to achieve this encryption. This does require the DNS you are using to have DN over TLS support, though, but it’s a start. Users can switch to Google’s DNS if they wish to benefit from DNS over TLS.

It appears that “DNS over TLS” support is being added to Android, according to several commits added to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The addition in the Android repository shows that a new setting will be added under Developer Options allowing users to turn on or off DNS over TLS. Presumably, if such an option is being added to Developer Options, then that means it is in testing and may arrive in a future version of Android such as version 8.1.

About half of all website traffic is now encrypted, and adding DNS over TLS will work to further improve user privacy. Keep in mind that most DNS does not support this encryption, and changing the DNS on your phone requires either root access or the use of a VPN app.

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Samsung Announces the 8″ Galaxy Tab Active 2, Available Later This Month

Samsung has been releasing an active variant of their Galaxy S series of smartphones for a while now but they just recently started this trend with tablets. In 2014, the Galaxy Tab Active was released as a mid-range device with a rugged design and now the company has finally refreshed that line with the new Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2. The refreshed version has twice as much RAM as its predecessor and the company has now switched from a Snapdragon SoC to their own in-house Exynos 7870.

There generally isn’t much activity in the Android tablet space these days but there are some new devices that pop up every now and then. We first heard about the Galaxy Tab Active 2 at the start of this week when some details about the device were leaked by WinFuture. Some of the details from this leak were spot on, but others were slightly off.

For example, the rumor stated that the new tablet would be powered by the Exynos 7880, but instead it is using the  Exynos 7870. So let’s take a look at the official specifications that have been announced.

Display 8.0” WXGA TFT (1280×800)
Chipset Samsung Exynos 7870 @ 1.6GHz
Internal Storage 16GB
LTE Support Cat.6 (300Mbps)
Cameras 8.0MP AF (rear) + 5.0MP, Flash (front)
Sensors Accelerometer, Fingerprint Sensor, Gyro Sensor, Geomagnetic Sensor, Hall Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor
Wireless Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz+5GHz), Wi-Fi Direct, BT 4.2, NFC
Dimension 127.6 x 214.7 x 9.9mm, 415g (Wi-Fi)
Battery 4,450mAh, User Replaceable
Operating System Android 7.1
Durability  IP68 Water and Dust Resistance, IP68 Water and Dust Resistance, 1.2m Anti-shock with inbox protective cover, MIL-STD-810G
Stylus S Pen (IP68 Certified, 4096 Pressure Level, Air Command)
Security Knox 2.8
MicroSD Slot Yes
Weight 419g (LTE)

As you can see, this is a considerable upgrade from the original model which had only 1.5GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 400 SoC running the device. We don’t have an exact release date right now, but Samsung tells us it will be made available in “select markets” in October.

Source: Samsung

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Huawei Mobile Phone Shipments Exceed 100 Million in First Three Quarters

On Saturday, Huawei announced that its mobile phone shipments have exceeded 100 million units in the first three quarters of 2017. This is a 19% increase year-on-year in terms of shipments, and further consolidates the company’s status as the world’s third largest (or second largest, depending on who you ask) smartphone manufacturer in the world.

According to Yu Chengdong, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, this growth has raised the company’s operating revenue by more than 30 percent from January to September.

The report in Xinhua also noted that the number of Huawei retail outlets has increased by 19% year-on-year to 42,300 worldwide. Mr. Chengdong said that Huawei has planned to launch medium and high-end products to expand its global market and upgrade its brand image. He also said that that with over 10,000 Huawei employees globally working for research and development, the company expected to win more high-end consumers, as there is more profit in the high-end sector.”

The company’s focus on acquiring high-end customers is not new. While Xiaomi has targeted majorly the budget and mid-range segment via online sales, and Oppo and Vivo have focused solely on offline retail with heavy retailer margins and incentives, Huawei on the other hand has focused on taking the fight to Samsung and Apple.

In February 2016, Huawei’s CEO said that the company’s mission is to become the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer within the next five years. Although the Chinese giant has faced its share of issues in entering the North American market, its entry in Europe has been far more successful. The success of the Mate series as phablets with great battery life excellent real-world performance as well as the increasing adoption of the mainstream P series has meant that Huawei is now taken seriously by the West unlike its competitors Xiaomi and BBK Electronics, which owns Oppo and Vivo.

In other markets such as India, Huawei has faced different issues. Indian consumers prefer budget and mid-range smartphones to expensive flagships, and the company has accordingly let its online Honor brand take the stage to sell aggressively-priced smartphones. As such, the Huawei-branded mainstream P series and Mate series are still not available in India.

On the other hand, Honor is slowly but surely establishing itself as a strong player both in the mid-range smartphone market and the affordable flagship smartphone market in India with recent releases such as the Honor 8 Pro and the Honor 9i.

Domestically, the company continues to enjoy number one status as it remains the largest smartphone manufacturer in China, ahead of Oppo, Vivo, Apple and Xiaomi. Globally, IDC has estimated that Huawei may soon overtake Apple to become the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer.

Source: Xinhua

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samedi 21 octobre 2017

More Specifications for the HTC U11 Plus (Ocean Master) Leaked

The rumour mill for the HTC U11 Plus has been heating up over the past few days. The device’s existence was first reported back in September, when it was rumoured for a launch in November. In the past few days we have seen HTC confirm that it is holding an event in Taiwan on November 2, where the U11 Plus (and its budget cousin, the U11 Life Android One smartphone) will likely be announced. We have then seen the device visit TENAA, where we first got to see a glimpse of its 18:9 display and overall front design.

Now, in a major escalation of leaks, renowned mobile reporter Evan Blass has leaked most of the specifications of the U11 Plus. Evan’s leaks have been correct in the past, and they corroborate the specifications shown in TENAA and some previous leaks, so this should be the final spec sheet for the device, which will be a mid-cycle refresh of the HTC U11.

The HTC U11 Plus will have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with the Adreno 540 GPU. It will be available in two variants: 4GB of RAM with 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage. It is unknown whether the higher-end variant will be available in all international markets. Both variants will have a microSDXC card slot.

The U11 Plus will have a 6-inch WQHD+ (2880×1440) LCD panel with 538 PPI. This is definitely interesting because it shows that HTC has chosen to forgo OLED displays for the second time in 2017. Considering some of the issues seen with LG’s P-OLED displays in the V30 and the Google Pixel 2 XL, as well as the scarcity of supply of Samsung’s AMOLED displays, HTC may have decided that sticking with LCD would be a viable strategy for another generation.

In terms of the rear camera, the U11 Plus will have a 12MP sensor with f/1.7 aperture and Dual LED flash. The camera module will likely be same as the U11. The front facing camera will have 8MP resolution.

The most interesting specification of the U11 Plus is definitely the battery size, which, at 3,930mAh, is one of the largest battery capacities we have seen for a flagship smartphone in 2017, coming up only slightly below Huawei’s 4,000mAh batteries on the upcoming Mate 10 series. This is an absolutely huge 31% increase in battery capacity over the 3,000mAh battery of the U11. Combined with the power efficiency of the 10nm Snapdragon 835, this should result in excellent battery life, especially as the U11 was no slouch in this respect.

The device will support Qualcomm Quick Charging 3.0 and have an IP rating of IP68, meaning the phone will have a greater degree of water resistance as compared to the Pixel 2 XL. Finally, Edge Sense and BoomSound speakers are expected to be present on the device.

Are you excited for the upcoming launch of the HTC U11 Plus? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Source: Evan Blass

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