What is Peek?
was originally known as a feature built into the ParanoidAndroid ROM which is a custom AOSP ROM that used to be based on CyanogenMod. At first, Peek was meant to be strictly a feature for the ROM. However, as we’ve seen with a lot of ROM-specific apps as of late, Peek made its way to the Google Play Store for anyone to download.
Okay so here’s how Peek works. When you get a notification, the application will poll your sensors for about 10 seconds. When an app polls your sensors it simply means that the application is keeping an eye on your phone to see if it gets moved or if anything happens that could trigger a sensor. If the app determines that your sensors are in use, Peek will turn on your screen so you can look at your notifications.
It sounds kind of complicated but I assure you it isn’t. If your screen is off, you get a notification, and if you check your phone within 10 seconds of the notification coming in, your phone will turn the screen on automatically and show you the notification. If you have multiple notifications, it’ll show you multiple icons. One for each app that you have a notification in. So if you have a Gmail, Hangouts, and Google Play Store notification, it’ll show you those three icons.
When the screen turns on you’ll see your background blurred so you can see each notification icon. You can tap each one and then long press the larger icon to see the content of that message. So if you have a Hangouts message and you long press the Hangouts icon, you can see what the message says. If you want to unlock your phone, you swipe the icon to the left. If you want to dismiss the notification, you swipe to the right. If you want to deal with that notification right then and there, you simply click on the icon and the appropriate app will open. So no matter what you want to do, you can do it.
The settings menu is pretty straight forward. You can change the polling time to match your needs so if you need more or less time to check your phone, you can choose to do that. It also comes with three polling settings. You can have it on battery saver mode which uses the previously mentioned polling time (default 10 seconds) so your battery doesn’t drain.
You can set it to active while charging which will poll your phone constantly while you’re on a charger but then use the timed battery saver mode when unplugged. Finally, there is always active which polls your phone constantly. Beware though, this can drain your battery quite a bit. Unfortunately, the battery drain while always on is unavoidable because the Moto X had a special processor built in to handle this task while your device will require the use of its much more powerful processor cores to perform the same task.
That’s really it folks. It sounds like a simple little application but once you get it set to your habits, you can literally cut the time you spend dealing with notifications in half. It’s also worth mentioning that there are new features being talked about, such as a new setting that will allow you to have your phone screen simply turn on whenever you get a notification instead of using a system that polls the sensors. So if it’s just not hitting that chord right now, check back frequently because the development team is adding new features. You can also drop in on their XDA thread
where they keep people up to date on the latest developments.
- Emulates the Moto X Active Display really well.
- Multiple sensor polling modes can help you save battery while still getting all the functionality.
- Intuitive controls. Swipe to unlock phone or dismiss notifications. Tap icon to open app. Easy peasy.
- It provides a far more efficient way of dealing with notifications than the standard ‘unlock and swipe down on the status bar’ method.
- Frequent updates, new features, and healthy communication with bug reports means this app review will likely be out of date in about 4 days.
- You can blacklist apps to customize what apps show up on Peek.
- Only use the Always On setting if you hate your battery because that setting will kill it. Unless you’re charging, we recommend not using it.
- The Always On While Charging mode can make the phone a little warm it’s always on and charging.
- Persistent presence in the notification pull down is necessary, but people who like to keep that space clean probably won’t like it.
- While we think the price is totally fair, we admit that it would’ve been a good idea for a limited time free trial or something like that so people can see how it works before purchasing.
Let me be frank ladies and gentlemen. This is the closest you’re going to come to getting the Moto X Active Display without actually buying a Moto X. Some people think that $4.09US is too expensive but to get this same functionality you’d have to spend $350 to buy the phone that this app emulates. This app has the potential to change the way you deal with notifications and if you have a device running 4.4 and up, it’s definitely worth checking out.