DockRunner Acts Like Droid Multimedia Dock… For Free


Do you really like the concept of the Multimedia Dock for the Motorola Droid but refuse to buy it because – heck – you’ve already got an alarm clock and can’t justify the $30 purchase? What if I told you that you could have the Multimedia Dock for FREE… just… not the hardware? DockRunner is an application on Android Market that, when entered, makes your Droid think it is in the Multimedia Dock and gives you all the goodies like live location-based weather, media player, alarm clock, image slideshow and a nice big digital clock.

Your Droid will remain in Multimedia Dock mode until you try to re-enter the application through the application launch icon. Personally I already purchased the Multimedia Dock and I rather like it, but this is a nice alternative. Unfortunately, without the dock, the MicroUSB  plug gets in the way if you’re trying to finagle it onto your nightstand, dresser or whatever else to sit upright like the actual dock allows. A quick fix – if the developer is listening – would be to spoof the orientation of the phone and display the application upside down so that you can safely put your Droid on a flat surface, lean it against something and have the plug protrude out the top.

At the end of the video I mention how I just saved you $30 and you should PayPal me. I was joking, of course, but your gratitude should go towards the folks at who developed Dock Runner and provided it free to all of us. Plus some props to David who sent in this tip – great find! So yeah… you can PayPal them instead. Or me. Either way.

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. hahahaha cool

  2. thanks! saved me $30 ;)

  3. Rob, i can’t see your paypal address anywhere, give it to me

  4. bedside does all of those things except the weather and works in portrait mode too.

  5. Haha, awesome. It’s also worth noting that this is the type of app that would NEVER make it to the iphone app store.

  6. Where did you already buy a dock? I can’t find them for sale anywhere…

  7. it would be nice if you posted thr qr code for apps posted here.

  8. Does anyone know how to get better alarm clock tones? They are all too obnoxious!

  9. Hey where can I get this awesome Phandroid clock??

  10. Has anyone found this on the market? I searched for it and couldn’t find it. Searched for “dockrunner” and “doc runner” but neither returned any hits.

    It doesn’t matter that I have a G1 does it? I believe that the Android Market is the same for everyone no matter what hardware you are searching it from.

  11. Click on the house on the top left and you can actually get landscape homescreen without keyboard open.

  12. I can’t find the dock anywhere either. I’ll use the app in the mean time. Thanks for the tip Rob!

  13. I want that Phandroid clock!

  14. “Personally I already purchased the Multimedia Dock and I rather like it, but this is a nice alternative.”

    Rob Jackson, where were you able to purchase the multimedia dock? Are you talking about the one Motorola offers or some other one?

  15. Why isn’t this a built in application like “Car Home” is on Android 2.0 devices? There should be a “Dock Home” app.

  16. This is Yoni from Active Frequency. I wrote DockRunner – thanks for the great video and writeup!

    re: your suggestion, I wish I could trick the phone into an “upside-down” orientation, but the Dock Mode seems to force that specific landscape setting, and I can’t really figure out a way around it. Personally, I’ve just MacGuyvered a micro-USB connector onto my bedside covered AC-adapter strip with some Gorilla Tape so I can drop it right onto it, but it is a decidedly unprofessional looking solution :)

    As far as showing your support, if you want to express gratitude for the $30 you saved on DockRunner, besides PayPalling Rob :), just buy our $0.99 Market app RockOut Acoustic Pro — proper Droid/WVGA support coming this week!

  17. @Jason: The app requires Android 2.0, so it won’t even show in the Market on a G1 running Android 1.6. But even if you could install it, your phone is missing the required Motorola clock application, so it wouldn’t work anyways — try Bedside instead.

  18. I had trouble finding a case for my Droid when I bought it so I used an old one I had laying around that just so happens to fit. The only bad thing is since the case closes by using a magnet to hold it shut sometimes the phone gets freaked out by that and goes into Dock Mode. Thats how I even found out about Dock Mode. I searched for an hour trying to figure out how to get back into that mode on purpose but couldn’t find anything until I came to this site. Thanks!

  19. @Joe V
    I second that!

  20. My verizon stores initial stock was 120 droids & 6 multimedia docks. Everyone wanted a dock but could not get one. They are still not on the Verizon accessories web page.
    Major FAIL Verizon.

    This app just saved me $60 we wanted one for work & home.

    Lets see 100000 droids sold at least 50000 people wanted a media dock 50000 x $30 = 1.5 million dollars. Ouch.
    I’m sure Verizon Execs will have a fuzzy feeling watching the download numbers for this app.

    Add an ‘Alarms’ folder to your SD Card
    Drop any MP3 in to it and they will show up in your alarm choices. Add the Phandroidpodcast
    That will wake you up in the morning………

  21. If I hold my Motorola Droid in landscape mode and place a magnet near the center of the back (use a piece of cloth between the magnet and the droid) it will think it is connected to a media dock. I found this out when I tried to use a holster with a magnetic closure.

  22. Bedside

    It does all that and more, the only thing missing is weather… which will be in there as well, very soon…. I’ve had this app on the market for a long time. On the Droid, if you have Bedside installed, and have the dock, it will ask you if you wish to open Bedside as the default action when connecting to the dock.

  23. first off only the droid runs this app and when u go to the market you type in dock runner. i got it right after i saw this post and it works fine. thanks for the tip on how 2 get it out off multi-media mode.

  24. @michael: what you do to get better alarms is make a folder on your sd card called media, inside media make a folder called alarms, and inside this alarms folder you put whatever songs/noises you want to use for your alarms and they will show up when you go to select one. You can also add ringtones and notification sounds the same way.

  25. For the problem with the usb I’m sure we’ll be seeing some dock stands made out of Legos to fix that problem. ;)

  26. @Yoni Samlan
    Thanks for the info! Great work on the app and hopefully I can convince my wife that I HAVE to have the Droid even though we have a year left on our t-mobile contract :)

  27. Thanks Yoni. I think it’s awesome when developers write in “our” comments section. It helps me believe they actually care about their product and aren’t just trying to make a quick buck.

  28. @ Michael
    Download “Ringdroid” from the market. It will use your audio files and you can crop them to make your own ringtones. It’s simple and works perfectly! Just have to search for the right song. (Warning: Don’t pick a song you love or you’ll end up hating it sooner or later after a couple weeks if you’re not a morning person.)

  29. @ Michal “Does anyone know how to get better alarm clock tones? They are all too obnoxious”

    Get the app called Ringdroid, you can create your own ringtones, alarms, and notifications with mp3’s on your sd card.

    It’s amazingly simple, and best of all it’s free!

  30. BOSS! installed…

  31. For those asking where to buy the dock, you can go to the Verizon store and they can order it for you. I did so on Tuesday and it arrived at my house today. Free shipping to boot!

  32. Thx Phandroid for the tip, and thanks to the developer! I kinda wanted the dock, but not bad enuf to lay out 30 clams for it (So verizon, don’t get your panties in a wad). I will make a dock with a slot for the cable in my workshop — you know some of us guys and our tools.

    And Jason, I busted my T-Mobile G1 contract (1 year left also) to get the droid. I will tell you that the droid is so much faster than the G1 that it is flipping amazing, both in moving around in the OS, and on 3G, and even dialing and connecting phone numbers.

    On 3G, I have run speed tests using the same speed test app from the same exact spot in my home on both the G1 on T-Mobile 3G, and the droid on Verizon 3G. The droid is a full 50% faster! I don’t know if it is because of the faster droid processor, or if VZ’s 3G is faster than T-Mo’s. I expect it may be a combination of both. But as Forrest Gump might say, “I don’t rightly noes what all they puts in this here gumbo, but it sure do go down gud!” Or in tech jargon, “Sick, dewd!”

  33. gadgets galor. i just ordered the car mount from vzw online (use promo code acc20) and an OEM moto p513 for 8.95 on ebay (free ship). i was going to get the multimedia dock, but now i have to choose between bedside, dockrunner and $30 that would prob be better spent on a decent case/holster.

    while i love my droid, i don’t know about ditching t-mobile mid contract just to get it. the htc hd2 is coming out next year (too bad no qwerty). it’s out in europe on tmobile and there’s not much reason to think that they won’t get it when it comes here. of course sprint looks eager for it too.
    that said, let the droidum continue.

  34. I want the Phandroid clock too (n__n )

  35. Maybe I’m the only one here…

    The multimedia dock is worth the price. I probably wouldn’t pay more than $35 for it. Granted, through my company I get 25% off all accessories, so I paid $22.50 for it. But, it’s a good looking piece of equipment, charges the phone when I plug it in, and takes up much less real estate on my nightstand than most alarm clocks.

    If you want to go out to your garage and slap together something that achieves the same thing, I respect that. I doubt it will look or perform as nice though. And is the two hours you’ll spend on that really worth the $30 (or even $22.50) you saved?

  36. @Rob Jackson
    Could you post where we can find that awesome custom phandroid clock?

  37. Ive been propping it up on a stack of books on my night stand and it works fine. I just let it hange 1/3 of the way off the books so the wire can hang freely. I’ll prob be getting the dock soon, but it works for now!

    I also suggest getting the ScreenMode Widget. Lets you switch between sleep/stay awake quickly.

  38. Hey guys another cheap quick fix suggestion until or if you buy the dock later. Use a small “freestanding” picture frame. The larger ones are good for books too etc. too but I had one laying around the house and it’s a small one so it fits the Droid fine and they fold up. The are really cheap at a craft store or Wal-Mart might have them.

  39. I just got the droid today. It might be a stupid question but how do I search for apps on the android market? I go to and it only shows me the top rated stuff. It doesn’t appear to let me search for anything… Sorry, i’m a newby

  40. how about a lego dock? that would solve the issue with the usb cable?

  41. just got a droid today and was wondering if anyone has found a case that you can use with the dock. I dont like the pouches that clip on your belt i like the cases that are always on the phone.
    thanks for your help

  42. It should really be common practice to display an app’s QR code (2-D barcode), or link to it, whenever talking about the app.

    In the age of in-phone barcode scanners, leaving out the QR code is tantamount to talking about a website without remembering to link to it.

  43. Here’s how I made a slick dock for 3 bucks. It lets me keep my case on and works like a champ. I have one at my home desk, in the bedroom and in my office at work. Spread the word! The only thing it doesn’t do is charge while on it but I would much rather have the case on it and I can charge it while I’m in the car.

  44. Here is my 3 dollar dock. I just flip it over for a quick charge or to connect it (waiting for a way to flip dock runner)

  45. Where can I fine the DockRunner app. so that I can download in on to my Droid?

  46. Hey,

    I’ve found a better way of docking the Droid for free:

    No software required!

  47. You don’t need any app. Just place a magnet behind the phone, by where the usb opening is, slightly above it. You will feel the magnet being attracted. That will make the original multimedia application open. Use a small strong magnet, otherwise the navigation application will open too.

  48. When I first purchased the phone, I bought a desktop dock. When the phone was placed in the dock it would automatically change to the alarm clock / weather screen. It stopped doing it recently. The app is a nice way to get this functionality back, but I would really like to know why it suddenly stopped working in the first place. Also if the original designers of the dock are listening, make note that if you install a cover / case on your phone it no longer fits in the docking cradle.

  49. I just ran this app to check it out. When i exited the app, my phone stopped going back to the portrait view. Now my phone only has landscape view. This sucks. This application may suck.

  50. Hey, I downloaded this on the droid X but i cant seem to get out of the mode. Everytime i press the “home” key it goes back to the landscape screen and i keep have to exit out of it. Is there anyway i can remove it completely? Because i like the app, but it just isnt working for me.

  51. If you force the droid to update to Froyo, this application comes with the new OS. Also, the OS allows the orientation of the phone to be upright or on either side. Pretty nice, I use it everyday.

  52. Updated Original Droid to Android 2.2 OS. now this app will not run. uninstalled, reinstalled, still crashed. Can not find any longer in App Market. There is a new similar app in the new OS called Clock with similar features, but does not behave as well as this did. Please update for 2.2 and put back on the market!!!!!!

  53. 2.2 has this built in… its just a bitch to get to. click the menu button on the bottom of the home screen, so all the apps come up, lay your phone flat and shake it. It works sometimes and it doesn’t others. Mine has been doing it all day haha. It is the same dock with weather, music, alarm, pictures, and a home button. So there you go. Great app, but i’ll take my free built in software.

    (St3v3O05 knows what’s up)

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