Sometimes you run across a feature in Android that, on first blush, you think is fairly useless. But then you realize that it does, in fact, have a purpose. One such feature is Daydream. Hitting Android at 4.2, Daydream is a screensaver that will display when your device is either docked or charging.
Screensaver? Are you series? Yes, I am. I've even started using Daydream on my device. It's not something that will help you get your work done, but there are add-ons for the feature that can turn it into a source of inspiration, a means to check a web site, a calendar/clock, photo stream, flipboard, and much more.
The one issue I've found with Daydream is that the Motorola Active Display will not work when Daydream is in action. Because of this, you have to live without Active Display while your device is charging or docked.
So, how do you get Daydream set up? Let's take a look.
The only installation necessary is if you plan on grabbing a few add-ons from the Google Play Store (more on that in a moment). However, there are a few configurations you'll need to take care of. Let's do them one at a time. I'll be working with a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.3.
The first configuration is your screen timeout. On the Galaxy S4, you'll find this in Settings | My Device | Display (Figure A).
Setting the screen timeout in Android 4.3.
Once you have your screen timeout set, you'll need set the Lock Automatically option. This can be found in Settings | My Device | Lock automatically (Figure B).
Setting the display Lock automatically feature.
Now, you're ready to turn on Daydream. To do this, go to Settings | My device | Display. Scroll down until you see Daydream and tap it. Once you're inside the Daydream settings (Figure C), tap the ON/OFF slider to the ON position, select which Daydream you want to use, and tap the configuration icon for that Daydream for further configuration.
The Daydream configuration window.
By default, you'll only have the following Daydreams installed:
- Google Photos
- Photo Frame
- Photo Table
You can go to the Google Play Store and find more Daydreams (my favorite is Quotes). Once you install a new Daydream from the Play Store, it will appear in the Daydream listing. Each Daydream will offer different settings. For example, the Quotes Daydream allows you to configure the delay between quotes and the quote text size. The Website Daydream allows you to configure:
- A URL
- Fullscreen enable/disable
- Touchable (interaction will either wake the phone or allow you to navigate web page)
- Refresh (refresh page enable/disable)
The Quotes and Website Daydreams are really nice in that you can either gain a bit of inspiration (from Quotes) or keep tabs on your favorite web site (even when your phone goes to sleep).
Daydream will not increase your productivity, but when you need to read a quote like "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." (Mark Twain) to give you that bit of intellectual/emotional inspiration, why not allow your phone to Daydream and help you out!
Do you use Daydream on your Android device? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
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.