Mobility

Contextual App Folder: The coolest Android app you're not using

Android users looking for a contextual folder that will automatically alter its contents based on configured triggers should check out Contextual App Folder.

cafhero.jpg
Image: Jack Wallen

Every so often I test drive an app, and it makes me laugh because it is so impressive. That is exactly what happened when I first gave Contextual App Folder (C.A.F.) a try. I'm fairly confident you'll have the same reaction.

What is C.A.F.?

Imaging having a folder on your Android home screen whose contents adjusts to certain circumstances. For example, you need to be able to contact particular clients when you arrive at a specific location; or you want quick access to specific apps at a certain time; or you want specific Gmail labels to show at specified times. With C.A.F. you can easily do all of these things.

Let me walk you through the process of installing and using C.A.F. (Note: C.A.F. is currently in beta. Even during the early access period, the app is very reliable and worth using.)

Installing C.A.F.

  1. Open the Google Play Store on your Android device.
  2. Search for Contextual App Folder.
  3. Locate and tap the entry by ts-apps.
  4. Tap Install.
  5. If prompted, tap Accept.
  6. Allow the installation to complete.

Once the app is installed, you'll find a launcher in your App Drawer. Tap the launcher, and you'll be greeted by a welcome screen. Slide through the welcome screen, and you're ready to go.

SEE: Job description: Android developer (Tech Pro Research)

Using C.A.F.

You need to add the C.A.F. widget onto your home screen, though how you do this will depend on the home screen launcher you use. For example, on Evie:

  1. Swipe right on the home screen to reveal the sidebar.
  2. Swipe left inside the sidebar to the WIDGET tab.
  3. Scroll down until you see C.A.F.
  4. Tap and hold the C.A.F. entry and drag it to your home screen.

After you add the widget, go back and open the C.A.F. app from the App Drawer.

Before you create what C.A.F. calls scenarios, you should create a device configuration. From the C.A.F. main window (Figure A), tap LEARN MORE under No Configuration Available.

Figure A

Figure A

The C.A.F. main window

In the resulting window (Figure B), tap CONTINUE and walk through the wizard to set up a configuration for your device.

Figure B

Figure B

Creating a device configuration for C.A.F.

Let's create a new scenario. From within the C.A.F. app, tap the + button and then select the trigger type from the listing (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Selecting a trigger type for your scenario.

Say you want to create a folder of direct dial launchers for a specific GEO location. Tap the GEO Location trigger and then—after granting C.A.F. access to the device's location—find the location in question on the map, select the desired radius, and then tap the checkmark (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

Selection a location for your trigger.

At this point, you must select the actions for your scenario. Because we want to add direct dial launchers, we'll select Add Shortcut (Figure E).

Figure E

Figure E

Selecting the action for your scenario.

Tap Direct Dial and then choose a number to call from your contacts. You must add each direct dial shortcut one at a time, so repeat the process until you have added all the shortcuts you need for the scenario. Once you're finished, tap the OK button, and the scenario is complete. Now, whenever you show up at that location, the C.A.F. widget will only contain those direct dial shortcuts.

You can create as many scenarios as you want. Every time a scenario matches a time/place/action/situation, the C.A.F. widget will reflect the context of that action. This means you only need to add one C.A.F. widget to your home screen, and it will change accordingly.

It really is that handy

Contextual App Folder generates a folder based on your needs. Create as many scenarios as you like, and the widget will automatically change its contents based on the triggers you set up.

This app is as handy as it sounds. You need this...you want this—install it, and you will wonder why it took this long to have something so helpful.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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