When it comes to seeing what other people use on their devices, I’ve developed a bit of an obsession over the last few years. I love seeing the various apps, widgets, devices, and accessories that are being used and see if I can implement them myself. That obsession still burns deep but I felt the need to share with you the apps and accessories that I use on a daily basis.
Currently, I’m using the LG G6, but have plans to pick up either the OnePlus 5 or Pixel XL in the very, very near future. When I first got the G6, I immediately ordered a Spigen Rugged Armor case, which was used for about a month. I also picked up some glass screen protectors, but have switched from Spigen’s GLAStR protectors to Sparin screen protectors due to some issues with the Spigen ones.
After getting tired of always using my G6 in a case, I decided to spring for a skin and spent a lot of time deciding on what option I would be getting. I ended up getting the new Black Dragon skin which looks AMAZING on my G6.
When it comes to charging, I switch between using my Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger, and the Anker PowerPort Qi 10 for my wireless charging needs. This is the first device that I’ve had since the Nexus 5 which included wireless charging, so I’m a little bit more than excited to not need to be plugged in all of the time.
I admittedly have way too many applications installed on my G6, but I’m always trying new things out, and forget to uninstall them. However, I recently wiped the G6 completely clean so that I could get a fresh start. This allowed me to pick and choose which apps I wanted on my phone without worrying about having extra stuff that I’ll never use.
I used to be extremely dedicated to Action Launcher (like my buddy Quentyn), but in the past year or so have switched to Nova Launcher and haven’t looked back. Nova Launcher lets me customize every aspect of my homescreen, including the ability to create a Pixel Launcher feel. In fact, there’s even a way to access the Google Now page by swiping right on the homescreen.
This was made possible by the release of the Nova Google Companion application which circumvents any restrictions that Google made for third-party launchers. Now I can just swipe right and get my Google Now page instantly, which has made it better for me to see what’s going on around me.
However, as of yesterday, I’ve been testing out the new Lawnchair launcher that was released on XDA, which offers a few customization options. Additionally, Google Now integration is enabled automatically, without the need for root access, so I’ll keep using this to see how it stands up over time.
As for the homescreen wallpaper, I found this gem thanks to Backdrops and it’s called “Pine Stairs” if you want to download BackDrops and find it for yourself. I have an affinity for outdoor wallpapers, especially those found deep in the woods, and this one fits the bill quite nicely.
Despite rarely ever accessing my lock screen due to just unlocking my phone whenever I pick it up, I also tapped Backdrops resources for an appealing wallpaper. This one is called “Arrow Building” and actually moved this one over to my iPhone 7 Plus as well due to how simple it looks on my lock screen.
If you want to download these wallpapers for yourself, you can check them out in the BackDrops app, or you can hit the link here to download them directly.
Widgets? Not really
While some folks like to inundate their homescreens with a slew of different widgets, I’ve developed a desire for a more minimal feel on my device. Currently, I only use two widgets, one that tells me my bank account balance, and the Google date widget with the search button in the top left-hand corner.
I’m not here to advocate against the use of widgets, I’ve just found that they don’t really have a place in my workflow. Now, there are a few hidden gems in the notification shade to help me quickly access apps, but that’s the extent of my widget usage.
Folders? Organized Chaos
As you can tell from my home screen, I have apps and folders arranged in a way that would drive some folks nuts. I’m not sure why, but this setup works the best for me, as it puts apps that I use the most on the right-hand side for quick access. While the other apps are still at the ready, without ever really needing to open the app drawer.
Speaking of the app drawer, I’ve opted to use the Swipe Up gesture that has been making its way to more and more devices. However, even when I’m trying to find a specific app, I don’t use the app drawer. Instead, I have a gesture configured to allow me to swipe down on the home screen to search my device for apps. This is a feature of iOS that I’ve loved for years and I’m so happy to have it on my LG G6.
Other than the apps I need for work, I have a lot of apps that are important to how I interact with my friends, family, and the device itself. Currently, the most important application to me is 5217, which provides a different take on the “Pomodoro Technique” which gives you a 5-minute break every 25 minutes.
Instead, 5217 gives you a 17-minute break after you work for 52-minutes straight. When the app was initially featured on Phandroid, Joe said that 5217 can help your productivity by helping you not only get more work done but to also help you do better work. That’s why it’s a staple on my homescreen and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Keeping with the productivity trend, I use apps like Todoist and Evernote to help keep track of my personal notes and tasks throughout the week. Every time that I need to get something done, I throw it into Todoist and then sort it accordingly in one of my various projects. If I need to jot a few notes down about something, then I’ll move to Evernote and throw it in one of my various notebooks.
The reason that I use these apps specifically is that they sync across platforms, making it easy to access my to-do list and notes across my iPhone, MacBook Pro, or whatever Android device I’m currently using. Of course, there are other options which may be better for those not in the Apple ecosystem, but this is the best approach for me to get things done efficiently.
I would be remiss without mentioning the EarlyBird and Phandroid apps, but these apps have been on my main page for a rather long time. With configurable notifications, I get the news that I want from the world of Google and Android as soon as it hits the presses. EarlyBird keeps me in the loop with all of the news I want, whenever it breaks.
The Phandroid app is also important to me as I can see what my colleagues have published while keeping track of comments on my own articles. This saves a lot of headache from needing to access a computer if one of you ask a question!
The rest of the crowd
When it comes to social media, there’s not really too much exciting to see on this front, as I use the stock apps for everything other than Twitter. For that, I use the new Fenix 2 preview which has been out for a few weeks, and offers a much more enjoyable and customizable experience over the stock Twitter for Android app.
Regarding music, I’m in a bit of limbo currently. For one, I have lived and died by Spotify for too many years to count, but I also have a subscription to the following services:
No, I’m not paying for all 4 services, but have received free trials through various methods, but that makes things a bit sticky. Google Play Music is home to some of my oldest music from my teenage years, and I keep GPM around in case I ever want to fire up some nostalgic tunes.
Apple Music stems from my ties to Apple products, as I recently purchased a pair of BeatsX wireless headphones where you can get 3 months of Apple Music for free. Hey, I’m not complaining if it’s free, right?
Finally, Tidal Music is a recent addition, and it has nothing to do with being an audiophile (I’m not). Instead, it has to do with a recent freebie provided for Sprint subscribers which gives users 6 months of the service for free. Plus, I’m a fan of Jay-Z and for some reason he pulled all of his music from Spotify, leaving me without my fix. Oh, and there’s a new album coming that is exclusive to Tidal users, so I’ll be there for 4:44 on June 30th.
The final app that I would like to make mention of is 1Password. Without this app, I would be lost when it comes to passwords and login information for the different sites that I visit and frequent. Again, this is a cross-platform app with apps for my LG G6, iPhone 7 Plus, and MacBook Pro, making it easy to access password I need to in a breeze.
What about you?
Enough of me talking about myself and my device, we want to hear from you. Let us know some of your favorite apps and show us what your homescreen looks like. I’m always interested in learning about new apps that I haven’t heard of before, so maybe you’ll show something that blows my socks off!