Growing Panel – More to it… (Updated)

Posted On: Friday, March 20, 2009

It turns out that the Growing panel has more to it than what was initially believed of it. It is not just a cool animated panel, but has a lot more to offer.

First of all let me start off by complementing the animating panel. Having run it for a couple of hours now, the first thing i noticed was that it kept changing with time. The sun went down and the moon came up, and slowly made across the sky… and now the moon is almost out of sight and the sky a bit brightened, the sun should be showing up soon. (unfortunately i won’t be able to catch the sun rising as i’ll be asleep by then…)

Next are the small insects on the panel. Bees flying by, worms crawling on the plants, fireflies in the air, and snails on the ground. Hit the bee or the ladybird and the phone buzzes, hit a snail and it hides itself inside its shell and stays there – hit it again to get it moving again, hit the firefly and it flickers… This is definitely a panel worth having!

Now… the functionality on the panel. As expected the clock at the top-left corner of the panel brings the time & date settings screen. It is the flowers and plants that actually represent different stuff. For instance the middle flower in the screenshot below represents e-mail. When a bud, you have no mail… but when blossomed, you have mail. Not only that, the flowers differ depending on time as well as when the panel is switched. For instance, in the first two screenshots we have a dark-blue flower, but in the next screenshots you should see a light-blue flower.

Screen04 Screen05

Screen07 Screen06

The flower to the right (red bud in the screenshots) represents phone calls. I didn’t have a second phone near me otherwise would have given myself a missed call to see it in action. The flower on the left (yellow one) is SMS. The plant with the purple flowers (right side of the screen) is for phone profiles and the single stem with leaves on the left is for battery. Note in the screenshot below that when i attached the phone to my laptop and started charging the device, the bottom of the battery plant lit up… white sparks rise from the light and travel upwards fading half-way across the plant.


Is there more to this Growing Panel? Maybe there is… could it also show weather? Maybe the day-time screen (which differs a lot from the night-time screen – just look at the screenshots i uploaded in the previous post) has more stuff on it. I can’t wait to find out in the morning… :)

I was impressed by the panel when i thought it was simply an animating panel. I am now literally loving this panel and hope that when the final version of R3 ROM hits the update utility, we’ll see more panels like this one.

Update: At the bottom of the screen are really small plants – sort of like grass – with white tips. These are hooked with Wi-Fi. When Wi-Fi is turned on and connected to, flowers grow there. The stronger the strength of the signal, the more flowers there will be. Additionally, when you have a meeting in the calendar a butterfly appears on the panel – reported to fly higher when meeting is closer. The mushroom on the screen represents bluetooth – when activated the mushroom evolves and turns blue.

The phone profile plant wilts its flowers based on volume of the device and chosen profile (for me it only updates/changes the top two flowers). the Battery plant turns from brown to green starting from the top – the more the plant turns green, battery percentage is as less.


21 Responses to “Growing Panel – More to it… (Updated)”

  1. Speedy

    That's not all. The Mushroom goes to bluetooth settings if you tap on it, and the bee buzzes.

  2. Melk

    And the small white grass on the bottom is the WiFi. Also, the plant seems smaller in the morning and bigger at night, didn't understand the pattern yet.

    On my panel it started raining, as it did outside in the real world... but I don't know if it was random or it is somehow connected to the weather. It doesn't ask for the city. If it has weather the only way to do it would be to get a gps fix and get the city from the Internet, but I doubt it's that advanced.

  3. M.Salman.K

    @Speedy - yeah, i forgot to mention about the bluetooth plant... :)

    @Melk - Thanks for pointing out about the grass! As for weather... maybe it picks up your location from your settings or timezone and so on... But it would definitely be cool to see it raining on the panel... :D

    If it rains again on the panel, can you get a screen-capture?

  4. Melk

    Yep, i'll try to get it if it rains again.

  5. Melk

    I forgot to add - I hate not having the Contacts and Calendar shortcuts at the bottom of the screen. It's just blank...

  6. Melk

    Well, it seems there is no rain, but some falling stars appearing randomly, I guess.

  7. Marjolein

    Hi, Experialovers,

    I've got the xperia for 3 days now. So I'm a beginner. I've downloaded this panel en installed it on my X1. But it doesn't show in my panels set up. Where do I put the cab file.
    Because it isn't like the sbp panel or other panels from SE. I don't know, how to do it.
    Mr. Salman because of your reviews I've chosen the X1. But it's a great device.
    Thank for this blog. It's great.

    Best regards,
    Marjolein van Bers
    The Netherlands.
    P.S. I hope that I don't a lot of mistakes... in my English.

  8. M.Salman.K

    @Marjolein - Welcome to the world of Xperia. May it be more exciting and fun than you ever imagined! :)

    I'm sure you'll find the device to be one of the most powerful and feature-packed devices you have ever owned...

    To get this panel working, you need to install the following:

    Best of luck!

  9. Marjolein

    @M.Salman -
    Thanks for your motivated words. I will try your tip.

    I've a little question: the battery is fast empty, just 3/4 of a day and I need it to recharge. Yesterday I didn't use it often. My household needed some attention...And yet the battery was early emtpy. Do you have an idea what I can do about it, without sending my device to sony ericsson.... I admid, I can't live without it anymore....

    Already addicted :)
    Best regards,


  10. M.Salman.K

    @Marjolein - Maybe there is some software installed that is draining out the battery? Close any applications that you are not using and also turn off any extra settings - such as bluetooth and wifi when not in use. That will extend the battery life further.

    3/4 of a day is very low! I use my phone with my company's exchange e-mail address, make a couple of calls, play games at times, and surf the internet usually and still it lasts me through the full day easily - at night when i put it in to charge, it is only as low as 40% or sometimes even 50%...

    If the above tips don't help... maybe try hard-resetting your device. You might have a couple of bloatware installed on the device...

    Maybe someone with more info or who has faced same issues can highlight a bit more to you.

  11. Melk

    A few times I forgot my GPS app running in the background and it ate my battery in 6-7 hours. Also, using the Growing panel makes my phone very slow and also drains my battery faster.

  12. Marjolein

    Thanks for the reply.
    I will try it. I have so much, I don't know what is callen in English. But my X1 doesn't react on anything. I've to do a soft reset with the stylus... And that severall times a day.
    I think that I'm to enthousiastic with new programs and install all of them. It's said but I have to do a hard reset!!!
    I've been to a store and they explain to me, that if you see a H or G that my device is always connected and that is also a battery drainer. Is that so?

    But I still love my X1. It's so perfect for me. I know my way much better already.

    My best regards,


  13. M.Salman.K

    @Marjolein - Reading what you wrote, i would definitely advise doing a hard-reset. That should resolve most, if not all, issues that you face.

  14. Tim

    Marjolein? There's also a Dutch version of the growingpanel. That's a lot easier to install as you don't have to modify settings after installation. I'm using that one myself too. Since you also live in the Netherlands you probably also have a Dutch Xperia.

    This is the download link:

    And... don't forget the ActiveX thing M.Salman.K already mentioned. Then you're good to go!

    And the X1 only show H when there is an active data connection. If there is not, the X1 automatically switches to a powersaving 3G network and then switches back to H when there is data traffic. So if you always see an H... something is always actively connected to the internet! (MSN excluded as that suffices with 3G).

    H = HSPA connection, always with active data connection
    3G = UMTS connection, active or inactive data connection
    G = GPRS connection, active or inactive data connection

  15. Marjolein

    Hi Tim,

    Dank je wel. (thanks for English people)
    I will try it in a minute. I've done a hard reset this weekend and my Xperia works just fine now. I have only one question. Do I have to update again (SEUS)? Or is that saved.

    And the data thing. I have the H not always in sight, the 3G always or often. The G sometimes. But my email won't go or come in. I have to figure that out yet. But in so many ways, the Xperia is FANTASTIC!!!

    Best Regards to all readers of this blog and help...


  16. Marjolein


    This panel is fantastic. It's now dark outsite. And the panel too...
    Wow, this is really gute...

    Best regards, and see you soon...


  17. Tim

    The update from SEUS is saved in your device :-) So don't worry!


    ps. Asjeblieft ;-)

  18. Marjolein

    Back again. My X1 has left me... :( the backcover had some cracks by the camereabutton.) SE knows this problem, so I will get a new one soon. But I'm so said now. I've sold my old SE and now I'm phoneless....
    O, and Tim, X1 support told me that I have to do a new update after a hard reset! Because my camerarunner.exe didn't work anymore. (the arrow in the camera to see the photo's you've made!) But that isn't important anymore... I x1-less...

    And to Tim: bedankt voor het antwoorden.

    Best regards...

  19. Tim

    Marjolein? You should receive a new X1 shortly! To my own experience within a week! They're quite fast with the X1!

    And then when you receive your new X1, do an update, hard reset the device and see that you do not need to update your X1 again. I am 100% sure of it :-)

    And next time, return the phone to a Service Point, they can repair it in 45 minutes! :-) I don't know where in the Netherlands you live, but all major cities have a service point! That's a lot faster then waiting for your phone to return.

    Don't worry, you will be back! :-)


  20. Roland

    I just can't get the growing panel to work.
    And even though I installed the active x controller for flash I'm still unable to choose the panel :(

  21. jsacc

    Is the growing panel compatible with the x1a?

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