A couple of little probably basic questions (notifications & LED colour)

Hiya finding it tricky moving from a really old iphone to fairphone and after some unsuccessful googling thought i would come here, apologies if these questions have already been answered!

1Top right of screen i have a blue wifi symbol. Great i recognise and understand.
Then i have blue bars which im guessing is my phone internet 3G etc (when wifi is off this has an h next to it) and then another set of bars which are empty with a red x symbol. I can still make and receive calls/texts though…is it for if you have a second sim card inserted? what about my original sim and its signal strength? or is signal combined with phone internet (the blue bar with the h symbols?) does this question even make sense im so confused?

2 How do i change sounds for different notifications ie email makes one sound and text message will make another?

3 Can i customise the little LED light to make different colours for different notifications?

4 When you get notifcations from an app they go in the top left of screen and then if you tap down you can then see them and swipe them away or enter them right? That is how your notifications are displayed with android? There is no banner thing or a number on the app (like iphone?)

Many thanks for reading my awful confusing questions and even more thanks if you can answer them :slight_smile: x

Hi Siobhan and welcome to the forum!

Maybe not an exhaustive answer, but:

  1. Yes, the symbol you’ve seen (with the red X) is for the 2nd SIM card. The blue set of bars indicate phone network signal strength (no matter whether it’s for phone calls or data traffic). The ‘H’ (or H+ or 3G) shows that data traffic is enabled. When roaming (e.g. abroad) you will also see a ‘R’ indicating this. If you are on a wifi network, 3G data traffic will shut down automatically (and resume when you leave wifi). The 2nd SIM symbol can be disabled with a special application described here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/modules/app-gravitybox-v3-1-4-tweak-box-android-t2316070

  2. Don’t think you can choose different notification sounds in the default setup, but there are apps that should give you the opportunity. Search the Play Store for ‘notification sound’ or similar.

  3. Again, not from scratch but there are apps that do the trick, e.g. ‘light flow’

  4. That’s how it works, at least in my experience - a notification to the left of the status bar on top of screen. There are apps/functions that can give other types of notifications. A text message will put an icon on your lock screen, for instance.

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Exactly. The number of bars gives your signal strength. An H (or H+) means you are on (true) 3G, an E means you are on Edge, which usually is a fall-back option. (You can turn off both by de-activating the data connection in the Settings menu, under [SIM management]).

If you want to change the LED colour (and mod your drawer menu, e.g. with a data on/off switch), I would try out the XPosed framework with it’s module GravityBox. (While at it, also install the XPrivacy module, as standard Android’s rights management is a total failure.) GravityBox also make it possible to change sounds for any probable event, change the colour of your SIM-bars, hide the empty SIM notification, and a lot more.
It’s available via F-Droid.

You’ll have plenty of questions afterwards, I would assume - but I may presume that the forum will help you out while learning.

As for the notification drawer: I never owned an iPhone. But I woul say, you are right.


Thank you so much for your quick reply and yep all questions answered now! Im so glad everything is starting to make sense now

Have a lovely day!

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i really like it when it does this but so far it only does it for text messages, does anyone know if you can do this for other things ie email/facebook etc?

is it really possible to change LED colour in GravityBox? If so I must confess that I can’t find that option - but it’s a complex module with a lot of alternatives and I’ve probably missed a lot of them. I’ve GB 3.2.2 installed.

One thing you can do is to set the general notification sound (settings-> audio profiles-> settings’ button for the general profile-> default notification sound) to a sound that you want for general purpose system notifications (like an app getting installed) and then move to the specific app for messaging or email or whatever and use its settings to set the specific sound for those events.

This is only possible if the app supports specifying a custom sound, but so far I can tell you that for both email and messaging default apps on Fairphone this can be done, thus making it possible to have a distinct sound for general system notifications, or email or messaging.


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Hi @siobhan1 ,

welcome to the world of smartphones! I’ll try to help you out :smile:

I was quite slow with my answer, but some additions to @kgha’s and @humorkritik’s answers:

2 (Edit: Aw crap I was really super slow! pretty much same as what @van said :smile: )
Go to your app in question, to the settings and then notification settings. With the standard text messaging app: open the app, press the menu button of your fairphone (bottom left), Go to settings/Notifications/Ringtone.
Same goes for the Gmail app, go to the settings, then look for notification settings. This applies to all messaging/mail apps. As far as I know you don’t need a new app to get different ringtones.

3 Again, if you don’t want a new app to change the LED light, check your apps notifications settings first. In some messaging apps (Whats App, Facebook Messenger) you can go set your preferred color there as well.

4 Again, some apps allow you to personalize this a bit. Like in the settings of your standard text messaging app or WhatsApp you can say you want new messages to be displayed as popups. Also an app to get notifications on your lock screen: DashClock.

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Actually your answer came literally at the same time of mine (we should look at the photo finish), but considering I only addressed one point and you did three, you did pretty fine. :wink:

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Yep, did that. The menu structure of GB (and XPrivacy as well…) is a usability mess. Clearly, no “big player” with a customer research unit is behind this product… :sigh:

However, it seems to be hidden in “Ultimate notification control” (a “premium” feature). I vaguely remember buying the ‘unlocker’ key via the play store, but I might be wrong. Maybe it wasn’t a premium feature before? Could anyone please confirm?

Bottom line: I don’t have “Ultimate notification control” now, after a full restore from TitaniumBackup, but my notifications are still happily blinking in red, blue, and green depending if it’s TextSecure, Threema, or twitter.

Thanks, that explains it. ‘Ultimate notifcation control’ requires the unlocker app ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ceco.gravitybox.unlocker&hl=en ). Will think about that…

Hello @siobhan1,

This point is one of the great differences between iOS and Android. In iOS you can configure everything in one place, at your global settings. At Androidt every App has its own settings so you have to configure most things at the affected App itself.

The sounds you configure at the Audio profiles at your general settings are just binding for some default Apps of your System, third party Apps may use them as orientation but they also can use completely other sounds. So depending of the mail App of your choice it will use the default sound or one you have to specify at the App.

For this issue you might have a look at DashClock and its Plugins.


Did you find anything if it did not, at some point? I’m truly puzzled that I don’t have it now, but must have had access before. What the hell…

Can’t find anything in the GB menu that has to do with LED colour. Maybe you can just reinstall the unlocker app? If you still have access to PlayStore it should be easy - since you already paid for it you should be able to re-install it for free.
I have a paid version of ‘Documents to Go’ - after repartitioning and re-installing from my backup the app was there but the ‘key’ didn’t follow suit (so I got ad banners all over). But I could reinstall the key from PlayStore, Google remembered that I had paid for it.

Excellent! its all coming together now :slight_smile:

This is basically the major number 1 reason i was getting so confused, but all making sense now basically to configure settings you go to app and press left button on phone and then bam settings pops up and you play around there. Thank you so much all of you

(Sorry @siobhan1 to snatch your thread, BTW.)

It does not show up in the “My Apps” section. (FTR: I don’t have a paypal account, so I must either have purchased it via Google, or never bought it.) But I also cannot find any other option to change the LED colour, nor any mention that this had, at one time, been a non-premium feature. Did you?

[Edith says I should mention that Titanium Backup ‘remembered’ I had the Pro key, and behaved accordingly upon re-install after the Cherry/1.6 repartitioning wipe.]

@siobhan1: I join humorkritik in his excuse for hijacking your thread and adding to the confusion of the Android world :wink:

@humorkritik - it seems as if basic GB never has offered the option to adjust LED colour, see http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=49062033&postcount=1825

its all good; im pretty certain im not going to dabble in the gravity box app if ive only just figured out how to use the basics of my phone :stuck_out_tongue:

  • Thank you. I’ve followed your recommendation and I’m using Light Flow. I like it a lot. It’s nice and simple.
  • A tip to anyone else who wants to use Light Flow with Fairphone: Under “Device settings and root” I’ve checked “Direct mode” and unchecked the rest, otherwise you get constant annoying pop op messages on screen with “root access given to light flow”