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I Charge Cool: Interesting Charging Status Screen Saver App

This has to be one of the weirdest apps that our dedicated tipster, DavidB, has ever sent in. Looks like a developer decided to create an application that lets you know how much of a charge your BlackBerry has while charging. This is supposed to save you the hassle of having to walk over to your phone to see how far along it is in charging. The ironic part is that it leaves the screen on to be able to display this information which logically makes the charge take longer…

ichargecool1 ichargecool2 ichargecool4

The app is only 99 cents on sale now but still I am both slightly intrigued and bewildered by the application. I think it would be cool if RIM found a way to show you how charged the device was with the LED but I think that an animated screen saver is a bit overkill. What do you think?

From the description:


  • Automatic activation when plugged in (optional)
  • Delays automatic activation until you’re not actively using the phone
  • Can be activated manually
  • Automatically disappears when you unplug, if it started automatically
  • Can either keep monitor onscreen indefinitely, or allow auto security lock
  • Charging confirmation (external power indicators)
  • Battery temperature indicators
  • Analog and digital clock with day and date
  • Large clock can be kept on continuously to replace phone’s built-in clock during charging
  • All options set conveniently via menu
  • Small application size

Normally, if you want to see how a charge is coming along you have to walk over to the phone, click it, and read a tiny indicator.
Charge Cool instead. Now, when you’re delaying going out waiting for the phone to charge up, and need to keep checking to see if it’s charged enough yet, start the animonitor and you can tell at a glance from as far away as you can see the screen. And LED notifications such as for incoming messages are still visible and unaffected.

The animonitor starts automatically (if you wish) when you’re plugged in and not using the phone, then keeps the screen on and indicates charging status by the color of an energy-burst with %-charged and/or a clock floating over it, and two bouncers that go higher the more the battery is charged. When the burst is green and the bouncers go far across the screen, you’re well charged. When the phone smiles, you’re 100%.
Have you even been waiting for your phone to charge, then discovered it wasn’t charging at all? The clock and %-charged shown in the center of the animonitor change to electric-blue if you’re fast-charging, electric-violet if you’re slow-charging, or shadows if you’ve lost external power. Optionally, the backlight pulsates while you’re plugged in, and stops pulsating if you lose power — this is easier to see from a distance.
There are also thermoflashers that indicate the battery temperature range, in case it overheats during charging or is still too cold for charging after being left in a cold car. (Charging when too hot or cold can reportedly cause damage and loss of capacity, and damaged batteries have been known to ignite).
When you plug in to a computer to transfer files or back up, the animonitor will not annoy you by activating immediately. It will wait the same length of time the display is set to wait before turning off due to inactivity, and then the animonitor will appear. If you dislike the phone’s clock activating immediately, you can set the clock app not to auto-activate when charging, and use I Charge Cool instead, since it shows analog and digital time plus the day of the week and the date. The animonitor can be set to display its clock constantly instead of alternating with the charge %.
This is a simple app, it won’t brew coffee for you while you’re charging, but costs about as much as an average coffee, should make charging less annoying for you many times, and looks cooler than a dark screen or clock that’s keeping the charging status a secret.
Would you buy your phone a coffee if it would ever after show you its charging status like this? If so, this app is for you. If not… think of cheaper coffee!
For users who depend on the automatic security lock, if this app is configured to keep the display on past its normal timeout, this has the side effect of resetting the security timer so that the auto-lock will not engage. For this reason, auto-startup and/or display-time extension can easily be disabled and later re-enabled from the menu to suit your situation. If you engage the security lock manually, the phone will lock not only the keyboard but also the display, blocking the animonitor, although the backlight will continue to pulsate. You can lock the phone temporarily if you have to leave it unattended, then enter the password when you return and the full animonitor will resume immediately.

via BlackBerryBlast

16 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Stupid. Next.

  2. Yeah I am just surprised somebody bothered developing it…

  3. I actually installed this on my Tour. It constantly froze when attempting to close the program, requiring a hard reset. (And we all know how long that takes on a Tour. Grrrrrrrr)

    I uninstalled it within 24 hours

    • @ netnurse31 “(And we all know how long that takes on a Tour. Grrrrrrrr)” you can brew a whole pot of coffee….:)

  4. I have the application and really like it. I’m having no problems on my BlackBerry Curve 8320. I have an obsession about keeping my battery charged. To each his own I guess.

  5. There is a way to have your led indicate the charging status. Turn your berry off, then plug it in. Wheb its charging, the led will blink yellow. When its full, it will turn solid green. I realize most of us never turn our blessed bb’s off (myself included), but this charging indicator app sounds totally useless.

  6. And “wheb” I learn how to spell, I’ll let you know.

  7. I think its a pretty cool concept. The graphics look like crap, but I would download this before I did a fart app or whip app or a that’s what she said app.

  8. BTW…anyone else notice by the times on the above pics that it appears to be charging backwards? 🙂
    12:30, full
    1:00 70%
    1:30 20%

    • That’s funny, I didn’t notice that. Those screenshots were taken from a Bold simulator and I guess I didn’t think about what order I took them in. Why there’s half an hour between them I can’t remember, maybe I took them during commercial breaks while watching some late late show.

  9. I didn’t realize the app would have a significant impact on charging for some people, my phone charges fine with it. I made this for myself because it’s annoying having to walk over and click and squint to check status; then I shared it in a fairly undeveloped state not expecting much, and thought 99 cents was fair enough. To me, the graphics were just enough and not meant to be watched closely anyway. It could flash the LED and leave the other lights off, but due to deficiencies in the LED subsystem and some notifications’ assumption that nothing else will ever touch the LED, this would nix some notifications both while the app is open and after it’s closed until the external notifications refresh their commands to the LED. By using the display, I leave the LED free so you can see your more-important LED notifications.

    I’ve been working on an update which is proving difficult in some respects, mainly due to the demands for better graphics and less power consumption being in direct conflict with one another. I’m doing my best to make it both look better and impact charging time less, and there are many cool things that could be done with this. I respect that some people think the concept is stupid, but it’s sold about 1300 copies so far and most customers like it.

    As for the person who experienced a lock-up, the app does garbage collection when it exits to satisfy those who look for memory leaks, and when the system garbage collector is invoked it automatically cleans up after not only I Charge Cool, but everything else as well. It can take some time, but often is quite fast. If someone really did experience an unrecoverable lock-up, I wish they’d contacted me, because now I can’t diagnose and fix it if it’s a potential problem for all users.

  10. @Mike
    I’m on your side for this. I don’t think it’s stupid at all. Like I said, it’s a better idea than 1/2 of the crap that people are throwing out into the marketplace now and charging $4.99+ for. (IE: Basic and boring themes).
    As for the less power consumption…maybe I am missing something…It only works when plugged in, no? So what type of power consumption is it using? I understand the screen being on TECHNICALLY won’t “charge as fast” as if the screen was off, but, seriously, who would be concerned of it THAT much. It’s not like it’s making the charge time to full +300%.
    I do have a question that I think I know the answer to already, but does it work with charging pods?

    • Thanks for the support. P.S. Some day these anti-spam things may get so advanced we’ll have to remember calculus just to post a comment.

      It will work with anything that delivers external power to the device — USB cable, power adapter, charging pod, whatever. It can be set to start and stop automatically, or can be started and stopped manually. If you lose power (i.e. sister turned off the switch to the outlet) after it started automatically, it will disappear and you’ll know. If you lose power after it was started manually, the central display changes from electric blue to shadow and the backlight stops pulsating, so you’ll know.

      This wasn’t thought through fully before release, as the reviewer noticed, and once again it was just an impulsive app because I was always having to walk over and click and squint to know when I had enough charge to unplug and go out, and a few times I thought I was charging but didn’t notice the other end of the cord wasn’t plugged in or the outlet had no power because the plug-in indicator is miniscule, so delayed going out for nothing. But it’s true, because the input power is limited to what a USB port or pocket AC adapter can deliver (about 2.5 to 5W, my adapter is 3.5W), the more power the phone uses, the longer the charging time. Every phone I ever had charged faster when off than even when on standby, so for sure it’s got to be slower when the screen is on and the CPU is animating graphics.

      However, I’ve been learning some things and am sure I can make it charge faster while still animating, though there will always be a trade-off between functionality and charging time. The best charging method depends on your situation, personally if I’m almost dead I turn the phone off and charge that way for 15-20 minutes to get some basic charge quick, then switch on and run the monitor the rest of the time, otherwise I keep wondering how it’s coming along. It could also overheat and I wouldn’t even know it, and that can reduce capacity and make it unstable and potentially dangerous.

      P.S. If you turn off the central display items, that will speed the charging up… slightly, because it does consume some power to render those items. Those are non-essential anyway, the status is indicated by the color and bouncers.

    • I use mine exclusively on charging pods with three 8320 Curves. Mine, my wife’s and my daughter’s.

      • … and if you paid for all 3 copies, you have honor and will get a coupon for any other app I sell that you want if you don’t already have it. If that’s the case please email support, if not I doubt I’ll ever know which customer you are 😉

  11. Screw it…It’s only $0.99…I’ll support the cause. Buying now.

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