Mobile device setup
Model: Pixel 4a
- No Google Apps
- No Play Services
Podcast app. Though, I don’t listen to many podcasts anymore.
For the off-chance I need to scan a barcode.
Anti-fingerprinting, secure, web-browser.
Basic calendar for event making.
RSS feed reader. It works, has some great features, but I think it’s UI could use a refresh.
- Foxy Droid
Alternative F-droid client. Small, fast, simple non-bloated.
For Twitter browsing.
- Simple Tools
Miles better than the stock gallery app.
Music app based on Phonograph. Currently I’m testing out a different music app, Metro, but it looks like it’s development has completely ceased, or at least become stale at this point.
I use this app for note taking. It features Markdown formatting plus LaTeX functionality.
For watching YouTube ad-free.
Formerly “Goodtime”. A minimalist, easy to use Pomodoro timer app.
Work profile app isolation (more on this later).
I use Signal as my main messenger.
- SMS Messenger
From “Simple Mobile Tools”. For when I need to send an SMS (Why not use Signal as my SMS app? I like the compartmentalisation of using the different apps to comminicate different ways. I hate the idea of conflating two different platforms).
Terminal emulator I use for compiling, testing and scripting on the go.
- Geometric Weather
Weather app. I mainly have it installed it just for the nice widget.
I use Shelter to “isolate” my other apps somewhat. Shelter creates a “Work Profile”. Work profiles are a built-in Android feature that allow you to have a separate profile for work-related apps. This is usually managed by your work organisation but Shelter makes one and “manages” it for you. The work profile can be turned off - disabling all the work profile apps with it.
The benefit of a work profile is that it is more accessible than traditional Android user accounts. However, to my knowledge it coexists on the Owner profile - so the encryption keys for the data are the same. This is where a separate user account would come in handy - the seperate user account’s data is encrypted with a different key.
Work profile apps:
- Aurora Store
For downloading apps from the Play Store without Play Services.
Browser (used mostly for Uni-related work).
- MS Teams
For Uni classes that have a MS Teams rooom
For checking my $WORK roster.
For emails emails.
With the rise of the Coronavirus it’s become essential to “check-in” to places. I have put this off for so long, but with an increase in cases of the Delta variant in my neighbourhood I think it’s wise for me to be checking into places if I do ever leave the house.
In my opinion, check-in apps should not be a requirement to check in somewhere. Please, just let me check-in online, via a webpage (remember those?). I don’t want to install some crappy software written by a technologically-inept and privacy ignorant government on my phone.
So, I install my check-in app in a dedicated user profile. No other apps are installed to this profile. When I need to check-in somewhere:
- Switch to the “COVID19” user account from the phone lockscreen
- Open the check-in app
- Grant temporary camera access to the app
- Scan the barcode
- Switch back to Owner profile
When the profile is closed all the apps within it are stopped. This ensures the app isn’t running in the background.
Mobile device setup