December 20, 2014

App Review: Vibrate During Meetings

vbdm_android_2Vibrate During Meetings (VDM) is a clever, yet simple widget that will automatically change your phone settings to put your phone into vibrate mode.  Now I know there are plenty of these “change your phone settings” apps on the market that do the same thing, however VDM has one special thing going for it that other apps of this nature  I have used don’t…

The widget monitors your calendar, and uses the appointment start and stop times to change your phone settings!

Usually the other apps of this nature are based on time settings, meaning I go into the app and set my phone to go into vibrate at a certain time of day.  The only problem with this is that most of us don’t have meetings at the exact same time of day every day.  VDM is nice because it takes the guess work of adjusting your phone.

I have been using it for several days and it has worked as promised every time.  I notice that approximately one minute before my scheduled meetings my phone would change over to vibrate and then at the end of the meeting switch back to the previous volume settings.  In addition to the slight buzz to make you aware of the change, you also get a message that is placed in the notification bar.  If you pull the notification bar down it will tell you the start and end time of the current meeting.

vbdm_android_2

In terms of settings, VDM is simple to set up and use.  Simply place the widget on your home screen, click on it once and choose the option of which calendars you would like the app to monitor.  Once that is complete you can basically “set it and forget it” as the saying goes.  All too easy.

Now, here are some things to consider.  The widget is currently only able to monitor your Google calendar/s or the HTC Exchange calendar from the Hero.  As a Touchdown user, I was slightly dismayed by this since it meant that the current iteration of the widget will be non-usable for me (I did all my testing by copying appointments to my Google calendars).  However, I have been in contact with the developer and he has assured me that he is looking into getting all other 3rd party calendars on-board.  Apparently what this app does is monitor the Google calendar database (which, consequently, is where the info for the HTC exchange calendar is kept) so the Droid calendar is also currently not available since it doesn’t get stored in this particular database.  Hopefully all exchange calendars will be present to choose from within the widget in the near future.

All in all, if you ask me, the idea behind this widget is absolutely brilliant and the developer seems to have some great ideas of how to enhance the functionality… ideas such as turning on and off wifi and/Bluetooth during meeting times (great if you scheduled flights on your calendar!) or sending an auto-generated SMS to somebody who calls while you are in a meeting.  All theoretical at this point but they would be welcome features.

This App Was Tested Using: MT3G, rooted Cyanogenmod 4.2.4 (and 4.2.5)
This App Was Developed by: Sidetop Software
Presentation: Simplicity is king here, this is strictly a widget and easy interface for changing settings.  Icon could be better though.
Value: Currently priced at $2.99.  If have need for this type of app, it is worth buying, but I think the dev would get more downloads at a .99 price tag.
Stability/Resources: Works as promised, no issues concerning performance detected thus far.
Bottom Line:  “Set it and forget it.” Probably the easiest to use app of this type, simply choose your calendar and never have to worry about your cell going off with the Tetris theme song in meeting again.  Great for those who currently use Google Calendar or the HTC Exchange calendar.  For all others, wait for updates.



  • ari-free

    now that is what I call a smartphone app!

  • Webreaper

    You can do this using the 'calendar' condition in Locale… and it's free!

    • Max

      Sorry if I'm worng, but in LOCALE you have to select each specific calendar entry – it does no work on all entries (it is on the wish list). BTW: I personally would prefer if silent mode would be only applied if the status of the entry is "Busy"

      • http://www.sidetop.com Mike

        Hi Max,
        I'm the developer of VDM and that is a great idea, setting the mode based on status. Already I am filtering all day events. Let me think about it…. I would like to be able to have time set as "Free" to not change the mode.

        Also, I've gotten some great suggestions and I am working on some other enhancements (BT/Wifi Toggle, autorespond with SMS message).

        I want to keep things simple though (set it and forget it), so I'm being cautious in how to implement these.

        I appreciate the positive response!

        Mike

  • carig

    this kinda thing should really be built into android eventually, but still good to see that developers are actively creating these kinds of solutions.

    Only thing that would worry me is does this have to constantly run in the background to monitor the calendar database? Also, does it let you choose which calendar entries get vibrate or does it just do all of them?

    • Kevin G

      Hi Craig,

      Once you select a calendar it will apply the vibrate setting to everything on that calendar. This is why if you use google sync, (see the newbtorial about getting the most out of your htc exchange app) or if you only use google calendar, I recommend creating one calendar for personal use and one for work.

  • Mike

    Windows Mobile has had this from the beginning as the profile "Automatic".

  • ssr

    There is another app appears recently which does same functionality – Setting Profiles. Also limited only to build in calendar, but allows to mute only on calendar events with specified keywords in description (like 'meeting' or 'call')

    you may take at http://www.probeez.com

    • someone

      Thanks for the heads up to Setting Profiles. Looks promising, plus it does calendar keywords which is useful. Very easy to setup too especially with the auto-scan for Cell ID!

      I notice it is listed as "lite" although no other version is available. I assume a pay version is forthcoming after the initial run? That's okay by me, just hope the price is reasonable and I will pay it so long as my initial experience is reflective of the final app.

      Oh, and I'm not surprised that the VDM devs price is what it is – he is a former Sidekick developer, and Sidekick apps tend to be a bit more expensive than Android.

      Seriously, the Market is weird. Single-function apps like this going for $2.99 when full featured apps are going for $0.99…. It will mature with time as the best apps float to the top.

  • http://www.sidetop.com Mike

    I've made some enhancements to Vibrate During Meetings.

    – SMS auto response – if you get a call during a meeting, the application will present a notification that will allow you to compose an SMS already populated with a predefined message to the caller.
    – Calendar monitoring based on free/busy/accepted/tenative status.

    Thanks for all the wonderful feedback!
    Mike

  • http://www.sidetop.com Mike

    Hi All,
    The latest release of Vibrate During Meetings now supports the Droid (Moto) Corporate Calendar.

    Thanks!
    Mike

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/niniii0 niniii0

    Oh, and I'm not surprised that the VDM devs price is what it is – he is a former Sidekick developer, and Sidekick apps tend to be a bit more expensive than Android.

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