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  • Showing only topics with the tag "android". Back to normal view
    1. I have used Android my entire life. Then I acquired 4 Apple devices in a week

      Hi Tilderinos! As the title says, I have used Android almost my entire life. Many parts of the internet (especially reddit) really look down on Apple for many reasons (may of them valid). Starting...

      Hi Tilderinos!

      As the title says, I have used Android almost my entire life. Many parts of the internet (especially reddit) really look down on Apple for many reasons (may of them valid). Starting about 3 weeks ago, I started to wonder if the grass really was greener on the other side. I would like to share my experience.

      My first smart device was an iPod tough 4th generation. Back then, iOS was really bad. Notifications took over the screen. If you didn't want to deal with a notification right then, you had to dismiss it permanently. Multitasking did not exist (until a few updates later) Android was miles better then. Switching was the obvious choice. Flash forward to now, through many different android devices. I had a Samsung Galaxy S10e, Galaxy Watch LTE, and Galaxy Buds. I had the best ecosystem of devices that Android has to offer (Tizen vs WearOS is arguable, but I have not used WearOS).

      I wanted to get back into mountain biking, and I wanted to bring only my buds and watch. This should be an obvious use case for an LTE watch and bluetooth earbuds. Unfortunately, transferring music to the watch is a difficult prospect. You must have the files downloaded onto your phone, but I use Spotify or Google Play Music. Spotify does have a Tizen app, but it is pretty terrible. Also, I wanted to have audiobooks and podcasts downloaded to listen to. I could not find any apps for audiobooks or podcasts for my Galaxy Watch. All my google-fu got me to the answer: Just transfer the files and play them in the watch music app. This was a pretty bad solution for a few reasons. First, listening times did not sync with the phone. Second, I don't think that the watch music app would save the timestamp when you closed it. Finally, the Galaxy Watch has 4gb storage, and only leaves around 2gb usable. Game of Thrones book 5 weighs in at about 1.3gb. If I wanted my book and even a single episode from most of my podcasts, that would not be enough storage.

      Because of this experience, I started looking into the Apple Watch. My grandfather gave me his old iPhone 6s+ and I got an Apple Watch series 3 LTE for a great deal on craigslist. I thought the phone would be a downgrade from an s10e. In a few ways it is, such as the screen, battery life, and camera. But for everything else about this phone, it is just as good as my s10e, which is 4 years newer. I still have my s10e, and I keep it charged. There are very few times where I want to use my s10e over my 6s+. This was not what I was expecting when I switched. I expected to use the 6s+ to see if I could handle a new iPhone, just so I could use an Apple Watch. Since then, I borrowed my dad's old MacBook Pro mid 2012 non-retina, to see if I liked OS X. I am currently typing this in that MacBook. I also bought the AirPods Pro.

      Almost every single interaction between these devices is quick, intuitive, and seamless. OS X is way better than windows. Parallels makes running windows software a dream. When I bought parallels, I was able to pay with my watch through Apple Pay. I have not heard of any software doing anything like that with google/samsung pay and windows. Overcast is able to automatically sync podcasts and playback times to the watch, and easily switch which device is playing. Audible is a bit more clunky (and I am still looking for an alternative for books), but it is possible to get books on the watch, and the playback time syncs without issue. The AirPods Pro seamlessly switch between the phone and watch. They are already paired with the MBP through iCloud, although they do not seamlessly switch. I think this is because the bluetooth chip in the computer is too old. CarPlay is miles better than android auto. Siri is just as good for most thing as google assistant, and is more consistent.

      This is a pretty long post already, but the bottom line is every single apple device I am trying out is better than the corresponding android/windows device that is 2-4 years newer. After many years of shunning apple, I am back on the apple bandwagon. I am currently planning on replacing all of my devices with something from apple (except my gaming desktop, unfortunately). I would like to hear about your experiences with switching to or from either ecosystem.

      (Mods: I wasn't sure if this should be in ~talk or ~tech. Please move it if necessary)

      15 votes
    2. Phone recommendations: Pixel 2? 3a? Something else?

      My OG Pixel died last night and while I'm waiting for tech support to get back with me on how I can still use MFA to do my job, I figured I would ask you all how I should proceed with getting a...

      My OG Pixel died last night and while I'm waiting for tech support to get back with me on how I can still use MFA to do my job, I figured I would ask you all how I should proceed with getting a new device. My first impulse is to get a Referb Pixel 2 on Amazon for $99, as I liked my original Pixel, I like having the latest Android version and I like only paying $99 for an older flagship phone. Additionally, I was considering a Pixel 3a as it would presumably last a bit longer and has had good reviews but is three times as much and hasn't devalued nearly as much when used, which is good and bad.

      I'm open to anything that's relatively stock Android and still updated, and am curious about iOS, Kaios or other options. Landlines are a hard pass.

      12 votes
    3. Cellphone review: Umidigi F2

      I was recently in the market for a cheap used phone. I was looking for an Android device, preferably less than 3 years old, preferably with an unlockable bootloader and rootable, for $200 or less....

      I was recently in the market for a cheap used phone. I was looking for an Android device, preferably less than 3 years old, preferably with an unlockable bootloader and rootable, for $200 or less. I was looking at used Pixel 2's when I came across this weird Chinese manufacturer I'd never heard of.

      The Umidigi F2 is a bizarre device. I was blown away by the specs, and the seller was only asking $200CAD for it, so I took a chance. I've got to say, so far I'm pretty impressed.

      Quick Specs:

      • 6.5" IPS LCD, 2340x1080px, bezelless, w/ hole-punch camera, no notch
      • 6GB Dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM, 128GB Storage
      • Mediatek P70 - ARM Cortex A73/A53 Octo-core 2.0/2.1GHz CPU
      • 5 cameras, 32MP front-facing, 48MP rear, 13MP wide-angle, 5MP depth, 5MP macro
      • Dual SIM, MicroSD
      • 5150mAh battery
      • ~40 frequency bands
      • 3.5mm headphone jack
      • Stock Android 10

      At this price I was initially skeptical. There must be something wrong with it, some glaring flaw I wasn't seeing, and/or those specs must be fake. I'm happy to say though, they're real, and the device seems much more solid than I expected.

      I've had the thing a little over a week so far, and have only charged it once. On the first charge it lasted 4 days before I charged it, and still had 30% battery remaining after I'd spent a couple hours surfing the web and two hours watching youtube (total screen-on time was ~4.5hrs). After charging it I haven't been using it as much, but it's currently been running 3 days and it has 70% battery remaining. I've used it to listen to the radio for 3 hours this morning. Oh yeah, did I mention? Bizarrely, it has a FM radio tuner for some reason.

      So far everything has been smooth, the device performs really well, which is not something I expected from a Mediatek CPU. Rooting it went smoothly, and I've been able to tweak a bunch of settings via the EdXposed framework, as much as you can in Android 10 anyway. I did remove some background bloat, but otherwise the default ROM is very close to vanilla AOSP.

      The build quality of the thing is honestly not bad. I've used mid-range Samsung devices that have felt cheaper and more plastic-y than this. I have read some reports of bad touchscreens, but so far I haven't had any problems. There's also a DIY solution to solve that. Unfortunately, if it dies, this is pretty much my only option, since the warranty and support is pretty much nonexistent. At a quarter the price of a brand-name phone with similar specs though, I'm willing to roll those dice.

      So, other than warranty, what are the downsides? Well, so far the biggest gripe I have is there is no notification LED on it. So if I go to the washroom and come back I can't just tell at a glance if I've missed a call or text, I actually need to unlock it. Luckily the fingerprint reader and face unlock are both pretty reliable. There is no wireless charging, which I'm more or less okay with. The main reason I'd want that is if the USB port died, but again, this is the sort of phone that if anything is wrong with it you're pretty much meant to throw it out. The speaker is a bit tinny, and unfortunately it's mono. The cameras are bad. The 48MP camera does take 8000x6000 pictures, but they're grainy to the point where even if you resize them down they still look worse than something taken with a good 6MP camera. This seems to be a software problem though. The camera module is apparently made by Samsung, and people have said it's gotten better with every OTA update. As for that, there's been an update this month, but a lot of people are expecting it might be the last update they put out. Umidigi apparently has a bad track record of only providing updates for a few months.

      In conclusion, this is objectively a decent phone, and for it's price, it's exceptional. You sacrifice warranty, updates, any kind of support really, but you get some very decent hardware for $200.

      Official site: https://www.umidigi.com/page-umidigi_f2_specification.html
      Purchasable on amazon for fast shipping, purchase on aliexpress to save $50.

      9 votes
    4. Budget smartphones - apparently there are good options. Opinions and recommendations?

      I just picked up a Nokia 3.1 for $120 in a bit of an emergency and I really like it. It's very light, Android One, very nice styling and again it's $120! I was shocked by this experience at this...

      I just picked up a Nokia 3.1 for $120 in a bit of an emergency and I really like it. It's very light, Android One, very nice styling and again it's $120!

      I was shocked by this experience at this price point. This thing is excellent for my use case, as a pre-paid EU phone as my lovely iPhone 6s Plus has only one Sim slot. Are there any other great budget phones out there?

      27 votes
    5. Android aftermarket development and its boring state.

      So many ROMs. So many features. But they all look the same. I mean, I love that there are many options, but aren't you bored of going to XDA and finding only ROMs that follow the [9.0] EDGY NAME...

      So many ROMs.

      So many features.

      But they all look the same.

      I mean, I love that there are many options, but aren't you bored of going to XDA and finding only ROMs that follow the [9.0] EDGY NAME IN CAPS formula?

      They all look stock. Android is supposed to be about personalization. Where are the highly customized UIs? Why are all fanboys so scared of breaking the scheme that Material has inforced upon us, and then whine about how Android is inconsistent? I wish that something like MIUI would appear again, like, a ROM made by a no name that ended up making a gigantic empire.

      I wish to see someday another developer, making its own thing.

      Breaking the AOSP UI mold.

      [NOTE] This is reposted from reddit (it was made by me tho) because I wanted to discuss it here.

      15 votes
    6. What little known mobile apps do you use?

      What are some apps that you use that aren't particularly well known? Let's help each other discover some interesting new tools! lichess - best chess app out there IMO. Completely free and open...

      What are some apps that you use that aren't particularly well known? Let's help each other discover some interesting new tools!

      lichess - best chess app out there IMO. Completely free and open source, has daily puzzles, and a pretty active pool of users to play against!
      Syncthing - file syncing tool that works with just about any operating system (although I don't think it works with iOS). I use it to take notes and write lyrics/my journal and sync them back to my linux laptop.
      Untappd - social media app for tracking craft beers that you drink. I've only just started using it, since I was on holiday and wanted to keep a note of the ales I was drinking. It's a free app, but supported by ads. I believe there's a paid tier, but the free version works well enough, and it's useful for encouraging me and my friends to try new beers when we're out and about.
      WK - Japanese flashcard app, which is technically a front-end for the wanikani service. As you learn new radicals, characters, and vocabulary, it serves them back up to you after a certain length of time. If you remember it, it'll wait longer next time, and if you don't get it right, it brings it back to the top of the pile.

      30 votes
    7. An easy way to browse tildes on mobile

      Using Hermit - Lite Apps Browser you can make a shortcut to a dedicated browser session (with cookies and such, so you can stay logged in like an app) for tildes! I find that it works pretty well...

      Using Hermit - Lite Apps Browser you can make a shortcut to a dedicated browser session (with cookies and such, so you can stay logged in like an app) for tildes! I find that it works pretty well for a mobile app "substitute" and also it lets me keep tildes separate from all the tags I have open in my main web browser. Figured I'd share my solution for tildes mobile for the curious :)

      16 votes