With 4.2 Jelly Bean, a new function was introduced to Android called Daydream, allowing you to set a pseudo-screensaver when your device is charging. From using your phone as a night clock or your tablet as a photo frame, Daydream is a convenient feature that we have already explored along with several useful apps.
However, I keep running into people who either don’t know what Daydream is, or think it’s a gimmick with little value. When that happens, I like showing them Daydream with DashClock on my phone. Suddenly, the benefits of Daydream become apparent to them. In the following post, I’ll explain how to make DashClock your Daydream app and why you should do it right away.
Mostly known as a lockscreen and homescreen widget, DashClock is a free and versatile app that supports a lot of third-party plugins. From weather and forex, to email and messaging, to quotes and RSS, you can find dozens of ways to personalize DashClock for your own needs.
Set DashClock as Your Daydream App
With version 1.5, DashClock added the ability to be assigned as Daydream app. In order to do that, go to your device’s Settings > Display > Daydream. Make sure you have Daydream turned on, and pick the “When to daydream” option. I like setting it for both docked and charging states, as that allows me to see Daydreams with my wall charger as well as a USB connection.
Next, select DashClock — after installing it from the Play Store — as your Daydream app and you’re almost good to go. You can click on Start Now to see how DashClock will look like on your Daydream screen, and you can tap the Settings button next to DashClock to tailor it to your liking.
Enabling DashClock as a Daydream, and setting it up to show in any charging state.
Customize DashClock’s Appearance
DashClock offers several settings that allow you to choose exactly what you want to see on your screen and how you want to see it.
The first settings, specifically related to Daydream, let you pick the text and icons color, the animation, and whether the display should be extremely dimmed for dark rooms — and to save power on phones with AMOLED displays. I usually like switching between the white and blue — Holo blue! — colors for text, and I’ve found the Fade animation to be subtle and simple enough for my use.
The second settings are the main DashClock ones, that allow you to pick the clock’s format and the different extensions. I’ve already detailed the best extensions available for DashClock so do check them out to gauge the app’s flexibility. I usually like keeping all of my communication extensions in there — Gmail, SMS, Missed Calls, Twitter, Whatsapp — along with the weather, and sometimes battery, forex and RSS extensions.
DashClock extensions, and the specific Daydream settings
Flexible Notifications While Charging
Several Android devices offer LED notifications when your screen is off, but I’ve always found that to be limiting. Sure, there are apps that let you customize the LED light’s color for different apps, but they can never tell you how many notifications you received from each app. They also don’t help you jump right into the app to see what you missed: you still have to unlock your device, bring down the notification shade and click on the one you want to check.
With DashClock as a Daydream app, when your phone’s screen is off and charging, you get glanceable and detailed information of what you missed, along with the option to simply tap on any notification to view it right away inside its corresponding app.
DashClock offers different colors and always keeps you notified of missed calls and messages.
DashClock Makes Daydream Very Useful
Ever since DashClock was available, its utterly customizable nature always struck me as a perfect feature for Daydream, even more than as a lockscreen widget. Maybe it’s because I always know what I want to do when I unlock my phone, and I couldn’t be bothered with new notifications, whereas when it’s lying idly and charging, I’m always worried I might miss something and I need to see detailed reports at a glance.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait long to see DashClock add Daydream support. Does it live up to my expectations? Yes. Not only is it flexible enough to let me pick what I need to see, but it’s also fast, improves my phone’s usability, and makes the Daydream feature a hundred-times more valuable.