Sunday, May 15, 2016

Useful apps exclusive to Android

This is a copy of a comment I wrote in a YouTube discussion to someone who recommended that "[I] get an iPhone".

I've formatted and edited the comment with some additions into this blogpost. While it does harken back to a previous post I wrote about reducing one's Android's resource usage, then this one is more about some of the useful apps I use that are exclusive to Android.

An iPhone or any new smartphone is beyond my means, and I wouldn't be able to run some specific apps only available on Android, such as:
  • Adblock Plus for Android. Works only on Wi-Fi, but blocks in-app ads;
  • Firefox for Android. It's got Reader Mode, which saves an article, only keeps relevant article content, and allows white-on-black reading.

    Firefox extensions, which only run on Firefox-based mobile browsers:
    • NoScript Anywhere — blocks scripts and trackers run by scripts, and thus reduces browser resource usage. Its whitelist allows running scripts on sites I whitelist through the NoScript menu in Firefox;
    • Privacy Settings — allows users to switch off a number of default Firefox settings to make the browser less resource-hungry and more secure;
    • Stylish — allows users to locally change the appearance of webpages displayed in a browser (make them dark, etc. to save battery life). People can download or make their own userstyles.
    • Save Link Menus — allows saving links or webpages from Firefox to the local file system.

  • Vim Touch — a very advanced text editor. This adds to productivity (I can create and edit content);
  • Hacker's Keyboard — I need this to use VimTouch, to easily navigate in text, and to quickly switch between languages without going to settings every time. This keyboard app is very lightweight compared to most native virtual keyboards;
  • Unicode Map — to search for, view, and copy Unicode characters;
  • VLC Media Player. 'Nuff said;
  • Arity — a scientific calculator, but I sometimes use it to calculate expenses when shopping for multiple things with a limited budget.
There some other apps with functionality not particularly unique to any mobile ecosystem:
  • Sparse RSS — to subscribe to podcasts;
  • Units — a very nice unit converter;
  • MuPDF — a lightweight viewer for PDF, OpenXPS and CBZ files;
The above apps are all Free / Open Source Software (FOSS), and available at the F-Droid app repository.
    Stock app —
  • FM Radio. I can listen to plain FM radio and listen to great music for free and without ads. Estonia's public broadcaster ERR is just that awesome. They even provide small "what's playing" pages, so I can check out the artist and song.

    FM radio functionality is not on most iPhone models, and not on most Windows phones either. My phone even supports RDS.

  • Some proprietary apps:
  • TeamViewer — I sometimes do computer support for friends and relatives;
  • The local weather widget.

This post is licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0.

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