15 votes

What are some must-dos when you are setting up a new Android Phone?

What are some must-dos when you are setting up a new Android Phone?

22 comments

  1. [7]
    uselessabstraction (edited ) Link
    1: Install TeamWin Recovery, and either CopperheadOS* or LineageOS ROMs. If the device doesn't support this, don't buy it! 2: Enable "Security->Unknown sources" and "Developer Options." Choose a...

    1: Install TeamWin Recovery, and either CopperheadOS* or LineageOS ROMs. If the device doesn't support this, don't buy it!

    2: Enable "Security->Unknown sources" and "Developer Options." Choose a cute hostname in developer options.

    3: Install either MicroG or Gapps pico. If issuing Gapps, disable all syncing features in account settings.

    4: Install F-Droid. Use F-Droid to Install Yalp Store. Use Yalp store to Install Firefox.

    5: Install uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger, and HTTPS Everywhere plugins in Firefox. Disable Pocket / recommended sites nonsense. Tweak some browser privacy settings. Set search engine to DuckDuckGo.

    6: Install OpenVPN for Android from F-Droid. Configure for Private Internet Access, or your anonymous VPN service of choice.

    7: Only install applications from F-Droid except in cases of life and death. :) I recommend AntennaPod, Document Viewer, NewPipe, Materialistic, and RedReader.

    As far as root access goes, I usually skip it. One less potential security hole to worry about. AdAway is really nice, but the real answer is to not install applications with ads. Stop playing games on your phone. Shill Tildes instead! :)

    * Apparently there's been some controversy. I still think it is probably a better choice than the stock vendor images loaded with shovelware, but LineageOS is probably a better choice for most people, and works on a lot more devices.

    23 votes
    1. [4]
      deadaluspark Link Parent
      I wouldn't go with Copperhead after the split between the "owner" and "developer" that left all the code with the guy who didn't write any of the code.

      I wouldn't go with Copperhead after the split between the "owner" and "developer" that left all the code with the guy who didn't write any of the code.

      7 votes
      1. [3]
        uselessabstraction Link Parent
        Oh man. When did that happen? You got any interesting links about it? I used to run Copperhead on my Nexus 5x, but that phone died and I ended up replacing it with a dirt cheap Nexus 5 - so I...

        Oh man. When did that happen? You got any interesting links about it?

        I used to run Copperhead on my Nexus 5x, but that phone died and I ended up replacing it with a dirt cheap Nexus 5 - so I haven't been keeping up to date with Copperhead as much.

        3 votes
        1. [2]
          deadaluspark Link Parent
          It happened maybe six months ago or more. I don't remember the exact details, but it looks like the mod of /r/CopperheadOS (which was the developers erstwhile business partner) got suspended from...

          It happened maybe six months ago or more. I don't remember the exact details, but it looks like the mod of /r/CopperheadOS (which was the developers erstwhile business partner) got suspended from Reddit, and it looks like the dev is pretty active in the sub.

          https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17289536

          4 votes
    2. nutax Link Parent
      There's also a version of Firefox in the F-Droid called Fennec F-Droid. I'm not sure what's the difference between the two but it seems to work OK.

      4: Install F-Droid. Use F-Droid to Install Yalp Store. Use Yalp store to Install Firefox.

      There's also a version of Firefox in the F-Droid called Fennec F-Droid. I'm not sure what's the difference between the two but it seems to work OK.

      7 votes
    3. 666 Link Parent
      You still need AdAway even if you don't install apps with ads. There's a lot of telemetry and data collection hidden in most apps (even in paid apps with no ads), AdAway will block those too.

      You still need AdAway even if you don't install apps with ads. There's a lot of telemetry and data collection hidden in most apps (even in paid apps with no ads), AdAway will block those too.

  2. [4]
    apoctr Link
    Assuming you're the type to root your phone, installing AdAway is always a good first step.

    Assuming you're the type to root your phone, installing AdAway is always a good first step.

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      deing (edited ) Link Parent
      As a non-root global ad blocker I can wholeheartedly recommend Blokada. It works, as far as I know, as a "VPN provider" software that auto-blocks known ad hosts. Also it's very configurable and...

      As a non-root global ad blocker I can wholeheartedly recommend Blokada. It works, as far as I know, as a "VPN provider" software that auto-blocks known ad hosts. Also it's very configurable and apparently has support for hosts-type files.

      8 votes
      1. [2]
        frickindeal Link Parent
        Seconded. I wish it was on iOS, but AdGuard Pro does the same VPN-workaround on a non-rooted phone. Neither are a VPN provider, they just route ad traffic requests back to the local host.

        Seconded. I wish it was on iOS, but AdGuard Pro does the same VPN-workaround on a non-rooted phone. Neither are a VPN provider, they just route ad traffic requests back to the local host.

        2 votes
        1. deing Link Parent
          Oh, I must have put that in a bad way. With "provider" I didn't mean a VPN service, but a software that provides a VPN, as this seems to be how it's implemented.

          Oh, I must have put that in a bad way. With "provider" I didn't mean a VPN service, but a software that provides a VPN, as this seems to be how it's implemented.

          1 vote
  3. MacDolanFarms Link
    Similarly to @uselessabstraction: Unlock the bootloader and install LineageOS. (I don't use Gapps/microG, or root.) Allow "Unknown Sources" and install F-Droid. With a few exceptions, all of my...

    Similarly to @uselessabstraction:

    • Unlock the bootloader and install LineageOS. (I don't use Gapps/microG, or root.)

    • Allow "Unknown Sources" and install F-Droid. With a few exceptions, all of my apps come from here. All of the apps I use are free/open source.

    • Install the apps I use for my workflow:

      • Simpletask, my favorite dead-simple todo-list manager (using the plaintext todo.txt format)
      • Recurrence for reminders
      • Markor to edit notes (it edits plaintext, Markdown, or todo.txt). I used to use Writeily Pro which is now unmaintained and was forked to Markor.
      • Syncthing, a peer-to-peer syncing app (i.e. no servers other than to locate your peers) to sync my todo list and notes between my phone, computer, and other devices
    • Install communication apps (Signal, Silence for SMS, K-9 Mail). Silence has a nice SMS import-export feature that means I have years of text backlogs. (I am aware you can use Signal for SMS too.)

    • Install media/entertainment apps:

      • AntennaPod for podcasts
      • NewPipe for YouTube, which lets you play videos in the background, use a floating player, download videos, etc.
      • Whatever RSS reader I currently fancy, along with importing my feeds from OPML.
    5 votes
  4. mno (edited ) Link
    Having just done this yesterday, I'll just relay what my workflow is like. It really does depend on what you value, but for me the number one priority is downloading all my essential apps: -K-9...

    Having just done this yesterday, I'll just relay what my workflow is like. It really does depend on what you value, but for me the number one priority is downloading all my essential apps:

    -K-9 Mail is my preferred (free) email client which combines email from multiple accounts across Google and Yahoo.
    -I watch a lot of YouTube so I get Youtube Vanced for the premium benefits without the subscription
    -I also listen to a lot of music and my preferred client is Rocket Player, so I download that and get it ready
    -Otherwise, just get all your other apps you use regularly, PayPal, Reddit, Grindr obviously, etc.

    Then I go and download Nova Launcher because I like consistency between my phones, and get that all set up how I like. Basically just set up a launcher of your choice if you don't like the default launcher, which I tend not to because of the forced inclusion of search bars etc on the home screen.

    Then I go through settings, each submenu at a time and twiddle with things. This will vary between people, but I think it's a good idea; apparently most people never touch the settings in their phones and just leave the default. Go through and check if you like everything.
    A good tip I learned recently is to turn "animator duration scale" to 0.5 in the developer settings to make your phone feel snappier; it also seems to reduce lag slightly.

    After that I go ahead and bring over all my media; photos, music, etc, anything that isn't on the cloud. Then I spend an hour going through and (trying) to log into all the accounts on all the associated apps I've just downloaded, with lots of password resets which K9 mail helps with.
    But yeah, I dunno. I just try to get my phone to where my last one was before I switched, really

    4 votes
  5. [4]
    nomad Link
    Depends on what kind of a user you are. If you're a normal user Make sure to uninstall all the things you don't need or disable(some skins may not by default give this option, you can do it via...

    Depends on what kind of a user you are.

    • If you're a normal user

      1. Make sure to uninstall all the things you don't need or disable(some skins may not by default give this option, you can do it via adb or some package disabler)

      2. Disable auto updates in the play-store settings, as an extension to that, try to read through the changelogs before updating.

    • If you're an advanced user with root(ig you wouldn't be asking this question then!)

      1. Adaway for systemwide adblocking
      2. Replace system webview with Bromide webview(available at https://bromite.org)

    and that's p much it when it comes to the must-dos, there are a lot note things that one could do, but none of them fit in the must-do category tbh.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      PopeRigby Link Parent
      Is there a difference between Brave and Bromite? They seem to do similar things.

      Is there a difference between Brave and Bromite? They seem to do similar things.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        Diff Link Parent
        Brave replaces ads with non-tracking ones, and pays the site owner a little bit in their own homegrown cryptocurrency. Bromite just blocks ads.

        Brave replaces ads with non-tracking ones, and pays the site owner a little bit in their own homegrown cryptocurrency.

        Bromite just blocks ads.

        2 votes
        1. PopeRigby Link Parent
          Brave doesn't replace ads yet, so it just blocks ads too. Also that feature will be opt in.

          Brave doesn't replace ads yet, so it just blocks ads too. Also that feature will be opt in.

          1 vote
  6. mftrhu Link
    The first thing I do is installing F-Droid, usually from an APK that I keep on my MicroSD. From there, I add the IzzyOnDroid repo, update the package list, upgrade F-Droid, and start installing my...

    The first thing I do is installing F-Droid, usually from an APK that I keep on my MicroSD.

    From there, I add the IzzyOnDroid repo, update the package list, upgrade F-Droid, and start installing my usual apps. A non-exhaustive list:

    • Firefox mobile, which I use together with uBlock Origin and Privacy Badger for all my mobile browsing;
    • Termux, which I use together with Hacker's Keyboard to have modifier and function keys on my phone;
    • Loop Habit Tracker and RxDroid, for daily reminders and to track my pills;
    • Telegram and Riot cover the instant messaging angle;
    • Orgzly, for quick notes and todos in Org-mode;
    • Slide for Reddit, for Reddit (it allows tagging of users).

    I also install and set up Syncthing, sharing two folders (Org, for my org files, and Sync, for the rest of my kitchen s-y-nk [sic] {haha, I'm hilarious, amirite}).

    I'm currently using KISS as my launcher and I don't think I will switch away from it any time soon. Even if the discoverability (what apps do I have on this thing?) is not great, I got used to simply searching for apps/contacts instead of scrolling through the apps drawer, and I never really used widgets that much.

    There are still some apps I install from the PlayStore (MoonReader and Solid Explorer, which I both bought a few years ago), but most of what I use is FOSS. I have yet to move away from Gmail, and sadly I don't think it's going to happen any time soon, but my other email accounts get accessed through K-9 Material.

    3 votes
  7. [2]
    Nitta Link
    Battery Charge Limit. If available and works for your phone model, it will prevent battery from staying fully charged when charging overnight, and that prolongs battery service life. Fully charged...

    Battery Charge Limit. If available and works for your phone model, it will prevent battery from staying fully charged when charging overnight, and that prolongs battery service life. Fully charged battery isn't unsafe, but it loses capacity faster.

    1 vote
    1. piedpiper Link Parent
      I feel like this should be the default behavior of the OS.

      I feel like this should be the default behavior of the OS.

  8. Crespyl Link
    Other posts already cover all the main ones for me: custom recovery, LineageOS, root, backup, etc. The other big must-have is installing my preferred keyboard, "MessagEase", which uses a clever...

    Other posts already cover all the main ones for me: custom recovery, LineageOS, root, backup, etc.

    The other big must-have is installing my preferred keyboard, "MessagEase", which uses a clever touch-oriented layout instead of trying to squeeze a full qwerty layout keys into 2.5". MessagEase directly supports all the additional symbols and control characters I need for ssh and programming, without having to jump through extra menus or layers.

    1 vote