MeterBe™ for BlackBerry® Smartphones

Frequently Asked Questions | Change Log | Contact


Status Screen

Displays battery, memory, and device info.

Calculates average battery discharge rate over time.
Discharge rate is resettable, allowing you to detect a failing battery, or to determine how operating system updates or third party applications affect battery usage.
Discharge rate resets automatically upon application installation and when the phone is charged.

Calculates remaining battery time.

Calculates change in free application memory since the phone was last started, allowing you to detect memory leaks.


Customizable Dynamic Home Screen Icons

Choose a single icon or rotate between multiple icons at a selectable rate.

Icons change color to indicate status.

Customize at what levels icons change color to suit your specific needs.


Customizable Battery and Memory Notifications

Selectable notification thresholds.

Notification popup appears in any application. MeterBe doesn't need to be open.

Open MeterBe: Snoozes and opens MeterBe.

Snooze:
Closes the notification until the next log update.

Dismiss:
Closes the notification and doesn't notify you again.
A dismissed battery notification will be re-enabled if the phone is restarted, the battery notification options are changed, the battery level rises above the notification threshold (from a charge), or after 24 hours.
A dismissed memory notification will be re-enabled if the phone is restarted, the memory notification options are changed, or after 24 hours.

Reset Device (Memory Notification Only): Performs a soft reset, equivalent to a battery pull.

Recover Memory (Memory Notification Only): Initiates the Java garbage collector to free up application memory.

MeterBe's home screen icon indicates when a notification is active or snoozing.

And so does MeterBe's status screen. A snoozing notification can be dismissed from the status screen.

Customize MeterBe's notification sounds and other behavior using the phone's Profiles application.


Logging

Three log slots can be set to any combination of Battery, Memory, Signal Strength, or Temperature log.

Logs are accessed through main screen's menu. Menu is dynamic based on currently enabled log(s).

Battery log displays change in battery level over time, when the battery discharge rate was reset, when the battery is fully charged, and the battery level every time the device is restarted.
When battery is full, logging stops. Logging resumes when phone is unplugged from the charger.

Memory log displays change in free application memory over time, and the initial free application memory every time the device is restarted.

Signal Strength log displays change in signal strength over time.
Signal Strength can be displayed in bars or dBm.

Temperature log displays change in device temperature over time.
Temperature can be displayed in °F or °C.

Log screens support multi-touch - swipe left or right to cycle through currently enabled logs.

Add notes to one or all of the logs to track when you make changes to your phone or its setup, such as installing an application.

Log update rate is customizable.

Logs can be cleared on startup if you prefer a fresh start.


Soft Reset (Battery Pull) Functionality

Simulates a battery pull.

Soft resets can be performed on-demand...

...or scheduled to run daily at a specific time.

MeterBe is even smart enough not to perform a scheduled reset while you're on the phone.

MeterBe offers three reset modes which use slightly different logic to perform a soft reset. Try a different mode if the soft reset feature does not work for your phone and/or OS version.


Memory Recovery

Intiate the Java garbage collector to free up application memory on-demand...

...when you receive a low memory notification...

...or hourly when your phone is idle.


Event Log Management

View the system event log to troubleshoot application or operating system problems.

Clear the event log hourly when your phone is idle to free up application memory.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a trial version available?

A: Not at this time.

Q: How do I upgrade to a new version of MeterBe?

A: Log in to the store where you purchased MeterBe and you will see a list of applications you've purchased in the past. You will be able to send yourself an over-the-air download link for any new versions via SMS or e-mail.

Q: I got a notification that a new version of MeterBe was available but when I go to the over-the-air download link, the version number hasn't changed?

A: Refresh the page by pressing the BlackBerry key and selecting "Refresh".

Q: I changed devices and now my activation code doesn't work?

A: Change the device ID (PIN) specified in your App World account and a new activation code will be generated.

Q: MeterBe will not validate my license?

See here.

Q: How do I find my PIN?

A: On your phone navigate to the Options (wrench) -> Status screen.

Q: What exactly is "application memory"? How does it relate to the other memory on my phone?

A: Blackberries have a certain amount of internal flash, or device memory. A portion of that flash is allocated as application space, and the rest is allocated as data space. Blackberries also have a certain amount of traditional RAM. These memory spaces are used as follows:

1. When they are running, the operating system and applications both use the traditional RAM like your computer does. Temporary, volatile storage.

2. All applications are stored in the application space. Whatever room is free in the application space is used by the operating system for paging when your phone is running, similar to what your computer does with its hard drive and swap file. Applications can only be stored and run from the application space.

3. The data space is used for an internal file system, as well as storage of things like pictures, ring tones, etc. You cannot store and run applications from the data space.

When you go to Options -> Memory, the "Application Memory" entry refers to the free space in the application block of the internal flash.

So, when you install applications the free space in the application block decreases. And because the application block is also used for paging, the free space fluctuates over time as you use your phone.

RIM most likely doesn't display the free RAM under Options -> Memory is because the RAM is used by the operating system in addition to applications. It wildly fluctuates up and down as the phone is running, and doesn't give you any real measure of what's going on. But if an application has a true memory leak as is described above, you would be able to detect it by looking at the free application memory. And of course your free application memory also tells you how much room you have left for applications.

Q: Is it possible to display the memory usage of individual applications?

A: No. RIM does not provide an API to determine the memory usage of individual applications.

Q: How do I know if I have a memory leak?

A: Java uses automatic garbage collection to manage memory. Applications create memory objects, and the Java garbage collector recovers memory objects that are no longer in use. The garbage collector runs only when it is convenient, usually when the handheld is idle or in an emergency when memory is needed and none is available. Because of this, it is typical for the memory objects created by an application to not be recovered for many minutes or even hours.

So, it is completely normal for the device's free application memory to fluctuate up and down.

It is the responsibility of applications to remove references to memory objects they no longer need. This signals to the garbage collector that the memory used by those objects can be recovered and used for something else. A "memory leak" in the context of a Blackberry device can occur when an application repeatedly creates memory objects and doesn't remove references to those objects when it no longer needs them.

If your free memory drops a certain amount after you restart your phone, this does not automatically mean you have a memory leak. This is completely normal as the Blackberry operating system caches things in application memory, just like your computer does with its RAM. However, if your free memory dwindles to a very low value and never increases unless you restart your phone, you probably do have a true memory leak.

Q: How can I use MeterBe to determine if an application has a memory leak?

A: MeterBe provides several facilities to do this. The easiest way is to setup a low memory notification, open the application you suspect is leaking memory, and then wait and see if the notification fires. Alternatively, you can observe the change in free application memory since startup on the status screen, or observe how the memory log changes over time.

Q: What does the Recover Memory button do? Why does it sometimes make my free memory decrease?

The Recover Memory button initiates the garbage collector programmatically. This corresponds with "System.GC() invocation" in the table below. As the table reveals, garbage collection is rather complex, and there is much more involved in the process than simply increasing the amount of free application memory. Initiating the garbage collector programmatically has different effects for different users depending on operating system version, third party applications, and settings. Some users benefit from doing so and some do not.

If the amount of free application memory decreases after pressing the Recover Memory button, it most likely is due to the "auto-commit" operation in the table below. This takes objects that were going to be moved from RAM to flash some time in the future and moves them immediately. The benefit of doing so is that this makes more RAM available for use by the system, which is much faster than flash. Remember that application memory is flash.

Also, even if the amount of free application memory stays the same after the garbage collector us run, it still most likely freed up RAM behind the scenes which should make the phone operate more smoothly.

Note: MeterBe does not currently display RAM statistics because the amount of free RAM fluctuates up and down much more significantly than application memory as the phone is running, and doesn't give any real measure of what is going on in the system.

Note: It is recommended that the Recover Memory feature is used sparingly, as initiating the garbage collector excessively will not provide any added benefit and only consume battery life.

Q: How is MeterBe's Recover Memory feature different than the operating system's Memory Cleaning feature?

MeterBe's Recover Memory feature initiates the garbage collector programmatically. See the question above for details.

The operating system's Memory Cleaning feature is for security purposes. When it is enabled, the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) overwrites memory with zeros before it is released to be recovered by the garbage collector. This prevents sensitive data from being retrieved from memory later. The Memory Cleaner also clears various caches on the phone including the temporary key store, content protection caches, address book caches, and more. This is why the amount of free application memory sometimes increases after it is run.

Q: Every time MeterBe opens it asks to change its permissions even though I always save the changes?

A: This usually occurs when your phone is on BES and your administrator has disabled the setting of a specific permission to "Allow". To see MeterBe's permissions:

1. In OS 4.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Security Options -> Application Permissions. In OS 5.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Applications.
2. Highlight (don't click) MeterBe.
3. Press the BlackBerry key and select "Edit Permissions".

Check if any of the permissions that MeterBe is requesting changes to only have a choice of "Deny". If so, the permissions are most likely being blocked by your IT policy. Contact your BES administrator.

Q: At what rate does the home screen icon update?

A: Once per minute. The icon does not update when the backlight is off. When the backlight comes on, the icon will update immediately.

Q: At what rate does the status screen update?

A: Once per minute. The screen does not update when the backlight is off. When the backlight comes on, the screen will update immediately.

Q: How is the battery discharge rate calculated? Sometimes I see a larger than expected percentage?

A: The battery discharge rate is normalized to percent per hour. A large percentage can be displayed if the battery level drops by a certain amount quickly after the discharge rate was reset. For example, if the discharge rate is reset and then the battery level drops 3% in 5 minutes, the discharge rate will show 3 * 60/5 = 36 % / hour.

Q: Sometimes when I reboot my phone the battery discharge rate shows a negative number?

A: This can occur if your battery level increased after you rebooted your phone but before MeterBe has refreshed the display. The discharge rate will correct itself in the next minute.

Q: Why does the Device and/or Media Card memory show "Not Found" on the status screen?

A: This occurs when your phone is plugged into a computer with the USB cable. Device and media card memory are not accessible when the USB interface is active.

Q: Why does my "Since Power Up" time not change if I turn my phone off and then back on?

A: When you shut your phone "off" with the red power key, it is not truly off. It is instead put into a deep sleep mode. "Since Power Up" refers to the last time power was actually cycled to the device, i.e. the battery was removed.

Q: I rebooted my phone by removing the battery. Why aren't the "Since Power Up" and "Since Last Reset" times exactly the same? They're off by a few minutes?

A: The "Since Power Up" time accounts for the time it takes your phone to boot up, roughly 2-3 minutes. The "Since Last Reset" time starts when your phone is finished booting.

Q: Do the logs have a fixed number of entries? Will they fill up forever?

A: The logs will hold 192 entries, or 48 hours of data at the fastest update rate. When they are full, old entries are thrown away.

Q: Why can't MeterBe perform a scheduled reset when the phone is locked, holstered, or off?

A: Due to operating system limitations, a scheduled reset cannot be performed while the phone is locked or holstered. Currently, MeterBe does not support scheduled resets when the phone is off, but this feature may be added in the future.

Q: What is the difference between Reset Modes 1, 2, and 3?

A: The two reset modes use slightly different logic to perform a soft reset. Reset Mode 3 is the default, and should work for recent OS versions and phones. If the soft reset fails, try Mode 1 or 2.

Q: When I open MeterBe, the keyboard won't go away?

A: This occurs when your OS has enabled compatibility mode for MeterBe when it shouldn't have. To disable it:

1. In OS v4.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Advanced Options -> Applications. In OS 5.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Applications.
2. Highlight (don't click) MeterBe.
3. From the menu select "Disable Compatibility Mode".

Q: When trying to perform a soft reset, I get an error message saying that my device cannot be reset because another reset request has already been initiated?

A: There are two scenarios that can cause this:

- This can occur if you pressed "REBOOT LATER" when prompted by another application or the operating system to reboot your phone. It is not possible for MeterBe to reboot your phone in this scenario. You should be prompted again soon by the operating system to reboot. If not, or if you do not wish to wait, you can reboot your phone by removing the battery.

- Reset Mode 3 is selected when Mode 1 should be. Change the Reset Mode to 1 and try the soft reset again.

Q: I see an Error Code 4 and/or a "MeterBeResetStub has been denied the "Cross Application Communication" permission" error message when I try to do a soft reset?

A: There are two potential causes of this error message:

Cause #1: MeterBe requires that the default value for the Cross Application Communication permission be set to "Allow". To do so:

1. In OS 4.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Security Options -> Application Permissions. In OS 5.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Applications.
2. Press the BlackBerry key and select "Edit Default Permissions". Make sure to choose the default permissions, not "Edit Permissions".
3. Expand the "Interactions" section.
4. Set the "Cross Application Communication" permission to "Allow".
5. Press the Blackberry key and select "Save".
6. Reboot your phone by removing the battery.

Cause #2: RIM introduced a bug in some of the leaked 4.X OS's which has carried over into official OS releases by some carriers. If you see this error message, change to a different Reset Mode by performing the following:

1. Open MeterBe and from the menu select Options.
2. Scroll to the Device section at the bottom of the screen.
3. If Reset Mode is set to 1, change it to 2. If Reset Mode is set to 2, change it to 1.
4. From the menu select Save.

Q: When trying to perform a soft reset, I see a message that MeterBe is attempting to reset the Security Timer. It asks me to Allow or Deny.

A: MeterBe does not need to reset the security timer to perform a soft reset, but the OS thinks it does. If you see this message, you most likely have the Security Timer Reset permission set to Prompt. To change this:

1. In OS 4.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Security Options -> Application Permissions. In OS 5.X, go to Options (wrench) -> Applications.
2. Highlight (don't click) MeterBe.
3. Press the BlackBerry key and select "Edit Permissions".
4. Expand the "Interactions" section.
5. Set the "Security Timer Reset" permission to "Deny".
6. Press the Blackberry key and select "Save".
7. Reboot your phone by removing the battery.

Q: I get an "Error Code: 5" message when trying to perform a soft reset?

A: This is usually caused by the Security Timer Reset permission being set to Prompt, which interferes with the reset timing. Follow the instructions above to set it to Deny.

Q: Why does changing themes or performing a soft reset (with an application other than MeterBe) sometimes "lock up" MeterBe's icon updates and logging?

A: This is a known issue with the BlackBerry operating system. Reboot your phone by removing the battery or using the soft reset feature and MeterBe will begin working again. Use MeterBe's soft reset feature instead of another application's; MeterBe's soft reset engine is much more robust than any other application on the market.

Q: My logs and/or options are acting strange after I upgraded to a new version?

A: Most of the time, the operating system correctly handles upgrades to applications with persistent data, such as MeterBe. Occasionally this persistent data can become corrupted when upgrading to a new version of an application. To mitigate this, simply uninstall MeterBe, reboot your phone by removing the battery, and then reinstall MeterBe. This will erase all of the persistent data and create new entries.


Change Log

v2.6.0 - March 25, 2013

- Move to Blackberry App World, renamed MeterBe
- Lots of optimizations to reduce runtime footprint and improve performance, including more reliable device resets
- Added more options for low memory notification
- Added new banner indicator option for memory change since startup
- Fixed bug with log #3 on newer devices
- Fixed small font problem

v2.5.0 - September 1, 2010

- Added color-coded, customizable banner indicator for battery, temperature, and free application memory.
- Added estimated battery time remaining on status screen and in color-coded, customizable home screen icon.
- OS 6.0 (Torch 9800) support.
- Fixed incorrect total application memory on some phones.
- Added option to force total application memory to specific value for display and calculation purposes.

v2.0.9 - May 2, 2010

- Added new Reset Mode 3 which fixes Reset Device functionality in latest OS 5.0 versions.

v2.0.3 - November 9, 2009

- Fixed problem that could prevent battery and memory notifications from triggering under certain conditions.

v2.0.2 - November 8, 2009

- Fixed problem that could cause wrong log entry to be selected when swiping to move between logs on Storm.

v2.0.1 - November 8, 2009

- Fixed device reset compatibility with OS 5.0.
- Added user-customizable home screen icon colors.
- Memory Change Since Startup home screen icon is now color coded.
- Added ability to add notes to logs
- Added option to clear logs on startup
- Added selectable Reset Mode to control device reset (see FAQ).

v1.5.8 - August 30, 2009

- Fixed problem encountered by some BES users that caused "Error Code: 5" message when attempting a device reset.

v1.5.2 - August 23, 2009

- Compatible with Blackberry Tour.

v1.5.1 - August 23, 2009

- Added Signal Strength and Temperature logging.
- Three log slots can be set to any combination of Battery, Memory, Signal Strength, or Temperature logs.
- Improved user interface now driven from the menu inside MeterBerry.
- Improved layout of log screens.
- Added support to log screens for left and right multi-touch swipe gestures to move between logs (Storm only).
- Fixed reset device functionality in beta OS version .151.
- Battery discharge rate now resets when phone is unplugged from charger, instead of when battery level reaches 100%.

v1.4.5 - May 3, 2009

- Added button to recover memory (run the Java garbage collector) to the status screen.
- Added button to low memory notification popup to recover memory.
- Added option to recover memory hourly when the phone is idle.

- Added button to view system event log to status screen.
- Added option to clear system event log hourly when the phone is idle. When this occurs, entry is added to the event log indicating MeterBerry performed the clear.

- Added option to disable battery and/or memory logs. When log is enabled or disabled, a new entry is added to the log stating so.
- Added total application memory to status screen.
- Added percent free application memory to status screen.
- Moved percent free to left of value so values line up, e.g. (50%) 20.5MB instead of 20.5MB (50%).
- "Startup", "Batt Full", "Rst Dis Rate", etc. tags in logs are now aligned in a single column.
- Enhancements to application permission checking.
- Improved graphics of battery icons.

v1.3.14 - April 21, 2009

- Added separate "since power up" and "since last reset" timers to status screen. Uptime icon changed to "Time Since Last Reset" icon.
- Added ability to select a specific log entry and clear prior log entries.
- Improved efficiency of logging routines, decreasing MeterBerry's runtime footprint.
- Fixed problem that appeared in v1.3.11 that could cause slightly increased battery consumption under rare circumstances.

v1.3.11 - April 17, 2009

- The warning dialog that appears when a scheduled reset is imminent now counts down from 10 seconds.
- Improved speed and reliability of soft reset engine.
- Fixed problem where device would not automatically reboot and instead display the REBOOT NOW / LATER prompt.
- A soft reset can now be performed even if you have chosen "No" or "Later" when prompted by the operating system to reboot after uninstalling an application that is in use or installing a new version of an application that is in use, respectively. Note: if you choose "REBOOT LATER" when prompted to reboot by another soft reset application, it is not possible for MeterBerry or any other application to programmatically perform a soft reset. You will be prompted again soon by the operating system to reboot.

v1.3.9 - April 8, 2009
- Added the ability to schedule a soft reset daily at a specific time.
- There is no longer a need to press "Yes" or "REBOOT NOW" at any of the system prompts when performing a device reset.
Simply answer "Yes" to "Are you sure you want to reset your device?" and without touching another button your phone will restart.
- You will now be prompted to set permissions MeterBerry requires on startup if permissions are not setup appropriately, preventing permission conflicts.
- Fixed a rare bug that would display an error code 2000000 and/or IllegalArgumentException when performing a soft reset.

v1.3.7 - Mar 31, 2009
- Fixed compatibility with Nikkisoft QuickLaunch.

v1.3.6 - Mar 29, 2009
- Fixed a problem where occasionally the home screen icon would be too large.
- Fixed a problem that caused a NullPointerException on some Storm 9500 phones.
- Added customizable battery and memory notifications.
- Added soft reset functionality.
- Added option to rotate between home screen icons.
- Added battery temperature and uptime home screen icons.
- Added option to select between Fahrenheit and Celsius for battery temperature.
- Added options to clear battery and memory logs on startup.
- When the phone is restarted, the battery log now records the battery level. This allows you to track how much, if any, battery charge is consumed during a phone restart.
- When the phone is restarted, the memory log now records the change in memory since the previous log entry. This allows you to track how much application memory is recovered with a phone restart.
- When the battery discharge rate is manually reset, the battery log now records the change in battery level since the previous log entry.

v1.2 - Feb 21, 2009
- Performance improvements.
- Fixed a bug where in rare circumstances the logs would stop auto-updating, requiring a reboot.
- Added hyphens between portions of the phone number.

v1.1 - Feb 19, 2009
- Initial release.

 

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