Disarming My Smartphone.

3 Responses

  1. Amit says:

    Hey Dave,

    You can do everything you’re missing in Dindy using an automation app (e.g. Tasker) with Dindy.

    I do hope you continue reading though ๐Ÿ™‚

    I saw a surge in Dindy’s downloads and I think it’s because of your review. I will address your requests, but first I would like to give some context about Dindy’s development and current status.

    I started developing Dindy back in 2009 (for Android 1.5) because I found myself in meetings sending text messages to callers asking them whether it was urgent and whether I should call them back. I realized this could be automated and be useful in other situations (e.g. night time) so I created Dindy. This is going to sound egotistical, but I basically created Dindy for myself ๐Ÿ™‚ All the profiles after a clean installation are set so that Dindy is useful to me out of the box. But I think these initial settings are pretty sensible for most people as well.

    There is only one feature (the most requested one), which I only recently developed, that was added because users asked me for it – the whitelist. I don’t have any use for it myself, and it wasn’t so easy to add, but I understand that it’s useful to a lot of people. The reason I objected to adding it for a long time was that I was afraid that people might be over-relying on Dindy to let whitelist callers through and they would miss very important calls (maybe even emergency calls). I mean – every software has bugs, and although I haven’t gotten any report about the whitelist feature not working, I’m sure that in some corner case it will fail (because that’s just software – new code has bugs). But users don’t seem to care about this and freely install buggy software that messes up their lives, so I did my best with the whitelist and hopefully no one will suffer greatly from it ๐Ÿ™‚

    (as a side note, another thing that users don’t care about is privacy. Dindy doesn’t use an Internet connection to give the only absolute promise of privacy available today. That’s the reason that, even if I wanted to, I couldn’t add ads to Dindy)

    When I talk about Dindy users, it’s important to understand how many users Dindy has: the current worldwide count of Dindy installations is a whopping… 598. Yes, it’s that unpopular ๐Ÿ™‚ At its peak Dindy had around 1200 installations. And over the past 4.5 years only 8566 people tried installing it overall. Obviously I don’t do any marketing for it. When I created Dindy it wasn’t free and I thought it was worth 0.99$ but that didn’t catch on, so I made it free and open source. There is a way to donate on the website, and so far I’ve gotten a total of 3$ US of donations from 2 users ๐Ÿ™‚

    What I’m trying to say is that developing Dindy is a hobby. I have a day job that doesn’t give me much time to mess with it. Lately, after 2 years of neglecting Dindy and declining usage statistics, I decided to breath some life into it – I updated the user interface to a more modern look and feel, and added the whitelist. It kind of worked – Dindy is now slowly rising in usage, but it will probably never be as popular as the other DND apps you reviewed.

    One feature that I think goes un-noticed is the widgets – you can put a profile button on your home screen (for every profile you use) and never go into the app again, making it very simple to start and stop profiles. The time limit for profiles is also very useful (at least to me) – when I start Dindy at night, I set it to stop automatically in the morning.

    The reason I continue investing time in Dindy, and even developing features I don’t need myself, is because I enjoy getting good feedback from users. If you take a look at the reviews on the Play Store you’ll see some really nice things people say about Dindy, and I also got very nice emails from users telling me how it’s helping their day-to-day lives.

    Now, finally, for your requests: there’s some good news and bad news.
    The bad news is that I’m sorry to say that I doubt I’ll ever implement the things you were hoping to see in Dindy. The main reasons are that some of the things you asked for are not trvial to implement and that they will make the user interface cumbersome. Also, I don’t want Dindy to become one of those apps that run in the background all the time. Like I said before, Dindy was developed for me (or, more generally, for people like me) and I’m OK with having to press the widget button when I go into a meeting or before I go to sleep.

    But… and here’s the good news. You can still use Dindy and get all the features you wanted by combining it with an automation app like Tasker or Locale. In addition, Dindy can be controlled by any app that supports running shortcuts on demand (like AppAlarm Pro). I think this is the better way – keep Dindy simple and let the advanced stuff (like scheduling) be done by other apps, which already do it so much better than I could ever implement myself.

    Lastly, there is always the option of forking Dindy’s code and creating your own version that does what you want. I will also gladly accept contibutions to the open source project, as long as they don’t make the user interface too complicated. But I doubt this will ever happen with such a small user base.

    OK, this is way longer than I wanted to write ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you very much for reviewing and choosing Dindy. I hope you keep finding it useful.
    Amit (Dindy’s developer)

    • davemackey says:

      Amit – I really appreciate you taking the time to so fully answer my suggestions. Even with its current featureset, and if it never adds the additional features, it still does better what I care about than the other apps I mentioned. Just a few quick side notes:
      1. I’m going to donate to the project right now… ๐Ÿ™‚ It won’t be much, but at least I can say I’m supporting open source…which I try to do regularly.
      2. I’m going to work on making some Tasker automation scripts to implement the functionality I want as you suggested and then make those scripts freely available…in case others desire this same functionality.
      Dave ๐Ÿ™‚

      • gnobal says:

        Hey Dave

        Thank you very much for everything. Just writing about Dindy was more than enough and the donation is way way too much. Your offer to create Tasker scripts is a great idea (I only use Tasker to see that Dindy still works with it).

        I hope you’ll be able to make it – there’s a tricky part here: because profiles are different on every device, the user must select the profile they want to run with such a script, so it basically can’t be “one script fits all”. Also note that you have to use an exit condition that will stop Dindy at the end of the Tasker profile (also a little unusual).

        Please let me know if I can help in any way. If you make it I’ll link to it from the website, the Play Store and the app.

        Thank you very much again. I don’t have the words to say how much I appreciate this.

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