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My meanings about replicant usage

Added by Daniel Alsace over 1 year ago

Hello,

I write to criticize a little bit the usability of replicant, and to share the solutions I found.

Some features are nice and great work was made, but some things are strange to me (I'm not developper and don't know how difficult some things are).

I have the samsung galaxy s3 i9300.
I followed this very great tutorial to install replicant ( http://www.nicola-spanti.info/fr/documents/tutorials/computing/os/android/replicant/install_i9300_6-0.html - amen :)

This tutorial make me think about several questions:
- why the calendar needs a google account, and why replicant doesn't propose the off-line calendar app?
- why the camera app has still the button which permit to use the screenside camera, if it makes crash the app? (even if it's resettable?)
- why in the phone app the phone number search uses google by default?

I don't like android as an operating system which was used to do replicant, it makes believe that we control something, but some features have some strange behavior, and I find the menus and ways to do settings unelegant. Settings are messy.

The terminal doesn't work really, there are no sudo and no manpages, and some programs doesn't exist (it's funny to see that htop is installed! but hard to use!!)
The system is automatically bloated by unused programs, and it's not easy to close an application (in developper options I choosed to enable long click on return button to force close programs).

I didn't find some map app which accept to view openstreetmap, opencyclemap, and derivatives, without access to GPS (even with fake locator app), and without sd card (I installed Maps and will wait to have an sd card). AAT and location map viewer are the two I found which work, don't crash, without gps or sd card.
AAT is a little bit better, has more features.

I didn't find some archiver app which can manage zip or other archive files and only that.

I installed amaze which is a file manager which can make zip files from several files (amaze is an interesting file manager even if all features doesn't work).

The default file manager is sometimes strange, but useful to have a text editor.

I installed diskUsage app, which is interesting to check if some files take too much disk space.

Simple Gallery permit to edit a little bit the photos, is better that the default gallery and photo viewing app.

Hacker's keyboard permit to have access to arrows, echap keys or others, and is very useful.

LTE Cleaner seems to clean nicely some unuseful things. SuperFreezZ seems to have a nice way to temporarly block unused applications.

With OS monitor I see that some unuseful applications start and use memory. Some can restart after I kill them.

Storage & USB application is useful to manage more easily usb keys without to search allways in the menus (with the file manager it doesn't really work!)

For SMS, Silence is more useful (encrypted possibility is nice), and Duckduckgo is a nice web browser which complements well the default browser.

I used this phone like a computer, it's interesting to plug a desktop keyboard and write faster.


Replies (12)

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Andrés D over 1 year ago

Hi Daniel, thank you very much for your feedback.

Daniel Alsace wrote:

Hello,

I write to criticize a little bit the usability of replicant, and to share the solutions I found.

Thank you.

This tutorial make me think about several questions:
- why the calendar needs a google account, and why replicant doesn't propose the off-line calendar app?

Replicant's calendar doesn't need a Google account, it was also confusing to me. When you enter Settings->ADD ACCOUNT you can only select "Exchange", but after introducing an email address you can select between: PERSONAL (POP3), PERSONAL (IMAP) and EXCHANGE. This should work with any POP3, IMAP or Exchange server, nothing ties you to Google. I also use off-line calendar and I agree that it should be included in the next Replicant 6 release.

- why the camera app has still the button which permit to use the screenside camera, if it makes crash the app? (even if it's resettable?)

I think that Replicant 6 supports the front camera on some devices (and all devices if you install proprietary firmware). I suppose that it would take some work to hide or disable it for devices that doesn't support it.

- why in the phone app the phone number search uses google by default?

Is that covered here? https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1827 If not, comment there.

The terminal doesn't work really, there are no sudo and no manpages, and some programs doesn't exist (it's funny to see that htop is installed! but hard to use!!)

"Terminal" is so poor, I use Termux instead.

The system is automatically bloated by unused programs, and it's not easy to close an application (in developper options I choosed to enable long click on return button to force close programs).

Recent Apps (long press Home button) and cross on the desired app.

I didn't find some map app which accept to view openstreetmap, opencyclemap, and derivatives, without access to GPS (even with fake locator app), and without sd card (I installed Maps and will wait to have an sd card). AAT and location map viewer are the two I found which work, don't crash, without gps or sd card.
AAT is a little bit better, has more features.

I use OsmAnd~, it works without sdcard or gps. I also use Amaze, Simple Gallery, Hacker's keyboard and Silence. There has been some talk about default apps that could be replaced by better ones.

Visit the IRC channel if you want to install an experimental build of the next release.

Andrés

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Kurtis Hanna over 1 year ago

Hello Daniel. Thanks for your feedback.

To make it easy, here's the F-Droid link to the app that Andrés mentioned: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.sufficientlysecure.localcalendar/

I just created an issue for this, so hopefully it can be addressed in our 6.0 0004 release: https://redmine.replicant.us/issues/1938

Thank you Andrés for your great response!

I learned a lot from reading both of your posts.

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace over 1 year ago

Thank you very much, I will take time to answer.
Very interesting informations!

I already installed termux !

I didn't want to install OsmAnd~ because of some online services used which are not free.

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace over 1 year ago

I had severe problems because of SuperFreezZ (I mean, but am not sure, but it looked like inefficient and poorly made). It couldn't start anymore.

I made full factory reset, and was happy to find a replicant system after that!! I didn't understand that heimdall do that, great!

It's great to have a clean system again.

What is stunning, is that repwifi is up to date and was part of the backup (and it was made during the phone use, not due to heimdall), but not f-droid. Both are system apps.

I found Zanavi, which is great, and works without gps or localization, with micro-sd card, and can do routing. I can download maps of entire countries, and because of there is no gps, can display more details: even though it's slower it's beautiful to see houses or walking ways from far zoom levels!

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace 11 months ago

There is allways the problem to find a map software which is full ethical, works properly without connexion nor gps, and in offline mode.

For termux, now there is no possibility to update it… it's now uncompatible… :(
It were very useful, with w3m it allowed to use internet with very low data comsumption.

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace 9 months ago

The material files file browser is far better, and it's able to create .zip files (.tar.xz is not working on my phone)
https://f-droid.org/fr/packages/me.zhanghai.android.files/

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Fil Lupin 8 months ago

Daniel Alsace wrote:
[ZAP]

I didn't want to install OsmAnd~ because of some online services used which are not free.

Hi Daniel,
I am not sure what online services you meant but it is my understanding that OsmAnd~ exists in 2 versions, and the one on f-droid avoid a lot of those antifeatures.
Would this answer your need?

I use this f-droid version after I downloaded maps and put them on my sdcard to use OsmAnd~ offline, and it worked perfectly. You just have to be cautious to download also World_basemap_2.obf & World_seamarks_2.obf to be allowed to zoom out and still view something.

Regards.

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace 8 months ago

I'm testing…
But… OsmAnd is 107Mo big…

Zanavi is 7.7Mo big… (but the last update is very old) if I could fork it… but I don't know anything about that…

Why such so big application, to just view maps offline… samsung S3 i9300 isn't the last model…

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace 8 months ago

Ok, I uninstalled this ***.

It made crash the phone when I wanted to set storage folder for maps to sd card.

The best solution is to use zanavi.

Osmand is bloated, and made for last-model phones :(

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Fil Lupin 8 months ago

I used it on a GT-I9100 & GT-I9300, but it took me some time to make it work with non-default configuration.

You can go into Settings/General settings and then enter the path where are your maps into "Data storage folder".
Does this work on your device?

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace 8 months ago

Ok, I succeed to select the correct path for the sd card.

It's working. Some little problems with the gps, but routing works without it.

RE: My meanings about replicant usage - Added by Daniel Alsace about 1 month ago

I discussed with OsmAnd team, they say that their app is made to run smoothly with 3Go RAM, GPS, internet connexion…

I tried to explain them privacy concerns about GPS, problem of people who have few RAM and not only on "old" phones, and importance to have offline functionalities.

The lack of some program which mimics GPS is really annoying. Fake traveler or other apps I tested don't work.
A fake locator built in replicant is maybe a good solution?

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