Living with a Droid

It has been almost two months since my last post and a lot has happened on the Tech Front. My laptop, Synapse was given away to my brother, my Xperia Z cellphone was retired and I bought a Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X the 32 GB, 3 RAM version, which I named Helix. For my use (everything but games) is the best phone I ever owned, beautiful display, huge battery, great design.

As with everything technological I own, I tweaked it up to the point that going further I needed root permissions, which I am too lazy to bother obtaining… The Note 4X comes preinstalled with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow with the Xiaomi’s own desktop, MIUI 8.

Now MIUI is (for me) an iOS clone desktop, meaning no app drawer which I don’t like at all. But I must say the theme shop has some rather nice themes to change the default style. Aside the aesthetic of the OS, the only thing that bugged me is that I cannot disable some of the core applications, like the File Manager, Calendar etc – which of course I bypassed using this little application called Activity Launcher.

I mostly like to use as little resources, both CPU/GPU-wise and Disk Space-wise, so I keep a very small application list, considering people who have 3-4 pages full of applications.

My application list including the apps that came preinstalled and I use, consists of :

  • Activity Launcher (App Disabler)
  • Black Player EX (Music Player – paid)
  • Evernote (Note App)
  • FX File Explorer (File Manager – paid)
  • Firefox (I’m torn between Firefox and Chrome for now)
  • Folio (Facebook / Twitter / Google+ all-in-one app, currently free but I’m planning to buy the pro version)
  • Gboard (Google keyboard)
  • Chrome (Google’s browser)
  • GMail (I’m using it with my own domain)
  • Google (Which has now upgraded to Assistant, and I am not too happy about it)
  • Google Drive
  • Google Photos (I have disabled Xiaomi’s Gallery, because it is too intrusive to use Mi Sync)
  • Maps
  • Messenger (Facebook’s Messenger)
  • Mi Remote
  • Nova Launcher Prime (The absolute best launcher for Android and the reason why I don’t care which launcher my next Android Phone has – paid)
  • Omoro Icon Pack (Dark and beautiful icon pack – paid)
  • Proshot (Way better than the stock camera software – paid)
  • Shazam Encore (Music identifier – paid)
  • VLC (Free and awesome as it’s desktop counterpart)
  • YouTube

And some pictures of the overall “feeling” of the desktop :