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title: App List
This is most of the apps I use on my smartphone.
* 1Password: I'll have to rely on the browser version
* A Better Route Planner: The new phone has some version of Google Maps,
and longer trips can be planned on the computer beforehand
* *Amtrak*: this one could be tough. Having the Amtrak app is very helpful
on train voyages when problems happen.
* Andronome: A metronome app. I bet I can make a web app on to do this.
* AntennaPod: Podcasts. I think there's a podcast app for KaiOS.
* Authenticator: There's a TOTP app for KaiOS. I may need to update it.
* Awful: I'll use the web version.
* Book Reader: I wasn't reading books on the phone. What's funny is that
I read Moby Dick on my Nokia 5310. But the smartphone is too distracting to read.
* Calculator: KaiOS has a calculator.
* ChargePoint: EV charger app. I may have to either pay more and use my credit card,
or get their plastic card for in-network rates.
* ConnectBot: ssh client. There's one on my laptop.
* Contacts: There's one built into KaiOS.
* Electrify America: same story as ChargePoint.
* EVGo: same story.
* Firefox: KaiOS has a browser. I bet it's awful. But I don't think I'll use it much.
* Fitbit: Gonna have to give this one up.
* Gmail: I'm already off gmail.
* *Google Calendar*: This may be the thing that pulls me back.
Getting push reminders of upcoming events has been a big deal.
* Google Home: I think I actually need to keep the phone just for this app.
* Google Messages: It'll be SMS only for me.
* Google News: good riddance.
* Google Photos: web version.
* Google Podcasts: they're killing this anyway.
* Google Pay: credit cards have tap to pay.
* Listen Audiobook Player: I'll have to see if I can find a KaiOS app for this.
* Mattermost: No more work push notifications for me, so sad.
* Open Camera: The camera is not as big a part of my life now as it once was.
I can get snapshots with the dumbphone. Not good ones, but good enough.
I grew up with crummy 110 cameras. It'll be okay.
* Plex: maybe I can copy video files over, for the train trips.
Will I want to watch movies on a 2-inch screen, though?
Good thing I have a laptop!
* PlexAmp: I will have to copy music files over to my phone, like I did 20 years ago.
It'll be okay.
* Proton Mail: laptop ahoy!
* *Signal*: Ironically, Signal is the one app that absolutely cannot run without a smartphone.
And it's where most of my friends are.
* gStrings: (instrument tuner) I may have to buy a guitar tuner!
* YouTube: comes with the phone, although, again, 2-inch screen.
* YouTube Music: same story as PlexAmp. Music files on phone.
* Work Apps: I'll just use my work laptop for work. It'll be fine,
the main inconvenience will be when I forget to do my timecard,
I'll have to grab the laptop.
* Banking Apps: they all have web sites I can use,
although one of my credit cards leans fairly heavily into the app.

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title: My Dumb Dumbphone Experiment
date: 2024-01-17
- pocket computing
Last year,
I went on a quest to reduce how much time I spend on my "phone"
(which is actually a pocket computer: I don't place many calls with it).
Comparing notes with my kid last week,
it looks like I'm averaging about 1 hour per day,
which is pretty good.
Most of that appears to be using the web browser,
probably to look stuff up,
and the Something Awful Forums app.
I do a little bit of text messaging every day,
and a few other scattered "utility" apps here and there.
The kid's phone stops getting security updates in August,
meaning we're going to have to drop another $500-$800 again,
or risk running malware on the gateway into her online life.
I'm tired of this.
I'm going to try using an $80 Nokia flip phone.
We'll see how it works out,
maybe jr will want one when it's time.
# Apps I'm Giving Up
By doing this,
I am in essence giving up every app on my device at once.
Many of them have web page equivalents,
so this is not a big deal.
A few, like banking apps,
I suppose I can keep using the phone when I'm at home.
Maybe I can set up SMS check deposits:
that would mean I don't need the app at all.
The ones that seem the most painful are:
* Amtrak: Their web site isn't great, but maybe I just need to spend more time on it.
* Google Calendar: Getting reminders has caused an improvement in me being to things on time.
* Signal: This is where all my friends are.
I made [a full list](apps.html),
if you're interested.
# Initial Thoughts
It's much better than I remember featurephones being.
So it's exceeding my expectations,
which is nice.
It is a lot bigger, though.
Much bigger than I was expecting.
Maybe in a few years there will be a smaller one I can get,
with the same functionality.
It's still significantly smaller than the smartphone,
so it's still an improvement.
The text messages work pretty well,
I can do group messages and see images,
I can even send images and emoji.
The music player is fine for me.
People on the Internet seem to hate it,
but it's playing my music files,
so whatever.
Bluetooth music playback is great too.
I found a podcast app that seems decent enough.
That might be nice when Amy starts back at work,
but right now I'm not listening to a lot of podcasts.
The browser is miles better than the one on the 5310.
It's good enough that I'm thinking about whether I should try writing an ePub reader
that I can host on Woozle.
I think maybe not:
I like the e-ink book reader I've got a lot.
The phone part is fine, no complaints.
Speakerphone works well, maybe better than the smartphone.
Bluetooth works on calls exactly like it did on the Pixel.
I paired it to the car,
but I can't imagine using it that way for anything other than calls
and quick voice-dictated text messages.
That's probably for the better:
ever since Google got rid of standalone Android Auto on the phone,
I've been unlocking it, navigating menus, and whatnot,
in the seconds I'm at red lights.
I was probably going to give up on that anyway.
The camera is roughly equivalent to the point-and-shoot camera we have.
My requirement for keepsake photos is that they be at least as good as a 110 camera from 1975.
This is much better than that.
It also geo-tags photos, which is a nice thing to have.
It comes with a low-resource version of Google Maps!
I haven't used it for directions yet,
but it seems like it'll be good enough.
This is a pretty big deal,
and I'm glad to have it.
I can also connect to Google Mail,
Google Calendar,
and Google Contacts.
None of them seem to work particularly well:
I keep getting reminders for things that happened years ago.
Maybe cleaning out old events will help:
having calendar reminders would be pretty nice.
The games are insipid.
No change there from the 5310.
It also has news and weather apps that will tell me some headlines and the weather,
but I have to go open them up to see it.
There's little chance I'll get wrapped up in any of these.
Calculator is basic and fine.
Honestly, I'm excited about the browser being so capable.
I tried sideloading an app in debug mode and ran into trouble,
but I'm realizing that I'm thinking about the phone wrong here.
It is a telephone with an okay camera.
I should only turn to it when I have no better options:
it's not there to try and replace a real computer.