Android Desktop App Dev?

Just read there’s a docking station for the Galaxy s8 with which you can use a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for a desktop experience. Hmm … maybe Android app development could be something that would fit in with my future plans for world domination.

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Kindle & Kindle App Complaints

Kindle App Complaints

There were certain apps I was most excited about getting and using–apps I had on my Droid years ago–that don’t work on Kindles or Fire OS. Maybe they work on other models, but not the humble Kindle Fire.

The apps in question include:

  • Tricorder by moonblink (downloaded and installed apk)
  • Star Walk by Vito Technology (via Amazon app store)

Many of the app store reviews for Star Walk  and other apps had identical complaints. Customers who adored these apps on Android and/or iOS devices stated they simply didn’t work on their new Kindle. I thought that perhaps Tricorder wasn’t working because it was old or the particular apk I was trying was a buggy version or any number of reasons.

At first, I thought the reason was Fire OS might have such significant differences from its Android ancestor but, as it turns out, that’s not the case. Wondering what I could learn (and, in the future, do) I installed a couple lame apps entirely devoted to sensors and even Ghost Radar Classic, I found DroidSense by JAC Mobile (pictured below) which answered my questions and solved the mystery.

sensors.png
As it turns out, there be no sensors here.

The Kindle simply doesn’t have the sensors required for apps like Star Walk and Tricorder to function at all, let alone well. I think even Ghost Radar Classic suffered and it doesn’t really even do anything!

I feel I can’t really complain about that because the device gives me quite a lot for quite a low price (wife bought it on Black Friday for $29). It’s just that a rather large chunk of what I expected and eagerly anticipated isn’t part of the package. I’m certainly glad it was a gift purchased for only $29 because if I’d bought it for myself at $49 or whatever it is, I’d have returned it and sought out a proper Android tablet (immediately downloading the Kindle app, of course). Knowing ahead of time that the device lacked these sensors would have precluded the purchase entirely.

I’ll still use it for testing mobile web apps which is, in itself, something I didn’t have before and that’s enough for which I’m excited and grateful.

I am most bothered by so many apps in the Amazon app store on my Kindle that … aren’t fit for a Kindle. That’s far more irritating than, when browsing Amazon Prime, having to continually filter out video and music that isn’t included in Prime.

Kindle Complaints

I’m not a big privacy person. What I mean by that is I am totally comfortable trading my data for the convenience of free Facebook or Google products. If Uber wants to track where I am when I request a ride and where I get dropped off, good for them and their awesome business ideas and model. I won’t even complain about ads on the screensaver.

However …

  • Any app that says it wants to post on my behalf*— like the Goodreads and Facebook apps I was momentarily excited about firing (no pun intended) up — is never getting used. I am so glad I actually read that nonsense before pressing “accept.” There are a million other ways to use Facebook, but not using Goodreads on my freaking Kindle makes me very sad.
  • After that revelation, I most hesitantly started to configure the email app, and was horrified to see this …
Amanage.png
Not just view but actually manage my mail, calendars, and contacts? Are you kidding me? Still far more acceptable than Facebook.

*I once asked my niece why she repeatedly posted the same thing on Facebook and, as it turns out, it wasn’t her, it wasn’t her. It was some page she liked posting on her behalf and she wasn’t even aware of it what it was posting or when! I’ve seen Facebook discussions where people thought their account was “hacked” because of something particularly bad but it was something they’d signed up for or agreed to. No thank you.

Both/Bloat

I expected bloatware. One of the first things I did was create a “bloat” folder in which to exile it all. Amazon, however, has taken upon itself the opportunity to twice (so far) install apps by itself. I don’t know how it chose these apps–one of them (Washington Post) I actually like but the other went, unexamined, straight to the bloat folder.

I have to say, Amazon, all of this is disappointing. I expected more from you. Really.

Playing with New Kindle Fire OS

Beautiful and badass wife got us each a Kindle Fire for Christmas. Downloaded the latest Android Studio (I hadn’t updated it since installing the beta well over a year ago) and followed the instructions for connecting my “test device” to my Mac. Both were pain-free much to my relief.

I’ve been hopping back and forth between the Amazon Developer site and the Android Developer site. Both make me happy which is to say neither makes me miserable.

I felt like Hackerman (see Kung Fury, the greatest film of all time) when I sep-tapped (tapped seven times) to open the Developer Options on my Kindle.

Now I need to find a new home for my old Kindle eReader.

We finally (don’t judge us) got Amazon Prime last night. We were up all night binge-watching Under the Dome and The Man in the High Castle. The kids are now binging Doctor Who.