• Android 10 App Replacements

    So my late-2019 phone upgrade is a OnePlus 7T, which out of the box runs Android 10. In migrating over the apps I rely on I found one pair in particular that were getting a bit long in the tooth—still working as advertised (for the most part) but with UIs that haven't been updated since the days of Ice Cream Sandwich.

    Here, for what it's worth, is what I replaced them with:

    1. K-9 Mail to FairEmail

    Sure, I could add my IMAP accounts to Gmail, but since I don't want to hand over everything to Google I've been using K-9 Mail instead. K-9 still works fine but over the past decade has become progressively more unpleasant to look at. Its replacement, FairEmail, is also open-source (ie. available on F-Droid) but looks and feels far more like a modern Android app.

    2. Titanium Backup to Swift Backup

    In the past I could always count on Titanium Backup to save and restore my apps and their data, especially when migrating to a new device. But my latest experience was particularly rough—an unacceptable number of batch-restored apps would repeatedly force quit on launch, requiring manual reinstalls from the Play Store, one by one.

    To find out why a search on XDA led me to this thread, and a new app that I hadn't heard of before: Swift Backup. It does pretty much everything that TiBU claims to, and does so with a much cleaner, less-confusing interface.

    Using the app does require a Google login; here's the developer to explain why:

    Hi, Swift Backup developer here. Thanks for taking a look at the privacy policy. Here are the reasons why I mandate a Google sign-in:

    True, it has nothing to do with backups but it makes my job easier to fight piracy. I'm the only person working on the app and it uses Google's Firebase server to save user's app settings etc. This would incur me a gigantic amount of monthly bill if the pirates were able to use the same Firebase server. Google sign-in makes sure that the pirate dev has to create his own Firebase account in order to distribute a pirated apk. Also, cloud backups are uploaded to the cloud server (Dropbox/Google Drive) and their metadata is saved to the user's account on Firebase. This helps reduce the queries made to the cloud server which could otherwise result in rate limiting of HTTP calls to cloud server and hinder the user experience.
    Note also that I haven't yet done a full backup and restore with Swift. If I have any problems with that I'll be sure to follow up here.

    Links: Play Store (1) (2), XDA

    Andrew Currie has been blogging about mobile phones since 2001, smartphones (depending on how you define them) since 2002 and smartwatches since 2014.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Android 10 App Replacements started by acurrie View original post
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