Android Apps 2022 Edition

The apps I use most frequently.

I have not shared a list of my Android apps for a while and it’s very weird a number them haven’t really changed much in the last 5 years or so. Take this as my “Frequently used” list of Apps for my Pixel 3a, which I’d had for a year or so now and other than the lack of SD card slot has been a rather decent phone.

Fenix (2) – Twitter App

I have tried a number of Twitter apps over the years, going back to my Nokia N95 (Twibble) there were apps that tried to offer a half decent experience outside of the website. As Applications and phones evolved there were more dedicated apps like those on the Blackberrys.

For me Fenix (original) made some great strides towards offering the functionality  that I was looking for in a twitter app, the second version of the application built on that even further.
To be perfectly frank I haven’t bothered to shop around in recent years as I don’t feel I’m lacking in any functionality currently.

My favourite feature is the ability to favourite users, which acts like it’s own list that you can see in it’s own column and generate notifications for. This is especially useful if you want to keep up with certain users and not miss their content.

Deezer – Music

Tried a handful of times but I never got on with Spotify, previously we used Google Music as it was easily integrated to the family setup but when they decided to merge it into Youtube, we decided to move to something else.
We went for a change and opted for French company Deezer’s service, I knew a few people using it all of whom had good experiences and the interface wasn’t terribly dissimilar to the .

It does the trick has lots of the usual features that i suppose all music services do nowadays, my main requirement was that it allowed me to upload some of my rarer tracks that don’t exist on any streaming platform.
Bonus if I can use it in the car, the TV less important.

I like shortcutting my playlists so that can just set it going without having to open anything up.

Bandcamp

Some of the music I pick up isn’t on many stream sites yet, or may never be. The band camp app is great for playing those tracks as well as browsing for new stuff. Plus if you have favourited an artist you can configure it to notify you on any new releases rather than having to rely on email, or you could get both I’m not your keeper.

Pocket Casts

I have been using pocket casts since I bought it in 2013, it  has seen a lot of changes in appearance and functionality but the underlying functionality that originally drew me to using it  thankfully still remains.
There are some additional features that are locked behind another upgrade but I’ve not had any need to purchase that.

Carrot

Not gonna lie the only reason I have the Carrot Weather App is for the LOLs.

Stupid yes, but gives me a giggle sometimes when I need it. Careful using swear mode at work, especially if you have text to speech on.

Trello

Organise all the things.
I swear I use Trello more for organising my brain than anything else. I love to visually see a task list, sometime I may split them into multiple tasks or add checklists to allow me to focus on the subtasks of something bigger, but yes ultimately I am looking for a simple view of those tasks.

Normally I use it mostly on the PC or laptop, but sometimes I want to add some new ideas that just popped into my head and I know I will not remember then by the time I am home. Other times I just want to see what things, I have listed, that need attention.

Trello uses a simple board configuration to allow you to drag and drop labelled activities, you are able to configure tags and dates and descriptions for tasks.

NovaLaucher

Nova Launcher remains one of the best things about my phone, it has taken away that fear of having rebuild/reconfigure your home screen and settings when you wipe or  upgrade your hardware. This one feature alone is amazing but the vast array of options that you can configure allows you to make your Phones home screens and App trays work in the way best suited for you.

I will always generally have at least one app tab for applications I use on a high-frequency basis, in the past I had a tab just for games. Being able to split the app tray into more logical and meaningful groups works so well for how I use my phone and speeds up finding applications. Plus you can hide any apps that you don’t use or that are baked into the device.

Some of the other features I really enjoy as things like tapping the media folder on bottom bar opens a folder with 4 applications contained inside it. However when you swipe up on that folder I have configured it to open the Deezer application. Another example is that tapping my wife’s avatar opens up our messages, swiping up dials her  mobile directly.

I love small quality of life features that make using the phone easier. As I said settings can be backed up and restored so when you move to a new device you can just import them without having to remember the thousands of steps and changes you made to get it just so.

Lastly

I am still using Pixlr as mentioned on my 2018 post for most of my Photo Editing tasks however they altered how their payment model worked and the option that I bought to remove adverts is now a month or annual subscription where as I paid £1.61 to permanently remove them in 2015, which is still being honoured , but the made reason this isn’t in the top section of the list.

Previously I listed Google Keep, I still use it but for mostly when I want a way to list items and check them off, Keep has that functionality build it for shopping  lists or holiday item packing, plus it’s easier to share Keep list than a Trello board.

I use DuckDuckGo Browser but want to save that for a dedicated post.

That’s all from me.


What apps do you use day in & day out? Or that you would struggle without?

Somewhere : the child of CYOA & ARG

I enjoy narrative stories, stories that make you think, that make you doubt your choices, that make you concerned and worried that you may have made the wrong decision. This enjoyment of course originates with the countless Choose your own Adventure books that I enjoyed growing up, I would often spend evenings being a spy, or a traveller among the stars, but mostly it was attempting to avoid a grizzly death.

At the end of 2017 I had the pleasure of playing the test version of an interactive game, the game is called SomeWhere and it’s kind of a mixture of Choose your own Adventure and an Alternate Reality Game, it takes place in in real time, but with an added twist that you get notifications on your Smart Device, some instantly during conversation, some later usually waiting for an event to conclude.

I have to be frank I wasn’t sure how engaging I would find the game but I was gripped almost immediately, keen to get another update to see how things had played out, the limited test version of the game left me wanting to learn more, I guess that I need to wait until the game launches fully. Then “Take my Money!”

 

The game is being developed by Norseman Interactive and uses the well loved tool used for Interactive stories Twinery, although the screenshots posted indicate the sheer number of routes and options the game will allow you to take. It’s far bigger than any twine game I’ve ever written. Nice feature about using Twinery is that the game doesn’t actually need an internet connection in order to notify you of updates,as it is all scripted into the game.

There is also a nice feature that allow you to explore all avenues of the game, you can track your steps back and make another choice ( yes like holding open that page in your Choose your own adventure books in case you died on page 172.

On Android the Beta Version of the game can be found here : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tanuki.somewhere&hl=en

Android Apps 2018

Outside of the regular applications on my Android devices, I decided to list some of my frequently used applications.

Pixlr

[Free/Paid] Aside from the usual photo focused applications, I often find that performing simple tasks like rotating or trimming a photo isn’t always that straight forward so my goto app is Pixlr. Another feature that I use Pixlr for is the ability to create a varied number of photo collage.

Google Keep

[Free] I use Google keep for all manner of purposes, as you can cut and paste all sorts of things into a note, it’s become my goto application for saving notes and links when I’m out and about. I can then access them via my tablet or desktop when needed.

Pocket Casts

[Paid] This application remains my favourite Podcast, I haven’t discovered a feature that is missing yet. It does cost, but then I’d been using it for years and believe it to be my best android purchase to date

WifiScheduler

[Free] I know there are alot of apps that focus on automating tasks on your devices, however I didn’t want something that need to be tweaked for disabling and re-enabling, Wireless, so this app will switch on and off on a schedule. Which means I’m not spending half the day with Wifi enabled and no networks.

Nova Launcher with Belle UI Icon Pack

[Paid] I can’t imagine going back to a stock Launcher for my Android devices now, the ability to configure small homescreen details is something that eluded me for so long, Grouping Applications on tabs means I only see the common apps first, plus I can hide app I don’t want to see, like the build in HTC apps.

Ticket to Ride Scoreboard

[Free] If you play any Ticket To Ride board game in real life, then this application is a must for taking the pain out of verifying and calculating scores. There are a few apps that do the same thing but had adverts, but this one I have been using for years without a sniff of adverts being added.

My Data Manager – Data Usage

[Free] I’ve been using this app forever as originally I only had 1GB data and the default apps if not changed can burn through data with automatica update pretty fast. This app was a godsend in locating what app are using the data but also daily usage alerts if you are predicting to go over your data plan.

Tablet gaming

When I bought my Nexus 7 the main reason was to replace my laptop/notebook, I never really thought about gaming on the device when the reasoning was taking place about whether to make the purchase. Now I usually spend a few pounds to pick up some titles each month, admittedly a number of them are titles for Little Troll who also enjoys gaming on the Nexus as much as I do (if not more)

As proven on the Apple Store for many people the price tag is a huge part of a games appeal , less than £1 I’m likely to pick it up without a second thought. In fact most games I buy are probably in that price bracket, with a small fraction costing around 2 to 3. The most expensive I bought recently would have been Days of Wonder’s Ticket to Ride app (that finally made the transition from iPad to Android) and Elder Sign.

So I guess I can list myself in the mobile gamer camp, over the last 11 months I have managed an ever growing wishlist on Google Play and keep an open eye for deals. I half wish that Google would employ a feature  similar to Steams wishlist notification service. Although that type of system would surely see me poorer of wallet but richer in games.

Another source for my game has been those offered through Humble Bundle, the installation of which is made easier by their own Android app that downloads the games for you, that said you are offered the ability to download the game packages to install manually should that be more a more preferable option.

There are 2 Humble Bundles running currently, one of them is for Android Games and is worth a look: