Monday, May 16, 2016

Best Photo Gallery App for Android - Alternative to QuickPic

If you had asked anyone last year "which is the best gallery app in Android, chances are they would tell you QuickPic. It was lightweight, fast and versatile app. Everyone's favorite. But then the developer sold it to the most hated publisher Cheetah Mobile, who are known for bloating all their apps with adware / junkware. It didn't go down well with the community. Everyone was worried that the lightweight QuickPic will also get bogged down with adware / bloat now. The dev kept reassuring everyone that nothing of that sort will happen and he personally will keep improving the app, while he works at Cheetah. But alas, how can you trust the integrity of someone who says "Cheetah Mobile has contributed a lot to Android and fixed many issues that Google and many smartphone companies could not." During last week of March 2016, "Mobile themes" popped up in QuickPic in two different places. Their justification - "we made only a little promotion for our sister team, CM Launcher. CM Launcher is one of the best launcher in the whole Android World". On top of that, they added a service that starts at boot and they added a permission for drawing overlays on top of other apps, which can be used for hijacking your taps. Welp, I've had enough. I was officially moving on.

I started looking for alternatives and used several of them for some time. Piktures, Focus, Easy Gallery, LeafPic. But the one that I have finally chosen to be my daily driver is -

F-Stop Media Gallery.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Alternatives to popular Xposed modules | Prepare for Android Lollipop / ART

Android 5.0 Lollipop's public release is imminent. People with Nexus devices and possibly other flagship devices are going to start receiving the OTA updates soon. Lollipop brings a huge amount of visual and backend changes with it; switch from Dalvik to ART runtime being one of the biggest of them. This particular change has left many Android enthusiasts in a limbo - whether to upgrade to Lollipop or not; because their beloved Xposed framework doesn't support ART and supposedly won't for a long time. I myself am on that boat. I love xposed and several of its modules. Upgrading to Lollipop will mean we won't be able to use those anymore. Still, Lollipop is so tempting that I won't be able to stop myself from flashing it the minute the factory images drop. Hence, I'm trying to find out replacements for the several xposed modules I and countless others use. Here are the alternatives that I've found.

If you don't know what Xposed frameowrk is and what it does, you can read about it here or watch this video.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tasker Profile: On Demand Talking Clock

Most of the days, traffic noise wakes me up early morning. But since the alarm hasn't gone off yet, I don't know what time it is. Who the hell wants to open eyes and look at the blindingly bright phone screen to check the time? I hope my smartphone was smart enough to just TELL me the time, without me having to open my eyes. Well, now it can; thanks to tasker.

If you want to know what tasker is and what can be done with it, check out this beginner's guide.

Easily import Talking clock profile

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tasker profile: Better Battery Log

Do you ever unlock your phone, look at the battery % and go "Holly hell, 30%...! Was it this low when I locked it last? How much battery did drain since I last used it?" Sadly there's no stock/easy way of knowing for sure. The stock battery usage graph shows battery usage since last full charge, which doesn't help.

I want to check my battery drop since last I used the phone. So, I created a tasker profile that writes the time and remaining battery percentage to a file every time I turn the screen off. This way, when I turn the screen on after some time, I can check how much battery was lost while the phone was idle. If I see any drastic drop, I would know something is going wrong and investigate.

If you want to know what tasker is and what can be done with it, check out this beginner's guide.

Create empty log file
Using any file browser app, create an empty text file on your sdcard. For example, I created /sdcard0/BatteryLog.txt

Easily import Battery Logger profile
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