Some of you have probably already read the guide i made to fitting the Nexus 7 in my car, if not here’s a link http://landoftechnology.com/2013/dash-mounting-a-nexus-7-projectn7/
This is a quick overview of what I’ve done for my home screen and UI. Now I’m not going to go into the full ins and outs of how to work Nova Launcher, Tasker, UCCW and Simple Text as there are numerous guides on the web already. And to be honest, I’m no expert. So if I can do this, anyone can! I’ll upload a pack of all the buttons and wallpapers at the end of this post.
So here’s the basic layout of the home screen. I’ve used a wallpaper for the KITT style background. There are a few live wallpapers on the Play Store, but I wasn’t overly keen on how they looked and I couldn’t alter the size to how I needed it. I’m using Nova Launcher Prime with a 9×6 grid. Google search bar and Dock are both turned off.
The centre section of the wallpaper, namely the “KITT’s speech box” has three widgets lined up with the vertical bars. The outer two launch the app drawer, and the middle one launches the Navigation App. I used the app “Simple Text” for these as it was quickest. I used a blank png file for the actual icon, and then set its function to open App drawer or Navigation, then resized it to cover the whole bar as can be seen below. Ignore the “tap to restore widget” boxes, they just help see the layout used.
So once the Simple Text widgets are done, i turned my attention to creating the main button widgets with the app “UCCW”. Now UCCW (Ultimate Custom Widget) could be used to this in one hit, but as I’m a beginner, I decided to do all the icons individually. These will be in the file below, but the images here show the sort of thing you are faced with in the app. each is created as a 3×1 widget. Note that the Pursuit one needs re-sizing once applied as there is no 3×2 option. I also moved the Pursuit button down in the app to move it to the correct position, hence it looks off centre. I’ve also set up hotspots over each widget pointing to the app you want to open. It takes a bit of time to get right, so it may be worth looking at a video like the ones here : UCCW Tutorial or UCCW The sky is the limit!
Anyway, next up, the bit that does the business off turning the thing on and off, is the app “Tasker”. Now, again, I’m a n00b at this and there is probably a better way of doing it, but here are some screenies of what I’ve got set. This is still a work in progress, as I’m still playing around with it, but the basics are there. You do however need an app called “Secure Settings” that handles some of the functions for you, those are the ones with the little shield at the side. These mostly need root privileges to perform properly. Screen comes on with power, and the WiFi and GPS are enabled. Screen timeout is set to 4 hours. When power is turned off, the above are reversed and I have it kill a few apps too, like maps and music to save battery power. I also get it to turn the brightness down, just in case it decides to come on when I’m not there.
Tasker has a LOT of potential. I’ve only scratched the surface. the brightness setting seems to work OK, so it dims the screen after 4:30, which i can adjust. there’s an app for that, but i was experimenting here. The other thing i have now set is the “power down”… this turns the tablet off at 15% battery. This is mainly as the Nexus 7 lights up when there is a battery low warning. and I don’t want that happening while I’m not in the car!
Other Apps I’ve used include Ultimate Rotation Control to force it to stay in landscape, Last.fm for scrobbling my listening’s, Equaliser for adjusting audio levels, and Ulysse Speedometer, which is great to have just to see where you’re heading! lol. I’m also using Waze a fair bit to help report traffic and see any jams coming up.
Well I hope it inspires you to have a go for yourself!
Files are HERE
Ross… aka @mr_bridger