This is the thread for the discussion of interesting apps.

Mercutio

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I get asked to find and download one-off songs a lot. Google has done a really good job of pulling video ripping tools out of its app store, but thankfully, Amazon has stepped up with tons of options. After doing some auditions, the best thing I've found for that is Tubemate Pro. You do have to have an Amazon account to use it, which is a surprisingly high barrier for some of the people I socialize with.

I also like the Asus Contacts app so much better that I disabled the LG Contacts app on my phone.

The Silent Mode Widget nicely solves a problem I have in Android L: Making the phone not make noise without turning the damned thing off. Sound controls in Android L totally suck.

... which is why I also paid for Soundabout, an app that provides better control over where and how my phone makes its various noises.
 

Mercutio

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I didn't really like AirDroid's UI. Frankly, almost nothing happens on my phone that isn't duplicated in other places, but I have set up Pushbullet for my modest "show me notifications on other devices" needs.
 
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I was hoping it would give me the car computer capabilities I'm after. The thing that is about to cause me to pull the plug is that my screen won't sleep as long as the computer is connected, even though AirMirror won't work because my phone isn't rooted. No traffic and the battery is half gone already.
 

Will Rickards

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I have airdroid but never used it. See my phone is not on the same network when I would want to use airdroid so it doesn't work for transferring files.
At home I can just plug it in so I don't need airdroid.
 

Howell

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Pioneer's AppRadio and AVIC models look interesting for car audio. You install an app on your phone to link to the head unit. Mirrorlink is there for unsupported devices. There is also a hacked app to get access to non-approved phone apps.
 
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I bought and installed the Pioneer AppRadio SPH-DA210 in my car and it sucks. Only a couple apps work, only in a crippled mode, and only if you have it plugged in. The mapping app won't work until you have the external GPS antenna connected, and you need to change the keyboard on your phone to their borked one before a bunch of stuff works. I actually have a MVH-X370BT sitting here to replace it when I have time.
 

Howell

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Having to plug it in is a surprising downer; also outputting less than 2A for charging. The few reviews I stumbled into said the AppRadio 4 was a big improvement in speed. The main thing I want it for is a bigger screen to show me the navigation app on my phone. I suit care about nav from the device itself.
 

Mercutio

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I'm not sure how much of a tip this is, but Google Photos will actually back up arbitrary folders on your device's internal storage if you go look under Settings. The whole thing is a bit useless if all your pictures are on an SD card, but Android in general seems to have shed its ability to do useful things with SD cards, so perhaps this is not surprising
 

Mercutio

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Forwarding texts is pretty simple. Phone is at least possible if you have a fully Google Voice-enabled number. I believe it's otherwise blocked by carriers, but you might be able to do some goofy tricks with call forwarding and another VoIP carrier. I can make Vonage calls on my tablet, for example.
 

Howell

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Steering wheel controls are high on my list of needs; or maybe a console mounted control. Either way you should not have to lean forward or take your eyes of the road for more than a second.
 

Mercutio

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Steering wheel controls are high on my list of needs; or maybe a console mounted control. Either way you should not have to lean forward or take your eyes of the road for more than a second.
Don't the wheel controls just interact with the head unit no matter what is piping through it? Or are you expecting it to be able to interact directly with Android?
 
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I bought a wiring harness that allowed the steering wheel controls to interface with the aftermarket stereo. It works, but cost nearly as much as the head unit.
 

Howell

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Don't the wheel controls just interact with the head unit no matter what is piping through it? Or are you expecting it to be able to interact directly with Android?
I would only expect the steering wheel controls to interact with the head unit. So we need the head unit to interface with and control the phone. I fully expect android auto and car play to become everything I want, it just isn't there yet.
 

Mercutio

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I don't know that it's actually a bad thing. Windows BADLY needs a better on screen keyboard and actually almost all Microsoft's software for Android is pretty damned good if you have some reason to want it.
 

Striker

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I was thinking the same thing as Mercutio. Microsoft's Android and iOS apps are pretty good.
 

Will Rickards

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I use swype though I wish it gave a bit more control over the keyboard layout. I often want a numeric line at the top for passwords. And certain keys shouldn't be on the secondary keyboard.
 
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Mainly I'm thinking of Skype. At this point in Win10 it is a colossal PITA to change Skype users without creating an entirely separate user account on the computer.
 

Stereodude

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Outlook is shitty regardless of its intended platform. Excel and Word are very usable. Onedrive and OneNote are very solid tools. Definitely more hits than misses.
I'd basically agree with that. The Android version is extra special though. It doesn't cache any e-mail, so it's totally worthless without a data connection. Even rotating the phone 90 degrees will cause it to re-download the e-mail. Exchange based e-mail on a Blackberry and iPhone (used at previous jobs) kept at least the text of the e-mails going back some number of days.
 

mubs

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Almost all Microsoft's software for Android is pretty damned good if you have some reason to want it.
Last time I checked (a few months ago), their Office apps for Android and a scanner app all wanted every permission under the sun to run. So I backed off and didn't install them. I forego about 5x apps than I install for this reason.
 

sechs

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Windows BADLY needs a better on screen keyboard and actually almost all Microsoft's software for Android is pretty damned good if you have some reason to want it.
Which I guess is nice for those who need soft keyboards on MS products.

I'm more concerned that Android development will go foo.
 

Mercutio

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Does anyone else have problems with Google Play Music not respecting metadata on uploaded files, or is it another one of those things that only happens because I like classical music and nothing understands it?

Case in point: I upload this album. It is fully tagged with both the front and back covers embedded in every file, the ensemble, soloist and conductor added in the appropriate tags. The Composer, Artist and Album artist all have the composer's name. Result: Google Play Music gives a badly truncated album name, no album art and credits the conductor as the album artist.

Delete it and try again. This time I put the composer's name in the conductor tag and blank the soloist/ensemble, just in case it's confused by all the correct data. New result: identical to the first time.

Movie soundtracks are more or less perfect every time, but since Play Music recently increased the upload limit to 50,000 tracks, I've been thinking I could copy some more of my music online. But I'm not going to if I have to manually re-enter metadata for 80% of my uploads and the only editing tool I have is a crappy web interface.
 

Mercutio

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The issues aren't quite the same as what I'm experiencing, since it's actively adding incorrect information to replace the data that's already part of the file. I was actually annoyed enough by the behavior to try chatting with a Play Music support person. She insisted that Play Music accepts the tags as given by source files, which is entirely and provably untrue. I don't see a way to leave any additional feedback, since it seems like the drop-dead simplest thing in the world would be to add a checkbox someplace says "accept meta-data from source files instead of whatever the fuck Google thinks it should be" in either Google Music Manager or the Play Music Web Interface.

I can upload a random audiobook and get full recognition of every track, but if I try this disc, it actually comes up as "Unknown Artist/Unknown Album" in the Play Music web interface (thankfully retaining my file names so it's relatively easy to recognize) despite the source disc being recognized by Gracenote,freedb and having correct album/track listings on Allmusic, Discogs and Amazon.

I suppose I'm just going to have to write this up as another one of those issues that's entirely due to internet music database schemas not being designed to handle anything but top 40 music.
 

Mercutio

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Music Pump is a particularly nice Kodi remote. I've tried a couple others but this one supports sharing media to Kodi via DLNA, which makes it really useful for picking and screen casting YouTube videos, among other things.
 

sechs

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The issues aren't quite the same as what I'm experiencing, since it's actively adding incorrect information to replace the data that's already part of the file.
I was under the impression that they fingerprinted the songs and used their own metadata. Particularly, if you have a song that Google already has, they won't upload your copy -- they just allow you to use theirs.

Only if their system doesn't think that they know what your song is will they upload your converted song and use your metadata.
 

Mercutio

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ES File Explorer went stupid a while ago. It has a bunch of bloat in it now, most egregiously an "App Analyzer" that likes to push out extra notifications that it's doing (useless) things. The fix is Solid Explorer, which has a more or less identical feature set, including the robust file viewers and LAN and Cloud service connectivity, but without all the crap and stupid.
 
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