The Killer Android App
The truly killer app of Android and why I can never return to an iPhone is Termux.
If you don’t use a computer to its fullest potential, this won’t make much sense, but for me, I don’t really see myself returning to a device that doesn’t have the capability to run a Linux terminal within it and act as a (albeit not fully fledged) pocket computer.
What do I use Termux for?
You can install emacs and run it in termux. This becomes tremendously powerful in that you now have an (almost) operating system ontop of Android to do various things. I am not at the technical literacy to do so (yet!), but I use it as my notes app, todo list, and calendar all in one via…
If you are a patron of this blog, you will have already heard of org-mode and how I use it to schedule and basically run my life. I have used so many ’productivity apps’ in the past, and none stack up to a plain text version that runs on 47+ year old software. Don’t @ me about this. Every onenote, evernote, notion, whatever, cannot hold a candle to a well setup emacs installation.
Here was the issue for me though: I wanted to save notes and thoughts on the go, and I had to either use a seperate notes app (Standard Notes, which is not bad at all), or use my ’note to self’ in Signal. Either of these options is fine, however involve the step of copy-pasting them to my org files when I return to a computer.
Now, I use Termux with Emacs installed, a git repo to sync my org files (I really only edit the Inbox.org file on mobile), and now all I need do is a quick git pull at the end of the day to my computer, file away the items I made while AFK, and push the empty template file back to my phone for further note-taking/scheduling/brain dumping.
I refuse to use proprietary note apps. No more stealing my ideas, CIA!
Downloading Youtube Audio
You can easily setup your filesystem with Termux to accept downloads and file them away wherever you wish. What this is great for is using NewPipe and then youtube-dl’ing videos in the background to watch later if you’re offline. NewPipe admittedly has a pretty good download function as it is, so you might not need this, but it’s a nice scriptable solution.
You can access remote servers or machines at home if you so wish. You now have the ability to do anything you would do on a remote server. This opens up so much potential it is crazy.
I have used Termux to cut and pull out audio from various videos, very common use case if you do any video related stuff.
With Termux-tasker you can run scripts that will contextually execute commands. I will have a lot of janky playing to do here in the future.
Install a full Linux Distro
My issue with phones is that they are not really ’smart’. The potential of a pocket sized computer (which is what a phone is and should be, if it weren’t locked down so hard by various manufacturers cough, Apple). Termux allows you a ton of newfound freedom on the Android operating system, pretty much opening the door for whatever you want to do with a computer again.