Non-game Android Apps Recommendations Catch-All

Yup. I honestly thought you had already shared and it just wasn't giving you enough nuance as to what is an FYI and what had an interaction or categorization from one of you attached.

Create a calendar. Share and give edit rights, make sure it is selected as visible on all your devices. Only catch is you have to make sure you're creating new items in the right calendar.

Yeah, very obvious in hindsight :-$

It took my wife 3 years to fully commit to e-scheduling, so it was mostly me sending invites for all my and our mutual appointments to her. Which is probably why I didn't think of the obvious solution.

MannishBoy wrote:
Veloxi wrote:

Can't you just share Google calendars? My girlfriend and I do that and it's a godsend. Just color your spouse's calendar differently and you always know what's yours and what isn't.

This.

Yeah my wife and I do the same.

MannishBoy wrote:
Veloxi wrote:

Can't you just share Google calendars? My girlfriend and I do that and it's a godsend. Just color your spouse's calendar differently and you always know what's yours and what isn't.

This.

A second this.

This new update for Google Maps is wonderful. True offline functionality, offline maps now auto-update, and there is no limit to how big an individual offline area can be!!

Mashable had this blurb about Letseebeer.

Letsee Beer, created by Korean startup Letsee for iOS and Android, uses your smartphone camera to scan the labels and shapes of beer bottles and cans (no draught, though). It brings up the beer's basic info, plus hashtagged descriptions ranging from #fruity to #damntasty and reviews that other users have left to help you determine whether the brew is worth a try.

So, for those of you that are thusly inclined...cheers...

Just got 6.0 on my LG G4. Audible doesn't seem to have the option to store books on the SD anymore? Is that a Marshmallow thing, or am I crazy to think that's how I had it set up before?

MannishBoy wrote:

Just got 6.0 on my LG G4. Audible doesn't seem to have the option to store books on the SD anymore? Is that a Marshmallow thing, or am I crazy to think that's how I had it set up before?

I don't have the deepest experience with Marshmallow as my Nexus 6P doesn't have an SD card slot, and my Tab Pro 8.4 has an alpha version of Cyanogen on it. But with the tablet, there seems to be an issue with quite a few apps where the system loads the SD card via some type of emulation... not sure.... but it's been difficult getting apps to recognize that there is an SD card installed.

Audible doesn't even show a setting option for changing storage now, when I thought it used to. I had some books on the phone, but they weren't showing in the app as downloaded after the upgrade. The system level app screen showed 2GB of media on the phone, but I wasn't able to access anything.

I went ahead and wiped the app data and redownloaded a couple of books, but I really would rather use my SD for storage.

Maybe I'm crazy.

All my other media apps were able to just get new permissions and use the SD.

Yeah, like I said, I think Marshmallow is handling SD card mounting a little differently, so it's possible that apps will need to update to be able to see them correctly.

Wow, I just read this post about a crazy scientific calculator app on /r/android and it's pretty shocking.

Disclaimer: I’m developing a competing application, Natural Scientific Calculator so I might be a little am biased. Nonetheless, all the following is factually correct and referenced for your convenience.

Recently I was scoping out our competition and stumbled upon an app named “Scientific Calculator” by Sappalodapps. I found out that they had added a new feature: Caller ID. I thought to myself, “why in the world would a scientific calculator provide Caller ID?”

So I looked at the permissions that they requested: They need access to your entire contacts book, they need to know your precise location using GPS, they need to be able to read all your call history and they need to read your entire storage. I know for a fact that none of these are necessary for a calculator app. [1]

So why would they request so many permissions?

After some thought, it was clearly to generate more revenue which the developers themselves confirmed: “...it helps us fund further development of the app. If you don't like the feature you can always turn it off in the settings.” [2]

If they were struggling for revenue, why wouldn’t they simply add advertising to the app? With the millions of users that they had, advertising should definitely have provided a liveable wage. After some snooping around it turns out that the developers were both greedy and misleading. They didn’t opt for ordinary and non-intrusive advertising because the revenue they stood to gain paled in comparison to the Caller ID system that they chose to implement. [3] Furthermore, they flat out lied when they claim in their description that their app is “Advertisement free!” [4]

This is what happens when you get a call with this app installed (I’ve blurred out the name and phone number):

Screenshot

When the call ends, it serves up some advertising (so much for “no ads”):

Screenshot

Believe it or not it gets EVEN worse.

I decided to take a look at the legal disclaimer and this is what I found out. The Caller ID service is provided by a company that’s unfortunately but aptly named CIAmedia (not affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency). I say aptly named, since they literally track who you call and harvest the entirety of your phone’s data, whether it be your location, or call logs to show you targeted ads!

They even boast about it on their website:

“CIAmedia's unique ad targeting technology knows which businesses, phone numbers or even local contacts a user is calling. We mix this valuable info with other targeting criteria like gender, age and location.” [5]

As a developer and a devoted user of Android this really disgusts me. The reason why I decided to develop Natural Scientific Calculator was because of the horrible state of calculator apps on Android. All of them had clunky one line displays, outdated Gingerbread-esque design and required users to navigate using buttons rather than touch. And to top it off, now one of the leading scientific calculator apps on the store is trying to mine our personal details to increase their revenue.

I have a tip - maybe instead of trying to squeeze every last bit of personal information from your users to generate ad revenue, make a better scientific calculator that users will actually pay for.

Now looking back, it seems like the phenomena of flashlight apps and their ridiculous requests for permissions were a sign of things to come. It’s clearly evident that the practice of requesting permissions to harvest user data is becoming increasingly widespread on the Android platform.


TL;DR: Leading scientific calculator app adds Caller ID feature to mine call history and GPS location to serve lucrative ads to users.
EDIT 1: Extremely shameless plug but the scientific calculator I'm developing is very different from the rest on the store, since it allows you to touch to navigate and write equations as you would on paper. And it definitely does NOT request ridiculous permissions. We really need some help getting discovered. If you're looking for one you know where to go

Play Store Link

EDIT 2: Okay, another major problem of Android is this. You know what allows apps to pull stuff like this? The lack of movement in the search results of the Play Store. Compared to the App Store, the volatility of rankings is virtually non-existent. That's why you end with the problem of apps misusing their position at the top of the search results - either by not updating their design/functionality (e.g. RealCalc) or by adding Caller ID to milk their users dry (e.g. Scientific Calculator by Sappalodapps). They can do this because their rankings don't get affected! They were there 3 or 4 years ago and they'll stay at the top of the search results, simply by virtue of getting there early, rather than being the best.

Nova Launcher Prime, the paid upgrade to Nova Launcher, is on sale for $1. I can't remember the normal price, but I think it's $4-$5. And worth it.

Nova Launcher is the bestest.

Veloxi wrote:

Nova Launcher is the bestest.

It is. It's like the Google launcher, but with some tweakability that gives you more options. So if you don't like brand X's tweaks to Android, this hides most of the changes outside of the settings/menus.

MannishBoy wrote:

Nova Launcher Prime, the paid upgrade to Nova Launcher, is on sale for $1. I can't remember the normal price, but I think it's $4-$5. And worth it.

It's 50 eurocents in the EU.

So my windows phone was stolen last week, and I picked up a galaxy s7. Coming from a different ecosystem (though my wife does have a fire phone and tablet) what are some must-haves? I have Nova Launcher and have played with a few other things. One thing I've been trying to find is a phone app that also handles visual voicemail. Doesn't need to be fancy, I'd just rather have one app rather than 2 in my dock.

Also, what are the benefits and drawbacks of rooting?

edit: also, I'm going to commit heresy based on what I've read in this thread and say I didn't like pocket casts and settled on podcast addict.

stupidhaiku wrote:

Also, what are the benefits and drawbacks of rooting?

I would advise not rooting your phone at least until you become more familiar with Android and its limitations. I'd say for the vast majority of users it isn't something you need to do. Android is already quite customizable without rooting, so figure out what you can and can't do before you decide to root.

Rooting it will let you install custom roms, have make system level changes like button mapping or other hardware things, remove pre-installed apps, and install adblockers.

Rooting your phone will prevent you from using Samsung Pay (which is really awesome). Also, I think it voids your warranty (someone correct me if I am wrong here).

I don't feel there are any true must haves. It depends on what you use. Coming from WP I'd suggest all the Microsoft Apps you want. I have most of them but really need Onenote, Outlook, and OneDrive. The nicest thing about Android is that you can get apps that you couldn't get on WP.

For non MS apps the biggest on for me is Amazon Echo. I wish this was available for WP.

I didn't miss having it but I really like having Samsung Pay (when the damn fingerprint reader works). When fingerprints work quickly it's really nice only needing your phone to pay for groceries, etc. Google and Apple pay are weak by comparison. Samsung pay works with mag stripe readers that haven't been updated to work with tap to pay. In my area that's 90% of the card readers.

The my favorite game is Plants VS Zombies 2. Love that game but now they're putting ads inside of the game (and not just watching a video to get coins but when switching levels, starting the game, etc.)

Cardboard is very cool and a lot of fun. Not a huge amount of great content but it's still really neat.

The rest are nice but I don't see them as essential:
American Express
US Bank
Ratebeer/Beer Advocate
Steam
Samsung Milk Music (if you like college sports you can listen to almost any major game for free)
Techbargains/Slickdeals
Wellmark/Geico insurance cards
File Manager (space disappears for no apparent reason)
A bunch of stuff related to the S Pen (drawing apps, etc)

Stuff for TV/Music
Dish Anywhere
Disney Movies
Amazon Prime
Pandora
Microsoft Groove (though it stinks on Android)

Games:
PVZ2
Amazon Underground
Valiant Hearts
Cribbage Classic
A decent spades game (have yet to find one as nice as Andrew Bares stuff on WP)

Some things that I need to make android work better for me:
Business Calendar and Business Calendar 2
Nova Launcher (needed for my Note 4 but I use samsung's launcher on the N5)

Thanks for the tips. I kindof figured rooting wouldn't be something too worthwhile, as I haven't found anything I want to be able to do that I'm not with just file managers and the like.

My local credit union I use doesn't support any of the phone-magic-pay services :(.

Also if you don't mind Google knowing more about you than they already do you can get Google opinion Rewards. They'll send you quick surveys and give you google play credit for answering them. I use that to fund most of my app purchases.

Signus-X wrote:

Also if you don't mind Google knowing more about you than they already do you can get Google opinion Rewards. They'll send you quick surveys and give you google play credit for answering them. I use that to fund most of my app purchases.

They already know everything about me. Might as well get something out of it.

Nice tip!

Yeah Google already knows more about me than I know myself. If they sent me an email with it I'd probably attain enlightment.

I bought a small pack of NFC tags to play with. Anyone have anything useful or just fun to do with them?

I did a quick look through the last ten pages and didn't see this talked about. Anyone have a shared shopping list app they like? My wife and I currently use a notepad on the counter, but an app that handles it might be nicer. It'd be even better if we could store a template of the basic stuff we get regularly that we can pull off into "this week's list", add the other stuff we need, and that I can cross off in the store as I get it. Also, free is good.

My girlfriend and I use Out of Milk, as it's pretty awesome and can sync across devices, so if she adds something to the Target list, I see it.

My wife and I use Google Keep. We have a shared shopping list with checkboxes. For staples we check off what we get, and uncheck it when we need it again. It's really basic, but works.

We use the amazon echo app. We tell Alexa to put something on our shopping list and there it is. The Echo is worth the cost for that feature alone.

Prior to that we used Wunderlist as it was available for almost every device out there (including Windows Phone).

Chaz wrote:

I did a quick look through the last ten pages and didn't see this talked about. Anyone have a shared shopping list app they like? My wife and I currently use a notepad on the counter, but an app that handles it might be nicer. It'd be even better if we could store a template of the basic stuff we get regularly that we can pull off into "this week's list", add the other stuff we need, and that I can cross off in the store as I get it. Also, free is good.

Simplenote! Cross-platform, with a web client and free!!! It's just a very basic text editor though. It's fantastic.

For a richer experience with lists, reminders, sharing, etc I'll second Wunderlist. It's full-featured and works great.

OneNote works, too.

Chaz wrote:

I did a quick look through the last ten pages and didn't see this talked about. Anyone have a shared shopping list app they like? My wife and I currently use a notepad on the counter, but an app that handles it might be nicer. It'd be even better if we could store a template of the basic stuff we get regularly that we can pull off into "this week's list", add the other stuff we need, and that I can cross off in the store as I get it. Also, free is good.

We use Our Groceries. Can keep lists by Recipe, which can double as "Templates", syncs across multiple users/devices, free, and has cross-off/back on feature.

stupidhaiku wrote:

So my windows phone was stolen last week, and I picked up a galaxy s7. Coming from a different ecosystem (though my wife does have a fire phone and tablet) what are some must-haves? I have Nova Launcher and have played with a few other things. One thing I've been trying to find is a phone app that also handles visual voicemail. Doesn't need to be fancy, I'd just rather have one app rather than 2 in my dock.

Also, what are the benefits and drawbacks of rooting?

edit: also, I'm going to commit heresy based on what I've read in this thread and say I didn't like pocket casts and settled on podcast addict.

I'll chime in on must have apps:

Nova Launcher (Paid)
Tesla Unread notifications - add on to Nova Launcher
Microsoft Next Lock Screen
Drippler (great way to get Android news specific to your phone)
Talon for Twitter (Fenix, Tweetings and the official client are also good)
Textra (Text client - bunch of them out there - I like this one)
Cloudmagic for email
Todoist for task management (lots of them out there) Wunderlist is a good alternate
Add Amazon's Android store client (you'll need to set your phone up for 3rd party apps)
Netflix and any other streaming clients for services you may have including Amazon Prime
Audible for audio books
Kindle of course
Dashlane for password management, but everyone has their own favorite
Weather Timeline for weather although there are some good competitors to it (i like clock and weather widget slightly better)
greader Pro for news feeds if you were a former Google Reader person
If you have an Android Watch as well - Watchmaker is the end all be all in my opinion
Flixster/Fandango for movies
FEMAs app (shameless plug for my employer)
VLC Video Player
PowerAmp for music, but isnt necessary if you use just Spotify and/or Google's Play Music (like I do)
ES File Explorer (file management)
Dropbox
Google Drive
Various apps for getting wallpapers and ringtones (Tapet is cool for pure material design randomly generated walls)
Swiftkey, Swype, or Google's keyboard as a replacement to stock
Find some cool icon sets that you like - I have a ton and tend to change my homescreen every couple of days. You can get some free, but most are around .99C and usually come with a collection of wallpapers.