Google Pixel 2XL

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Revision as of 08:04, 9 April 2019 by Marc Saric (Talk | contribs)

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Random rants about the current smartphone I use.

It is running Android 9.0, it is pretty much a mainstream-device, not hacked (no intention of doing so as long as the warranty lasts and/or Google provides decent software updates) so there will be no hard-to-find secrets on this page.

Things I like

  • Large
  • Fast
  • Very good software updates support.

Things I don't like

  • It has no card-slot
  • Quite overpriced
  • Some of the unneccessary apps can't be uninstalled (Google *cough* Photos *cough*)
  • Quite slippery surface
  • Android (and Android apps in general) feel like an excuse to spam people with advertisements and nag-screens. WTF? Even paid apps sometimes still show adverts or start being anoying by asking for Play-store ratings etc.
  • The camera apps internal picture-preview seems to depend on some Google-crap and does not work, if most of that has been replaced by alternatives (the preview, not the app itself).
  • Support for transferring apps, settings and data between an old and the new phone is a bad joke.

Things which might have prevented me from buying the phone had I known them before

None so far.

Useful apps

Beware, I support most of what Tristan Harris has to say about Smartphones -in short, I think most apps are shit and a means to occupy your attention. On top of that, Android (and iOS) are some sort of scam to make you give away your private data. Find the more elaborate and more differentiated arguments on his website: http://timewellspent.io/

  • First thing: Install some self hosted calendaring and cloud software (I use Zimbra, as I don't have much need for file storage). Otherwise ownCloud or Nextcloud may be your thing.
  • Second: Encrypt your device and it's SD-Card
  • Follow one of the various How Tos for securing your device and disabling/uninstalling unwanted apps.
  • Pay for the non-advertisement version of the apps you like (none of them cost serious money). Also -or especially- the Open Source ones. Even if they are only donationware.

aCalendar

ACalendar.png
Replace the Google calendar spyware.

DAVDroid

DAVDroid.png
Link aCalendar with a CalDAV/CardDav source, (e.g. Zimbra).

CADroid

CADroid.png
Allows you to easily import self signed certificates (in case you happen to have one for your home server in the basement).

K9 Mail

K9Mail.png
Replace the Google mail spyware. This will also sync your GMail account and provides GPG support

OpenKeyChain

OpenKeyChain.png
The GPG extension for K9-Mail.

Firefox

Firefox.png
Replace the Google Chrome browser which always wants to phone home

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo.png
Search the web without being searched.

Keepass2Android Offline

Keepass2Android.jpg
To store your secret passwords and other stuff, even works without cloud sync.

Öffi

Öffi.png
Very usefull public transport schedule viewer.

Podcast Addict

Podcast Addict.png
One of the leading podcasting apps.

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher.png
An alternate app launcher, which is more flexible than the default one provided by Google.

Tasker

Tasker.png
Automate everything. Even without using a cloud-based service (like IFTTT)

WarnWetter

WarnWetter.png
A usefull advertisement-free weather forecast app (for Germany, directly from the DWD). Since they lost a lawsuit, you have to cough up a few bucks for it.

TotalCommander

TotalCommander.png
A free file browser.

Aida64

Aida64.png
Android hardware and software information.

Simple Gallery

SimpleGallery.png
A simple gallery application. Open Source, no advertisements. In case you hate the constantly-phone-home-bloatware provided by the phone company.


Verdict

Nice so far.