Archive for February, 2010

Using the Talks Object Viewer and Battery Extender

February 22, 2010

I posted the following rather verbose instructions to the Talks mailing list. These instructions will use the Talks Object Viewer so you can track the active profile in the simple yet useful Battery Extender application. they’ll make the Battery Extender application a little easier to use and serve as a tiny tutorial for the Talks Object Viewer.

Battery Extender, which you can get from is a simple application you can use to control the power draining features of your cell phone. Typically you would configure it to be more aggressive as your battery charge wears down. It comes with several profiles that you can configure. It’s very accessible with Talks, and I assume any screen reader.

I should also mention that there’s a free version and the paid version that costs $3 in the US. The free version lets you control

  • back light brightness and
  • back light timeout.

The paid version will also let you control

  • screen saver timeout,
  • bluetooth,
  • GPS settings,
  • close applications and
  • autorotate.

I’ve been using the trial of the paid version and the free version for a while now, and I have noticed it’s increased my battery life. I plan to upgrade to the paid version as soon as I see another sale on Handango.

The only thing you need to set up in the Talks Object Viewer for Battery Extender is to label the graphic that indicates which profile is active. Here’s how I did it on my E71X. I’d assume it would be pretty much the same for every hand set.

First go into Battery Extender. You’ll be presented with a list of profiles. To make the rest of the steps easier, I’d suggest making sure you know which of the profiles is the active profile.

You can do this by arrowing to the profile you want to make active and pressing the select key. If the profile actually comes up then it’s already active and you can use the back key (soft key 2) to get back to the list of profiles. I’ll assume we’ve made the Improve Battery profile the active profile by arrowing down to hit and then pressing the select key until the profile itself comes up. After this, you can use the back key to get to the list of profiles, and you’ll know that the Improve Battery profile is the active profile.

You can also toggle the reading of the graphics to see which profile is active. Use [Talks],[Long 4] to toggle on the reading of all graphics. On my E71X I just saw an unlabelled icon next to the active profile. You may see a icon next to each profile, so you’ll be looking for the one that’s different from the rest. If you’ve made the Improve Battery profile the active profile then this profile will have the unlabelled or unique unlabelled icon in front of it. Note that if you already made the Improve Battery profile the active profile then you don’t need to use [Talks],[Long 4] to see which is the active profile. If you’ve toggled on the reading of all of the graphics then you can use [Talks],[Long 4] to toggle back to ignoring unlabelled graphics.

Once you know which profile is the active profile then you can use [Talks],[Long select] to bring up the Object Viewer and label the icon that indicates which profile is active. Note that you can do a lot with the Object Viewer, and I’d suggest reading the Talks manual to get a feel for all of the power of the Object Viewer. Stephen Giggar’s also done an audio tutorial for the Object Viewer, and I’m sure it’s available from Blind Sea.

Again, just to make things easier, make sure the active profile also has the focus. So in the list of profiles, arrow down to the Improve Battery profile and bring up the Object Viewer with [Talks],[Long select]. You’ll see a list that include the screen ID, title and so on. You want to arrow down until you hear something like “focus C749836D Improve Battery”. This string in the middle is the icon you want to label.

Press the select key to bring up the details for this object. Arrow down to the line with the icon on it. You’ll hear something like “icon C749836D”.

Press select and you’ll be taken into the Talks dictionary where you can label this icon. You’ll be placed in the field which has the string “C749836D” the current label for this icon. You want to leave that alone and down arrow into the field for the replacement string. Arrow down to that field and type “Active” or whatever you want to hear read before the active profile in Battery Extender’s profile list. Arrow down once more to select the application where this replacement will be made. The default is Global, but I hit the select key and changed this to Battery Extender.

Once you’ve filled out this screen, use soft key 1 to bring up the list of options and select the save option. You can now back out to the Battery Extender application, and you should hear “Active Improve Battery.” Now you can arrow up and down the list and when you press the select key, you’ll hear “Active” before the profile name that you just made active.