Bring Out Your Android Apps!
August 21, 2018 8:50 AM   Subscribe

I am revising app choices on an Android phone and an Android tablet. Please tell me your picks for non-Google non-Facebook non-Microsoft apps. Similar Ask from 2014. I already use Signal for messages and usually browse with Firefox. I am keen to replace the Google default app suite ie Camera, Calendar, Contacts, Phone, Maps etc. More interested in in functional apps to make life simpler or more interesting, less interested in games.
posted by jointhedance to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I must admit that I am totally and irrevocably invested in the Google ecosystem, but two non-Google apps that I regularly use are Pocket Casts (an excellent way to listen to podcasts, and way better than Google's official Android app for podcasts) and Flipboard.
posted by JamesBay at 8:59 AM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]

I like: BeyondPod, Smart Audiobook Player, Pocket, and QuickEdit.
posted by neushoorn at 9:28 AM on August 21, 2018

NewPipe is a nice replacement for the Youtube app. You can get it from F-Droid. There are alternatives to other Google apps on there too, of varying degrees of quality.
posted by Poldo at 9:31 AM on August 21, 2018

The recovery vehicle drivers I know use Waze for navigation, rather than Google Maps. I see that was a recommendation back in 2014 as well.
posted by pipeski at 10:26 AM on August 21, 2018

I have been using BeyondPod for a long time now, and have lately been trying PocketCasts to see if it meets some vague dissatisfaction I've had with BP about playlist generation. My experience in a nutshell: If you like to subscribe to podcasts and listen through from the beginning rather than starting with the latest episodes, BeyondPod is the way to go. If you exclusively listen to newest episodes, PocketCasts is good; interface is a little clunky, but so is BP's. I haven't figure out how to make PC reliably fill its own playlist, but this is not the place for that.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:50 AM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

Music: Pulse
Camera: Vignette Camera (but I haven't researched what've available in years)
Photo editing: Snapseed
Reddit: Reddit is Fun (Golden Platinum)
Video player: VLC (for local media) and Plex (for streaming from home server)
Audiobooks: Smart Audiobook Player
Live Radio: TuneIn and Scanner Radio Pro (for emergency scanners-- pops up alerts when one gets very popular, like the other day when that guy stole a plane from SeaTac airport).
Film stuff: IMDB and BBFC; the latter is the app of the British Board of Film Classification, which unlike our MPAA is transparent and gives actual information about what content in a movie earned their rating (in a ratings system that's much more nuanced than MPAA.
Passwords: KeePass-Droid
Reading blogs: Feedly
Weather: Weather Underground, Dark Sky, Storm Radar
posted by Sunburnt at 12:07 PM on August 21, 2018

I agree with Poldo, get ye to F-Droid. I've de-Googled (with MicroG) and it sounds like you are slowly heading down that road, yes?

Replacing the Google suite you say? Use K-9 for mail (looks clunky, works great). Set up a NextCloud server and use Davdroid to sync Calendars and Contacts. There's FLOSS versions of the basic Android camera and phone apps on F-Droid. Some things are not as good as what you are used to, like using OSM instead of Google Maps. I just consider it a tax on being tracked less.

Also, use Hermit (non-free) or WebApps (FLOSS) to appify mobile sites.

People are recommending some good podcast clients, let's add AntennaPod to the list. It's the best one on F-Droid. Works great.

I've been able to find everything I need on F-Droid except for ProtonMail and Signal which I pull in from the Play Store using YALP (both work OK, but can't get notifications due to MicroG falling behind on the cat and mouse game).
posted by quarterframer at 12:15 PM on August 21, 2018

To replace the Google services I also use Nextcloud + Davdroid app on the phone. This requires setting up a server for it to sync to although there are a lot of ways to do this, some pretty easy.

That replaces the majority of the cloud-based part of the phone. There are other Nextcloud apps and addons if you want to manage other information like bookmarks or passwords (I use Keepass).
posted by bradbane at 12:55 PM on August 21, 2018

If Signal doesn't do SMS, I like Textra. It's got a scheduling function that's nice for birthday texts, etc.
posted by PaulaSchultz at 6:39 PM on August 21, 2018

Snapseed is a great app, but it's owned by Google.
posted by JamesBay at 2:44 PM on August 22, 2018

I use and love Business Calendar for scheduling.
posted by snorkmaiden at 10:08 PM on August 22, 2018

Textra for sms
Weather Timeline
Thrive for limiting time spent with gadget
Jotterpad for writing
Lastpass for password management
Join by jaoapps (hard to explain, but look it up; links your computer and phone in interesting ways)
Loop Habit Tracker
Just Six Weeks (fitness)
Pocket (article keeper)
ACR (for recording phonecalls)
Citymapper (maps)
Daylio (mood tracker)
Dinr (restaurant reservation)
Easy Copy
ES File Explorer
Filmic Pro
Fotor (photo editor)
Folia (pdf reader)
Hopper (cheap flights)
Horizon (video app)
Kayak (cheap flights)
Myscript Calculator
Nova Launcher (indispensible)
Samsung Pay (works absolutely everywhere if it works in your country)
Samsung Notes
Pepper Plate (recipe tracker)
Slidebox (photo management)
Simplenote (notes)
Texpand (text expander)
Trello (for writers)
Tunnelbear (vpn)
Universal Copy (allows cutting to clipboard in any app)
posted by dobbs at 3:13 PM on September 18, 2018

posted by mecran01 at 1:48 PM on May 18, 2019

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