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  • Showing only topics in ~tech with the tag "android". Back to normal view / Search all groups
    1. Privacy woes and autonomy, where do I go now?

      I'm very sorry, but this is going to be rant. One that may seem to come up almost daily, but I still feel the need to vent. Every day I feel like I'm jumping through hoops to keep a little bit of...

      I'm very sorry, but this is going to be rant. One that may seem to come up almost daily, but I still feel the need to vent.

      Every day I feel like I'm jumping through hoops to keep a little bit of privacy and autonomy, without ever winning. DuckDuckGo is my search engine, use a paid mail provider, I try to stay away from anything Google and Meta, use only Signal, ad blocking everywhere, hosting most services locally, etc. It seems, however, to make no difference in the long run. The user-profile-building just seems to enter the home faster than I can mitigate it. Kids install some new app or new hardware ends up listening in, privacy infringement is there.

      The reason I'm starting this post now is because I switched ISP and TV provider recently, but it has been on my mind for a long time. Finding one that isn't owned by one of huge 3 parent companies, is almost impossible here. After a year of deciding, I finally figured it was time to throw in the towel and just pick the least bad option. Yesterday was the day of switching and it has been such a frustrating process.

      The provided router doesn't allow me to turn off its WLAN. I live in a city, so the airwaves are already crowded enough as it is. No need to keep that antenna on, but screw me, that's not possible. Opened up the device to just remove the card, but everything is soldered on the board and disconnecting the antennas didn't do shit.
      It's possible to buy a modem/router myself, but it'll need to follow their requirements and will set me back $200. It would be okay if the rest of the service was great, but here comes the TV part!

      The device they use for TV is apparently Android TV. I assumed it would be IPTV with this subscription, but Android TV isn't that. Booting the device makes it immediately clear they are here to harvest data. It makes me so unhappy that a service I'm paying for, is also making money on the side by collecting data. To get a quick idea of what's being done, I routed the box through wireshark to sniff DNS traffic. It's riddled with domains used for data collection and ads. That combined with the features this box wants me to agree to (location, using the mic, access local network, sign into PlayStore, make a profile including real life information) does not make me trust this device. So I've decided to not play and will be sending it back.

      People around me are pretty conscious about what they do online, but compared to them I'm highly paranoid. Wherever I look, there are privacy issues. It seems impossible to escape from. How are other people dealing with this?

      UPDATE: I don't know if anybody is really interested, but I thought I would update anyway. I decided to listen to my gut and I cancelled the subscription. It feels like the best decision I've made in a long time. It's nice to feel like I'm still a little bit in charge, even though I know that's also just a false sense of autonomy. Suck it, Google! You're not the boss of me :-)

      32 votes
    2. How do you organize your phone's home screens and apps?

      I've noticed that my phone's home screens have become a bit cluttered and figured it's about time to clean it up. So I tried searching online and found tons of recommendations and suggestions, but...

      I've noticed that my phone's home screens have become a bit cluttered and figured it's about time to clean it up. So I tried searching online and found tons of recommendations and suggestions, but figured I would ask users here if anyone has any tips for productivity or efficiency, or just something that works for you. Might give me some good ideas to try out, and hopefully can benefit anyone else reading this thread.

      Do you have tons of home screens or just one with a ton of folders? Do you use many widgets or not at all? Do you organize apps by how frequently you use them? Or how similar the apps are to each other? By color of the app icon? Or something else entirely?

      Seriously, any help/suggestions/ideas would be appreciated.

      39 votes
    3. What are some of your daily use/most important apps?

      I just got a new phone, and I opted to download all the apps I usually use manually, rather than having them transfer over automatically. It's like a nice cleanup thing that I get to do every...

      I just got a new phone, and I opted to download all the apps I usually use manually, rather than having them transfer over automatically. It's like a nice cleanup thing that I get to do every couple of years. I feel like I partially should just have a list somewhere of the apps I usually use and was wondering what people would download first (plus if I forgot anything)

      For me, this was my process yesterday:
      Password manager - Bitwarden - mostly so I can copy/paste my logins for everything
      Authentication - Not listing these but ya know
      VPN - MozillaVPN - just something for hostels and travelling
      Browser - Firefox Beta or Nightly - for downloading my new wallpaper and general use (including Tildes!)
      Sleep + Alarm - Sleep as Android
      Car things - My car app, EVGo/Electrify America - getting around and things
      Rideshare - Uber and Lyft - When I'm in a new city!
      Food - Doordash, Grubhub, asian specific food apps - to eat when I'm lazy!
      News - Boston Globe, AP News, BBC - Kinda obvious what they're here for
      Todo - TickTick - Checklists and all that
      Fitness - Fitbit, my smart scale app, and my gym app - general fitness stuff
      Language Learning - Duolingo and Lingodeer!
      Banking + Investment + Payments + Insurance - not listing these but yeah!
      Music + Podcasts - Spotify
      Streaming - D+, Netflix, Vudu, Peacock, Max, Movies Anywhere, Dropout, Hulu, Prime Video, Twitch - General Streaming
      Books - Kindle and Audible
      Messaging and Social Media - Signal, Beeper, Messenger, Discord, Slack, Instagram, etc. - just daily entertainment and connections
      Games - Slay the Spire, Dead Cells, Nonograms, Don't Starve, Cards of Terra, Bloons, etc.

      Bonus Q: I've been thinking of trying to add Obsidian to my general day to day, how? Might ask a question about this later though!

      49 votes
    4. Decent Android mobile phones with good audio (and has a 3.5mm jack) recently released?

      Hi all, Been looking for a new mobile lately to replace my V20 (still havent found one but my criteria has changed). Looking for (im trying to avoid buying an mp player - not as if there are many...

      Hi all,
      Been looking for a new mobile lately to replace my V20 (still havent found one but my criteria has changed). Looking for (im trying to avoid buying an mp player - not as if there are many options left)

      3.5mm headphone jack
      good/great audio (has good internal dac -- not looking for great speaker output)
      good battery life
      5G
      dual sim
      has to be something that lasts (had V20 for 7 years)
      Not going to be used for gaming. Mainly scrolling, forums etc
      Any suggestions ?
      Or am i stuck with something in Sony range (i know bit overpriced but oh well..)
      or getting an older V60 (not keen as the battery life wont be good now imho).
      thanks
      N

      28 votes
    5. Is Apple Music on Android good?

      So before the question let me add some context: I'm planning to move from iOS to Android, mostly because how difficult is to backup photos from iPhone into my computer. I don't want my photos on...

      So before the question let me add some context: I'm planning to move from iOS to Android, mostly because how difficult is to backup photos from iPhone into my computer. I don't want my photos on iCloud so I make my backups copying all the photos and videos into my computer, I currently use Fedora Linux and keep my photo library on digiKam which I think is better than the Apple Photos app for Desktop. It certainly was easier when I used my Macbook for that, but being a Macbook from 2015 the battery is almost dead and I no longer use it.

      Recently I saw reviews for Android phones from last year and fell in love with the Asus Zenfone 10, I love small phones and that one looks amazing, but I'm still tied to the Apple ecosystem, and the service that I would miss the most from them is Apple Music. So that is actually the only reason that I'm still using an iPhone, (that and the camera which was pretty amazing back when my iPhone13 was released).

      So I'll have several options:

      • Keep using iOS and suck it up, maybe even giving up and doing my backups to iCloud (it's 10 years worth of photos and videos).
      • Move to android and use Spotify like everyone else. (I really don't want to go back to Spotify so that's the last thing I want to do).
      • Use Apple Music for Android. Which I really don't know how good or bad it is. I'm even surprised that there's a version for Android.
      • Just have an mp3 library like in the good old days. This is a viable solution since I listen to music almost exclusively by albums and it's easier to download music album by album than song by song. But that also means I'll need to be caring around my music library and making backups of it.

      So the question is: have anyone here used Apple Music on Android? Is it good?.

      16 votes
    6. My phone just won't let me click things once anymore

      I'm hoping someone else has had this problem and has found a solution. I have turned on visibility of taps/clicks, and I've also turned up screen sensitivity. I've turned off all animations. I've...

      I'm hoping someone else has had this problem and has found a solution. I have turned on visibility of taps/clicks, and I've also turned up screen sensitivity. I've turned off all animations. I've restarted it. I've installed the most recent update. Nothing changed it. I can see it registering my taps with the visibility feature, but it won't do anything the first time I tap.

      My phone is an Galaxy A52. I don't have a screen protector.

      What's happening is a lot of times (more than half) I will click something, and it won't register. So I have to click again. Usually it's only twice, but sometimes it can be up around five times before it will register that I've clicked the screen. This also sometimes happens when I'm scrolling a webpage, so it's like scroll, scroll, try to scroll but it gets stuck, scroll, etc.

      It happens pretty much everywhere, in every app, except the keyboard letters and numbers (thank god). But even the word suggestions sometimes need to be clicked more than once.

      I'm SO sick of it. I've looked as much as possible to find a similar situation with a fix, and I can't find one. Does anyone know what else I can do?

      18 votes
    7. Suggestions on better interactions with YouTube on my Moto G Power?

      situation: Watch video until the end, and want to get back to "home" with as little drama/clicking as possible. Current process: hit the tiny ass'd "x" at the top right to close the suggestions...

      situation: Watch video until the end, and want to get back to "home" with as little drama/clicking as possible.

      Current process:

      • hit the tiny ass'd "x" at the top right to close the suggestions overlay (usually after several attempts)
      • drag the video position back 30+ seconds so that the "up next" overlay is no longer obscuring the minimize video carat in the upper left.
      • hit the tiny ass'd minimize video carat (usually after several attempts)

      I keep wishing there was just a 'go back to home screen' option available at the end of videos that I'm just missing.

      8 votes
    8. Custom phone OS - long term opinions?

      I am and have been on a bit of a quest to make my computing devices suck less. Over the last few years I have migrated all of my laptops and desktops over to various Linux flavors. My experience...

      I am and have been on a bit of a quest to make my computing devices suck less.

      Over the last few years I have migrated all of my laptops and desktops over to various Linux flavors. My experience with this process is that each flavor has their own quirks that need to be ironed out, but after getting things running there is little in the way of maintenance. Things kind of just work nowadays.

      I have been looking into getting something like (but not necessarily) LineageOS on my phone. As I am looking into this and reading forums on the subject, it seems like a perpetual arms race between application developers and application users. One puts in a way to check for root, then there are root hiders, then there are root hider checkers, then there are root hiders that you build with custom names, etc.

      I want my device to not suck.

      I don’t want to be going in and fighting with my banking applications every time there is an update. I am totally willing to fight a painful setup once.

      Is a custom phone OS something that is essentially only viable to use if you are driven by spite? Am I reading too much into the struggles that are posted in various forums? I am looking for any input for anyone that has used a custom OS short or long term.

      26 votes
    9. It looks like Facebook will be forcing me to switch to Messenger. What are my options?

      Today when I opened Messenger Lite there was a message from Meta saying " your chats will be moving to Messenger" and that Messenger Lite will stop working on September 18. I actively switched...

      Today when I opened Messenger Lite there was a message from Meta saying " your chats will be moving to Messenger" and that Messenger Lite will stop working on September 18. I actively switched from Messenger to Messenger Lite several years ago because the regular Messenger app was draining my battery. Are there any alternatives to Messenger Lite on Android? Perhaps even FOSS?Or will my only option be to move to the old Messenger app if I want to use Facebook messenger? I have some work related groups on Messenger that would be tough to move to another platform, so Please don't just say "use Signal" or something similar.

      28 votes
    10. Looking at getting a new phone - help with my odd requirements?

      Well, maybe they're not that odd, but I've not really been paying attention to what phone manufacturers are up to these days, so I need some help with what will work for me. I've previously had a...

      Well, maybe they're not that odd, but I've not really been paying attention to what phone manufacturers are up to these days, so I need some help with what will work for me. I've previously had a huawei p10 lite (which I only sold after the news of them selling data to the Chinese government), Pixel 3a (i used that until it dying breath and then sold it for parts), and now I have a RealMe 8 5g, but I'm having charging issues with it. I might look at getting it fixed, but depending on the cost I might sell it on and buy something else.

      MUST HAVES:

      • Headphone jack. I'll die on this hill and I will get a phone with a headphone jack as long as they are available to me.
      • good battery. It's the main reason I went for the RealMe 8, the battery has just been fantastic so far.
      • No bloatware. I'm ruling out Samsung, and anything similar that is full of extra junk I can't get rid of. As close to pure android as possible is best.

      IDEAL

      • good for games. the heaviest duty game I play on my phone is TFT, and then I move around between various puzzle and idle games for when I'm travelling or on my lunch break, but I don't need it to be super powerful.
      • wireless charging. Nearly put this as a must have, but I could definitely live without it.
      • Not chinese made/owned. Also nearly put this as must have, but I don't want to limit myself massively.
      • under £250 I very rarely spend even that much on a phone, but I'm open to treating myself a bit.

      I don't care about the camera really. I'm a photography hobbyist and so if I want to take good photos for memories I'll just take a camera with me. If it's good then thats a bonus but its near the bottom of my list of things I think about.

      What would there be out there for me? I've always liked the look of Sony phones but they're typically a lot of money, how do they fit in with my requirements? I've also been looking into the Fairphone but it really is out of my budget, and i don't know how it runs.

      Thanks in advance for any help :)

      26 votes
    11. Should I bother installing another OS on my Pixel 4a?

      I have a Pixel 4a which has just reached end of support for Android. However, I love this phone and the only hardware issue is that the battery doesn't last me scrolling social media all day, so I...

      I have a Pixel 4a which has just reached end of support for Android. However, I love this phone and the only hardware issue is that the battery doesn't last me scrolling social media all day, so I am not looking to upgrade to a newer handheld just yet.

      I've been looking into Graphene OS and Lineage OS as perhaps alternatives I should consider, at least just so I can keep getting security updates. However, looking through GOS, they say that their 4a build is an "extended support" build different from the main OS which is described as a "stopgap" before upgrading phones. LOS says it's supported but through an automatically generated page which doesn't leave me with much confidence about the attention and stability of the build on my particular phone.

      I'm asking y'all's opinion on whether I should even bother. Security upgrades are important, but my phone is a secondary device at best, one which I always use with the same apps and websites and honestly not really that much of a security risk. Watch hubris get me.

      23 votes
    12. Physical keyboard for android phone?

      I have a quandary. Even with a decent android keyboard (Typewise offline keyboard), I still find myself hampered by gettingnanstringnofnwordsnwhereni miss the space bar. Sometimes I miss n "A"...

      I have a quandary. Even with a decent android keyboard (Typewise offline keyboard), I still find myself hampered by gettingnanstringnofnwordsnwhereni miss the space bar. Sometimes I miss n "A" key. I am very out put by my likelihood of getting "out" when I meant "put" and vice versa.

      I am becoming a part time worker / primary parent while my wife goes back to a full time job, which means I do a lot of waiting in places where I'm typing extended sections of text (like this one) in places where its not really practical or appropriate to pull out a laptop.

      What I really want is a physical keyboard for my phone. It seems like there are a lot of folding and non-folding options that are meant to work on a table with the phone as a screen. But if I could do that, I could pull out my laptop.

      If I had a wish that could get me anything, I'd like a split thumb keyboard where the two halves sandwich (and grip) the phone the way the joycons go on a Nintendo switch.

      The best thing I have found so far is this keyboard puck. I have bought a similar device for HTPC, and it is surprisingly easy to use. This still has the downside of requiring the use of with hands and not having a way to hold the phone. Maybe I could 3D print some kind of mount, but something with a built-in mount would be much better.

      I'm wondering how others have solved this problem? I'm open to almost anything that makes me a faster /more accurate typist on the go.

      20 votes
    13. Getting back into running and looking for a simple tracker app (android)

      my old regular app has been dead since it got underwent featurecreep and got bought out by underarmour. lots of apps now have way too many features.. social this, calorie burning that. i know its...

      my old regular app has been dead since it got underwent featurecreep and got bought out by underarmour.

      lots of apps now have way too many features.. social this, calorie burning that. i know its probably a good thing for them to branch out but i'm one of those luddites that prefer simple and to-the-point apps with no social features, no account needed, etc.

      all i really need from the app is gps distance tracking and a clean interface with some basic readouts for pace and whatnot. having audio readouts for pace every kilometer was a nice feature but ideally the app would be simpler than that.

      if all else fails i know i can just fallback on one of those 'full featured' apps like strava but i figured i'd ask here before i got too tied into any particular app (creature of habit)

      7 votes
    14. Recommended tablet apps for Android?

      I got a tablet a few years ago, and I've struggled to use it as anything other than a big phone. Sure, it's really nice watching videos on the larger screen, and messaging is nicer too. Do you...

      I got a tablet a few years ago, and I've struggled to use it as anything other than a big phone. Sure, it's really nice watching videos on the larger screen, and messaging is nicer too.

      Do you guys have any recommendations for apps that are either tablet only, or have a much better experience on a tablet? I have a Galaxy Tab S6 Lite running Android version 13.

      On a semi-related note, I am looking for good emulators for android(NES, SNES, Genesis).

      10 votes
    15. Suggestions for a new Android phone, please

      Hey all, hope everyone is doing well today. I've been using a Pixel 6A for going on a year now, and I'm not very satisfied with my purchase. It's a decent enough phone, but it seems that the...

      Hey all, hope everyone is doing well today. I've been using a Pixel 6A for going on a year now, and I'm not very satisfied with my purchase. It's a decent enough phone, but it seems that the fingerprint reader doesn't work more than half of the time, and Google Assistant is about as reliable. It also just has a lot of weird little things that add up (for instance, plugging in the battery may not indicate that it's charging until you unlock the phone). Not to mention that I'm just not fond of the company these days, and I'd like to gradually ween myself off of their applications and such.

      I actually upgraded to this phone from a Moto G6 plus (bought for >$200 via Amazon, compared to this $500 device), and I find myself wishing I hadn't hopped in the hot tub with it in my pocket that day.

      With that said, what sort of alternatives do you fine people suggest? I'm not too concerned with specs (as long as it plays Pocket Trains, I'm happy lol), mostly battery life, Android, and sustainable company practices if that's still a thing in tech.

      Currently looking at the Fairphone 4, but was wondering what else may be floating around out there. Thanks in advance, and have a great day.

      68 votes
    16. Experience with parental control apps for Android

      I'm looking for input from the Tildes community about experiences with Android parental controls apps. My daughter is 8, but she rides the bus, so we want to make sure she has ways to contact us...

      I'm looking for input from the Tildes community about experiences with Android parental controls apps. My daughter is 8, but she rides the bus, so we want to make sure she has ways to contact us if something happens.

      Other than that use case, I intend to limit her to offline content (audiobooks and music loaded directly on the phone) and some games.

      The platform for this is an older phone (Android 9). I'm not averse to buying a newer phone if that makes the solutions workable, but I wanted to start with the "free" option.

      I've installed Google Family Link on the phone. It does a nice job of restricting access to apps, setting time limits on individual apps, and filtering some content. The major limitation seems to be there's no way to restrict what numbers the phone can text or call with.

      Bark seems to be the most visible alternative, and adds a lot of features for content monitoring social media, which is not really our use case. The main thing I'm looking for is an app that would let me administer the calling and texting features of the phone. I'm not opposed to paying for a service if that's what's needed.

      Anybody have insights into tools? There's a ton of noise in the search results. Other solutions to the problem?

      14 votes
    17. Minimalist android launcher suggestions

      I'm looking for suggestions for a free, customizable minimalist launcher for my android smart phone. I am currently using indistractable, and while I like how it looks and the core functions, I...

      I'm looking for suggestions for a free, customizable minimalist launcher for my android smart phone. I am currently using indistractable, and while I like how it looks and the core functions, I don't like that I can't redirect certain apps, and it seems to have problems syncing my calendar. Ultimately, I'm not opposed to buying the premium version of this, but from my understanding that wouldn't provide the functionality I am looking for.

      I did a little bit of researching and right now I'm looking at Lawnchair 2, Takan, and Olauncher as alluring alternatives. Does anyone have any experience with these, or any other recommendations? Primarily something that is entirely free, but if there is something that has a one time payment that really knocked your socks off I'd be open to that as well.

      27 votes
    18. Unknown tracker alert on Android

      I just received an Unknown Tracker alert on my Pixel 7 running Android 14 beta 5 for an Apple air tag that was on my son in laws key chain as I had borrowed his car. I heard this was coming but...

      I just received an Unknown Tracker alert on my Pixel 7 running Android 14 beta 5 for an Apple air tag that was on my son in laws key chain as I had borrowed his car.

      I heard this was coming but didn't expect it so soon!

      Quite impressed with both the information given and the general advice and steps to take offered.

      The first notification was "Tracker Travelling With You: Unknown Apple air tag detected. The owner can see your location."

      Touching "more info" then shows a map of where the tracker has been with me and the option to make the tracker play a sound to help locate it, with a note that the owner won't know you've done that.

      Then more advice and options:

      • If you feel unsafe, get help.
      • Get and save tracker info
      • Disable the tracker (with a how-to guide on battery removal)

      And a ”need more help" link.

      As I said, I had heard about this coming but was pleasantly surprised at how good it was and the general advice and help offered up.

      Nice seeing things like this done right.

      34 votes
    19. Phone woes (searching for advice)

      For the past 5 years or so, Ive been using a Samsung J36v as my primary mobile phone. I mostly bought it in the wake of my CDMA based dumbphone being, effectively, bricked by verizon shutting down...

      For the past 5 years or so, Ive been using a Samsung J36v as my primary mobile phone. I mostly bought it in the wake of my CDMA based dumbphone being, effectively, bricked by verizon shutting down the 3G network in my area. It wasnt my first choice, but it was dirt cheap and served my needs well enough.

      However, the last couple of months, the microphone has just... died. Got quieter and quieter, until now I need to plug in headphones in order for a person at the other end of a call to hear me, let alone understand me. I think I need a new phone.

      While Im not a fan with the software side of my current phone (locked bootloader, loaded with bloatware from the factory), I rather liked the hardware, as it had a swappable battery (like, not just easily replaceable, but swappable with only ones fingernails), an sd card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. All of these features are ones that I regularly use.

      Because of this, anytime I look for a new phone, they just seem like an expensive downgrade. I dont care too much about the SOC performance so long as its reasonably modern and can be expected to be usable for 5ish years. (I dont do gaming, YT watching, etc. Just signal, discord, call, text, and gps navigation). The things I do care about is a user-replaceable battery (screws are fine, but no solvents or heat needed), the ability to install either stock android or lineage-os or /e os (to get rid of carrier bloat), an sd card slot and physical SIM card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

      However, I havent been able to find anything on the market like that. I tried the pinephone a year ago, and while Im a competent linux sysadmin, I was never able to even get MMS texting working reliably, and calls would not always be received while sleeping. Ive been reluctant to try other phones since then due to being afraid of spending money on something that wont work. At this point, its seriously affecting my mental health, as I go into a bit of a panic attack whenever Im reminded of the fact that my current phone is failing.

      So Im asking for help. Ive compiled a ranking of the features I need/would like on a new phone, ranked from 'wont even consider a phone without it' to 'would be really nice to have, but I can still use it as a phone without it'.

      Must haves (not an option without it)

      • Needs to run some form of reduced-bloat android. I use signal and discord to communicate with my network, and while I could give up discord, only using it in the browser or desktop, I cannot give up signal.
      • Needs to have a user replaceable battery. Doesnt need to be hot-swappable or anything like that (though that would be awesome), but needs to be replaceable without having to break the screen. (so, no requirement to break adhesives to replace the battery)
      • needs to have a physical SIM card, and be carrier-unlocked. Me and my wife will be moving overseas in a year or so, and I will need to change carriers during that move.
      • Must be able to use both USA and EU 4g bands. (for same reason as the SIM card)

      Really, really nice to have

      • Sd card slot. I dont stream music, and have a rather large collection of music on my home server. The storage space to sync that to the phone for offline playback would be a massive plus.
      • capable of running a degoogled andriod version. While I could make do with stock google android (at least I wouldnt have the 'official nfl app' force-installed on me), it would be really nice if the phone was supported by either lineage-OS or /e OS.

      Nice to have

      • a 3.5mm headphone jack. I have trust issues with bluetooth, never had a BT device that worked reliably. I want to keep my copper wire headphones in use, and having to choose between charging the phone and using a DAC dongle doesnt really cut it.
      • usb-c charging. Yah, usb-c is nice, but its actually less of a concern for me than the above categories. My micro-usb on my current phone has lasted 5 years, so I wouldnt be too fussed if my next phone used micro-usb.
      21 votes