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Use App Override to configure individual Android apps

App Override for Android allows you to configure a number of system settings on a per-app basis

App Override

App Override by Runaway Fridge (currently in Beta testing and free to download from the Play Store) is an application that allows you to configure a growing number of system settings including Screen Orientation, Font Size, Input Method, Screen Timeout, Minimum CPU Speed, Maximum CPU Speed, Sound Mode, WiFi settings for individual applications.

Rather than configuring these settings system wide, App Override will automatically set them as the chosen application is launched and restore them back to the system default when you leave the app. There are often times when you might want to have, for example, a larger font size, but not want it to take effect right across your device – and App Override makes that possible.

Root access is required for some of the options (currently only Input method, Minimum CPU speed and Maximum CPU speed), but if you don’t have root access you can still use the application – however your choice of controls will be more limited. App Override is compatible with all versions of Android from 2.3 Gingerbread onwards and can be switched on / off with a main ‘toggle button’.

When the application is active, an icon is displayed in the notification area (which can be disabled if you choose). App Override can be started manually or configured to start when your device boots.

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    Download App Override from the Play Store and activate

    Search for App Override in the Play Store and download the application, developed by Runaway Fridge. After installing and opening it from your launcher, you will be presented with your application list. Pressing the toggle button on the top left labelled ‘OFF’ will enable the application (and you’ll see a notification icon appear).

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    Choose what you want to control

    By default, App Override will only allow you to control Input Method, Orientation and Screen Timeout. By pressing the ‘What to Control’ button you can toggle the other items including Font Size, Minimum CPU Speed, Maximum CPU Speed, Sound Mode and WiFi. Enable them all!

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    Choose whether to start on boot and display notification icon

    The third button, labelled ‘Settings’, allows you to choose whether to display a notification bar icon (which can never be shown, only when the application is active or always) and whether App Override should start on boot. While you test and get used to using the app, it’s probably best to display the icon when active and not have the application start on boot (the default).

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    Configure your first override

    The main App Override view gives you a long list of all your installed applications. Clicking the name of an app allows you to configure the options that you have enabled. For each option you can choose the application’s start behavior – whether to ignore the launch, set to defaults or customise.

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    Set a custom font size

    The ‘Font Size’ option lets you specify a custom font size for your application, which might be useful for an app where you are reading a lot of text content but the app doesn’t allow you to configure the font size. You can scale the font to a massive 170%, but you can also decrease the font size down to 60% too.

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    Configure an orientation lock

    The orientation lock allows you to set a specific device orientation for an application. You are not limited to portrait / landscape – you can also set reverse portrait or reverse landscape as well as automatic. This could be useful to prevent the browser rotating when you’re lazing on the sofa!

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    Change the screen timeout

    Isn’t it frustrating when you are reading something on your device and the screen times out? App Override lets you set the screen timeout to a level between 30 seconds and 12 minutes. Be careful if you use this – it’d be easy to accidentally run down your battery by leaving your device, screen on, in a customised app.

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    Refine the CPU speeds

    Provided you have root access on your device, the ability to lock minimum and maximum CPU speeds can be useful. If you have a power hungry application where you need maximum performance (and battery is not an issue), you can crank up the speed. Conversely, if you want to save battery in a low stress app, try reducing the maximum speed.

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    Toggle WiFi as required

    There are a number of different ways of managing WiFi, one of our favourite ways is to use WiFi-Matic to enable / disable by location. App Override gives another alternative – enabling WiFi only for specific applications, perhaps ones that might use a lot of your data allowance.

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    Switch between Input Methods

    One of the best things about Android is the ability to use different Input Methods. Some are better suited to different apps than others however. For example, you might want to use App Override to switch to an Emoji enabled keyboard just for when you’re sending instant messages to your friends.

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