Android: Google Now Inspired Homescreen v2

November 22, 2013

It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a good bit of tinkering with my phone.  But I recently installed Zooper Widget Pro and loved how powerful and relatively easy it is to create very intricate widgets, and decided to make something I’ve had in my head for a long time but didn’t have to tools to easily do it.  I had created a Google Now inspired before but had to rely heavily on Tasker and scripting to get the job done, but Zooper is able to handle the large majority of it without relying on external tools.

Apps Used
Widgets done completely with Zooper
Widgets that use Tasker
Sqlite query:

sqlite3 /data/data/ “SELECT text,author_full_name,attachment_content_type FROM message_notifications_view WHERE author_full_name!=’Jordan Hotmann’ ORDER BY _id DESC LIMIT 1;”


Replace ‘Jordan Hotmann’ with your name so that any messages you send will not be included.  If you would like to select more than just the latest message, you can up the LIMIT to any number you choose.  This could be handy if incorporated with the message count to return all missed messages.

This is executed as a “Run Shell” action and returns the message text, sender, and if there was an attachment to the variable %HANGOUTMESSAGE as a pipe separated list.

I then do a Variable Split to separate each component and can then use them as I please for other things.  For the widget I only show the sender name, but when in car mode I have the message read aloud to me so I don’t have to look at my phone.

I haven’t incorporated the attachment piece yet.



Bonus trick

One thing I have found very handy in Nova launcher is the ability to set a folder to open via swipe.  This can be handy for hiding secondary functions or shortcuts of an app in a folder.

For instance, I have an icon in my dock for Chrome.  Tapping the icon simply opens the chrome app like normal.  However, if I swipe up on the icon, a folder is opened with some of my most used bookmarks.  This can save you a few taps here and there and those little bits of time can start to add up!

Other handy shortcuts you can use are the Direct dial/Direct message shortcuts.  These allow you to quickly call or jump to a specific sms conversation without digging through you contacts or message list.

Google Maps also has a Directions shortcut you can use to jump straight to directions or navigation to your favorite locations.  I mainly use this for a navigation shortcut to get home.  If I’m in a strange location and need to get back to the highway so I can go home, it’s the fastest way to do so and can be done without taking my eyes off the road.

Background – 768×1280
Zooper Templates – Calendar, Gmail (Sender names not complete), Music, Search, Weather
sqlite3 – Put in /system/xbin and give rwxr-xr-x permissions

This is my first time sharing Zooper templates, so I have no idea if they will work on other devices or launchers with different grid sizes.  You can always mod them yourself to fit your setup if needed!

MyColorScreen link

  • Nicely done Hotmann! I like it. I’ll send you some pics of what this looks like on a GS4.

  • Jordan. Did you have a python script to get weather info from I tried downloading from an earlier post and the link wasnt there.

  • Pingback: jesse()

  • Asai

    Any plans to post the rest of this template? I would be very interested in seeing the full template in action. I especially love the phone mode options..

  • nice one. im getting a new android phone next week i think i might try this out