RogerBW's Blog

More apps for the smartphone 11 June 2018

Part 2 of an occasional series.

Almost everything I've wanted for the new LineageOS shiny phone has been downloadable via F-Droid. There are a few exceptions, though; I've ended up loading them via ADB. (If I just copy them to the phone there doesn't appear to be an "install" action available. I assume this is a Security Feature. Apparently if you download them from the right phone browser you can install from the download notification, but not simply from the file.)

F-Droid itself, which is a bit obvious I suppose. (Copperhead OS apparently has this preinstalled.)

Signal; there's no technical reason for this, just a preference by the F-Droid maintainer. (Why aren't more people using this? Text, voice and video calls; encryption approved by Bruce; no huge corporate owner that can be forced to install back-doors; open source. It's ideal.)

The VLC video player, because the build process is a nightmare and the F-Droid people haven't been able to get it automated yet. I've been using it mostly to play streams off the audio server, but the video and particularly subtitle support are pretty decent.

Other handy programs that are on F-Droid:

OneTwo: boardgame utilities. The built-in dice roller is a bit rubbish, but the random first player chooser, chess clock (which even allows for more than two players), and score trackers are quite useful. (I'd like the score tracker to allow one to add specific arbitrary numbers rather than just being an accumulator, though. Might be something to try writing.)

Barcode Scanner: reads and decodes various sorts of bar code, even including Data Matrix, and sends the result to the clipboard. It's a bit prone to fire things at Google if you use any of the search buttons, but this can be controlled; and it deals well with wireless network QRcodes.

M.A.L.P.: a better mpd client than MPDroid, although it's a bit too prone to fill the screen with album art; but this is one that I sometimes choose to use instead of my own web-based system, which MPDroid wasn't.

Suntimes: sun and moon rise and set times, as well as twilight, phases, equinoctes, and so on. You can set an alarm for sunset with three keystrokes! ("Why would you want to?" That's not the point.)

Markor: general-purpose text editor, with special features for markdown and todo.txt but usable for plain text too.

Unicode Map lists Unicode characters and translates between codes and names - and displays most of them (I gather that font support is rather better on LineageOS than on standard Android). It's six years old, though, and only incorporates the 6.1 standard. I might see about updating it.

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