I really enjoy having a great looking home screen with a good balance of colors and very little distraction. But I felt like destroying something beautiful by splashing tons of brightly colored pixels everywhere. The app responsible for this is PowerLine, an on-screen display that uses persistent lines to keep you apprised of almost any live stat you could ever ask for. This comes to us from Urbandroid Team, the developers of Sleep as Android.


This isn't a brand new idea by any means, and battery bars like this reach all the way back to the Windows Mobile days. Plenty of ROMs and apps deliver similar features, but few of them offer quite as much customization or as many stats. Each bar can be individually configured to appear on any edge of the screen, aligned to either corner or centered, and even offset from the edge by several pixels. Further refinement is possible for line thickness, transparency, and up to 3 colors to indicate low, normal, and high usage. Here's the current list of items you can keep an eye on:

  • Battery
  • Cell signal strength
  • WiFi signal strength
  • Unread SMS
  • Missed calls
  • Memory usage (RAM)
  • Processor usage
  • Internal storage
  • External storage
  • Clock (yes, just a bar that grows as the day goes by)
  • Decoration (a full length bar, ideally it can be used to tint your notification bar)

PowerLine is free in the Play Store, but only allows up to 2 indicators to be active at one time. Even in the free version, all of the options are available. If you're looking to flood your screen with unsightly lines, an unlock key is also available for $1.49. This is a pretty decent option for the person who wants a perpetual view of everything happening on their device, but remember, the gods of Android design may hunt and kill you for each and every pixel you shamelessly cover up.

Cody Toombs
Cody is a Software Engineer and Writer with a mildly overwhelming obsession with smartphones and the mobile world. If he’s been pulled away from the computer for any length of time, you might find him talking about cocktails and movies, sometimes resulting in the consumption of both.

  • mesmorino

    I saw the word Powerline and I immediately thought of A Goofy Movie. Most disappointing Headline EVER.

    • Muddy B00ts

      Gotta STAND OUT, above the crowd. Even if I have to SHOUT OUT LOUD.

  • DrewNusser

    I just don't get what makes this app stand out above the crowd...

    • bimsebasse


      • DrewNusser

        Apparently we just don't see Eye to Eye on the issue.

        • John O’Connor

          We just need to get better at reading between the lines.... eeeghads is my battery bar blue or fuschia or yellow or red or gold... aaaw screw it let me check the settings.

          Don't get me wrong I love the idea but in theory, but it may take a week or two for power users to get accustomed to all of the bars they might want displayed.

  • Ryan

    Now if only it could disable the native stats that are always there. I don't need 3 different things telling me that my battery is almost dead.

    • jeffhesser

      my thoughts exactly. Could be useful if the native stuff would go away.

  • AndroidShiz

    Cool. A battery bar. Speaking of completely underwhelmed, I am so done with that particular style of big ugly clock. Thankfully it looks like HTC moved on from it too, but to ea their own in Android land.

    • Chris

      Clock is still in Sense 5. You just have to "search for it" when adding widgets. (I know because I played around with the "One" at a sprint store)


    • squiddy20

      I never understood the hype with those homescreen clocks when you have a time indicator that is pretty much always in the top right corner (unless you're in a full screen app of course). Swipe left/right to a different screen, go into an app, or the app drawer, and its usefulness literally disappears...

      • Ben Freund

        If you are running the Nova launcher (and have root access), you can hide the time from the status bar when looking at the homescreen.

      • Mr E

        I'll still put them on my tablet(s) sometimes, but mainly because (a) sometimes i prop it up on my desk and the small time is hard to see from a distance or (b) some good weather widgets come with a clock integrated in it.

  • http://www.gundamaustralia.com/ cameron charles

    aokp has a power-line for the battery, I've got mine placed just above the soft keys and below the dock bar, set to match the build in line above the dock bar, so it just looks like a bottom border to the dock bar almost stock like, except obviously it shrinks as the battery power does.

    but given that aokp also has the alternative battery notification bar icon that shows you textually how much battery is left i havent really looked at the powerline

    • Qliphah

      Switched off my ROMs ability to do this as SmoothROMs wasn't nearly as customizable. And as far as I can tell the free version is all I'll ever need, 2 bars is plenty.