Sep 8, 2011

How To Use Elixir 2 : Get Better System Info Tools, Widgets & Add-Ons On Android

A ndroid operating system has its own system info tool on the phone. But if you want to have better ...


How To Use Elixir 2  Get Better System Info Tools, Widgets & Add-Ons On Android

Android operating system has its own system info tool on the phone. But if you want to have better than the default one, then you should try Elixir 2. This app has Info Tools, Widgets & Add-Ons packaged in it. Elixir 2 is a system information application with highly configurable widgets. With customizable/skinnable home screen widgets, shortcuts, add-ons and a plethora of detailed device (hardware, software, services) information tools, Elixir 2 lets you explore every nook and corner of your Android device. Many people who buy Android phones already know all about the device they choose, but for those that don't or who forget, Elixir can help. The app will display your Android phone's system status, internal components, available storage, and more. It'll even add a widget to the home screen with more information inside.

User interface

In the top of Elixir screens there is a header row which contains icons.

gui_header

These icons work similar in every screen.

icon
You can go to other screens by clicking on the main icon. Long press will go to the main page.

button_list
You can access list-specific actions here: filtering and sorting. If a list supports text filtering then you can use the physical search button to open text filter dialog.

button_go
You can go to system screens or do some action related to the screen by clicking on this icon.

button_reload
You can refresh the screen or the list content by clicking on this icon.

button_help
If you click on the help icon then it displays information about the usage of the current screen.

button_configure
Opens the configuration screen regarding to the current screen.

In some screens there is a selector component below the header. You can select other item or go to other screen by clicking on the arrow icons or the component itself. If you click on the component then a popup appears.

gui_selector



Main screen

elixir_main_01elixir_main_02

Device information screen

This screen displays information about your device.

elixir_info_device_01

You can click on a row to do other operations. You can open the more information dialog, go to system screens, do some action, change a value orturning something on/off there.

elixir_info_device_02

Software information screen

This screen displays other information about your device: build, operation system, settings, configuration, clipboard, environment variables,features, java system properties and shared libraries

elixir_info_software_01

You can click on a row to open the more information dialog.

elixir_info_software_02

If you click on the Clipboard row then you can modify it.

Applications screen

This screen displays applications on your device.
If you click on the icon of an application then the manage application system screen opens. Long press will launch the application.
You can click on the row of the application to do other operations.

elixir_applications_01

The color of application name is white for system applications and orange for a user applications.

Application labels screen

Applications can be organized by labels. You can add a label to an application or remove label by clicking on the row of the application and selectingEdit labels. Or you can open this screen by clicking on the right arrow icon in the applications screen and selecting Edit labels.

elixir_application_labels_01

Labels are displayed in blue in the bottom right corner of the row. You can filter applications by a label in the applications screen.
You can create a shortcut to a label on your home screen or in an Elixir widget.

elixir_application_labels_02

Running processes / services screen

This screen displays running processes.
If you click on the icon of a process then the manage application system screen appears. Long press will kill a background process.

elixir_running_processes_01

You can kill only background processes by long pressing on the icon or clicking on the row of the process. The text color of the pid value of a background process is blue.
The color of process name is white for system processes and orange for a user process.
The row of a process displays the process name, the cpu usage, the number of services if any, the memory usage, the process id and the total cpu usage of the process.

Running tasks screen

This screen displays active tasks.
If you click on the icon of a task then the manage application system screen appears. Long press will launch the application.

elixir_running_tasks_01

The color of task name is white for system tasks and orange for a user task.
The row of a task displays the task name, the id and if it is running or not.

Top screen

This screen displays the output of the top linux command which displays cpu and memory usage of processes.

elixir_top_01

The row of a process displays the process name, the cpu usage, the memory usage, the process id and the user id of the process.
VSS indicates how much virtual memory is associated with the process. RSS indicates how many physical pages are associated with the process.

Widgets

In Elixir you can create widgets and you can use them in three ways:

The widget editor is similar in all cases.

widgets_editor_01

By pressing the eye icon you can check how this widget is displayed in your home screen. It is useful only if you have empty or hide slots in your widgets. Hiding a row or a column you can make icons bigger. You can check the effect of hide slots using this icon.
You can force refresh widgets, backup or restore widget data, check widget performance or do other things by clicking on the right arrow icon.
You can change the type of a slot by clicking on it. A dialog appears where you can select type and set mandatory parameters if it has any.

widgets_editor_02

If you long press on a slot icon then you can change or set optional parameters, hide the slot or the row or the column of the slot, swap slots, rows or columns.

widgets_editor_03

If the widget contains at least one slot type which has a refresh rate then the final refresh rate of the widget is displayed right under the widget component. You can change the refresh rate of a slot type if you long click on it and select Set refresh rate.

You can set other widget related settings under the widget component. You can change background to one of the predefined background types, transparent or you can set any color. You can set transparency, label position, color and size and you can set if labels should be hidden or not for different slot types.

Widgets in shortcut

You can create multiple widgets which can be accessed via shortcuts.
The advantage of shortcut widgets is that it uses battery only if you open it.
If you have created a shortcut widget then you can add it to your home screen by long press on any empty space on your homescreen. After the selection dialog appears click on the Shortcuts option, select Elixir then select the widget.

widgets_shortcut_01

If the shortcut created in your home screen then you can click on it to open the widget.

widgets_shortcut_02

You can put a shortcut widget into an Elixir home screen widget too. If you do so then you can modify the shortcut icon or label.

Widgets in statusbar

You can create multiple widgets which can be displayed in the notification area and accessed from the statusbar.
There are some changes in the widget editor. You can set the type of the icon appears in the statusbar. If you select an icon type that displays a value than you can select what kind of value should it display.

widgets_statusbar_01

The shortcut widget appears in the notification area.

widgets_statusbar_02

Widgets in home screen

You can create multiple widgets which can be added to your home screen in two ways.

  • Long press on any empty space on your homescreen. After the selection dialog appears click on the Widgets option then select the proper Elixir widget size you want to create. After this step the widget configuration screen appears where you can configure your widget. If you finished the configuration don't forget to click on the Create button.
  • Go to your home screen, click on the Menu button and then select the Add button. When the selection dialog appears follow the instructions from the previous case.
    Don't move Elixir Widget application to your SD card. If you do so then widgets are disabled by the operating system. So if there aren't any Elixir widgets in the widget list then move Elixir Widget back to your phone.

widgets_homescreen_01

Customize widgets screen

You can customize widget icons by icon packs. To create a new icon pack click on the Add new button and set a name.
If you select an icon pack you can customize as many icons as you want. If you activate a pack then the icons of this pack will be used in your widgets.
The default pack can be selected and activated too if you would like to go back to the default icons. The icons in default pack cannot be modified.

widget_customize_01

If you select a non-default pack then the path of this pack is displayed above the icons. You can copy customized icons there manually or you canclick on an icon you would like to customize and pick an image from your device. The expected file name of an icon is displayed in the list next to the icon. The suggested icon size is 72x72 px and the format is PNG. If you manually copy images into the path then you can use the reload button to refresh icons in the list. The icons are stored in your external storage so make sure that this storage is mounted.
nIf you click on the right arrow in the header then you can delete the current pack or download a pack from the web.

Widget performance screen

This screen displays the perfomance of the selected widget. The performance statistics helps you to find out which widget uses cpu/battery the mostor how to organize your widgets to get optimal performance.

widget_performance_01

The Start field displays the time the measurement started. The Duration field displays the long of the measurement. Don't draw a conclusion for a short period, wait at least a few hours.
The next row contains the statistics of the widget. The Count field is the number of widget updates. The Percent field displays the ratio of widget total refresh time and the duration. For example 1 percent roughly means that your device spend only 1 percent of its cpu to update this widget. The Totaland Avarage fields displayes the total and avarage refresh time of this widget.
The list contains the detailed statistics of a widget type. The percentage value displays the ratio of total refresh time of slots with this type and the widget total refresh time.
There are three rows for every type. The Cache row displays how many times was this type updated from cache and what is the avarage and total update time. The No cache row displays the same values for updates which don't come from cache, these are the real updates. The Total row contains the sum of the first two rows.
nIf you change your widgets and you would like to restart the measurement then click on the Clear button to clear the statistics and start a new one.

Sensors screen

In this screen you can view and test the sensors available in your device.

elixir_sensors_01

You can start listening for sensor events if you click on the icon on the left. You can stop it by clicking on it again. If a sensor is on then the progress bar is green. The secondary progress displays the magnitude of the last sensor value in dark green.
Every sensor has different components to visualize sensor values. The graph displays the sensor values in the last 10 seconds. The circle displays the x, y coordinates of the last sensor value. The text field displays the last sensor value in the proper unit. The orientation sensor has a special component that displays north in orange.
You can click on the row of the sensor to show more information.
The sensors that are supported by Android but not available in your device are displayed too but disabled.
You can see the power usage of the sensor. Don't use a sensor for long because it can easily drain your battery.
There is an other feature just for fun. If you turn a sensor on then in the initial 10 seconds (while the graph fills its component) the component collects data and reminds the minimum and maximum sensor values. After 10 seconds if a measured value is great or low enough then the graph will display that value in blue. You can use this feature to turn your magnetic field sensor as a simple metal detector for example.

Download Elixir 2

Download Elixir 2 – Widgets

Download Elixir 2 – Personal Add-on

Download Elixir 2 – Admin Add-on

2 comments :

  1. Very informative, thanks. Do you know if I can use Elixir to add a shortcut for contact groups? I'm looking for a one touch approach to sending Gmail emails to a group, rather than the current 7-touch approach I have to use on the Galaxy S3.

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  2. What happened to this program??? I installed it about a year ago when I was just new to Android and tablets. It was a very easy install and use. I just did a reset and was adding it back in strictly or mainly for the widget program. I cannot tell whats up and whats down. I have Elixir2 on here, Elixir Widgets and I cannot tell what the heck is going on. There are so many many screens and no clear path to just making simple widgets. Such a shame that instead of things getting friendlier sometimes that have to get more complicated. Now I ahve to search for another widget adding program. ":-(

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