Your phone is resting on the table; you pick it up, and it flicks on. You didn’t press anything — it just knows. Or maybe it’s in your pocket or your purse — you pull it out, and the screen turns on. It feels magical, and it works well, thanks to a free little app called Gravity Screen. The screen knows when to turn off, too.
This is all due to Sensors.
Your phone is a tightly packaged bundle of sensors. It has a proximity sensor so it knows to turn the screen off when you’re in a call; it has a gravity sensor, so it knows which way you’re holding it; there’s also a gyroscope and a compass and a slew of other sensors. Turns out these can be used to figure out when the phone is resting or when it’s in your hand. It’s simple, and it doesn’t require much battery power.
The simplest one is using the proximity sensor. As soon as the phone detects stuff moving next to it, it switches on. In other words, even if it’s lying face-up on the table, turned off — you can just wave your hand over it and it will turn itself on.
The second way uses the motion sensor: Just pick up the phone and move it, and the screen switches on. This is neat, but it also means the phone needs to stay awake to monitor for motion, causing some battery drain. The app lets you set a timeout for this behavior, so that after a few minutes with no motion, the phone really does go to sleep. Once it’s sleeping, you’ll have to turn it on by pressing the power button, or by waving over the proximity sensor while saying “Lumos.” Okay, you don’t really have to say it… You still should though.
It Works, and It’s Awesome
The free version of Gravity Screen rocks, and it changed the way of using phone. It did require some adjustments , but when it got to work, it worked very well. It doesn’t do as many things as Tasker, but sometimes focus is good, especially for a mobile app.