When I changed my smartphone to an Android headset, the biggest annoyance for me, along with a lot of others, was the lack of muting my phone during meetings. A few years earlier every Windows Mobile device from HTC had an option in settings (HTC Home screen, later TF3D, finally Sense) to mute or vibrate the device during appointments. This is no longer the case in Android. Once again HTC missed an important feature that should be included by default in every modern smartphone. Here comes in handy a small application developed by an amateur programmer from the United States. Busy Me is a simple app that automatically sets your phone to vibrate during events on your calendar and returns the ringer to normal afterwards.
Ease of use
This small, yet powerful application has got only one main configuration screen, which is divided into 3 sub-paragraphs: “Busy Me Actions”, “Calendar Event Selection” and “Ignored Events”. The former allows you to enable the background service which monitors your calendar and sets up your ringtone settings accordingly. Furthermore, there are switches that allow you to personalize the timing a little bit. The latter lets you customize what calendars and events to use. Even a person who is not very tech-savvy will be able to maintain all the features, and the descriptions under buttons help a lot. Simply as that, we rate the app 5 out of 5 starts when it comes to ease of use.
Busy Me is designed to take care of your sound settings according to different calendar events. While the main program sits quietly in the background you can easily notice how well-thought the service is based purely on the settings on the main screen. You read it well, just a little invisible service and a small configuration applet – that’s the whole application. You can set when to active and deactivate the ringer and even setup a notification when it changes so you won’t be surprised when the ringer changes without your interaction for the first time. Busy Me is smart enough to let you pick only a specified calendar, exclude all day events marked as busy or simply include (exclude) only those events which contain a particular keyword in the description. In my opinion that’s an essential set of functions that every modern smartphone should include by default. In this area there is nothing more that this app could be lacking, the only thing I found thoughtless is how the timer settings are designed. What if someone would like to set his ringer off 5 minutes after the meeting has started? It’s a pity that there are only 4 predefined settings for that. We rate Busy Me 4,5 out of 5 stars when it comes to features (in this case how well the app may be configured to suite everyone’s need).
There is no real impact no matter how slow your device is. Android also doesn’t have a process count limit (like WM had…) so your device won’t notice any impact in multitasking or speed. Actually that’s obvious, because the app takes up only 80KB of your device main memory and about 8KB of ram if the monitor service is enabled. To work properly it requires two permissions: “Reading your calendar” and “Change your audio settings”. Sounds more than obvious, right? After months of usage we didn’t notice any battery drain related to the app. 5 stars out of 5, that’s for sure.
Install or not
Not every Android user needs an app for managing his ringer. Some of you may not like this idea, but if you have a well-maintained calendar we’re sure that you’ll love this smart solution. This is a small app for very specialized audience, but taking into account that the app won’t come into your way if you configure it properly we recommend it to everyone even if you won’t benefit as much as we are. Maybe someday you’ll forget you had it installed, but it will spare you the embarrassment in the most unexpected time. This sentence concludes this review and makes a final assessment of the overall experience Busy Me provides.
- Fast, no impact on the device performance
- Powerful schedule options
- Thoughtless invented timer settings