Why did I create Simple Mobile Tools
If you are an Android user, you must have noticed the amount of preinstalled apps on your device. Some of them are OK, some definitely aren’t. Since they were preinstalled, you got them kind of for free. As you haven’t installed them manually, you might have not noticed the amount of permissions they have. Just find the app in Settings and check the granted permissions. Depending on your device and manufacturer you might find Calendar without any other service integrated, but still requiring internet access, or some apps having for example access to Contacts or SD card for unexplainable reasons. Internet access is so common, that you don’t even have to explicitly grant it from Android 6 Marshmallow, unlike a couple other ones. I’ve just checked my device and the crappy preinstalled custom Email client requires almost two times more permissions than Gmail.
The second problem I have with preinstalled apps (or apps in general) are ads. I know that creating those apps costs big companies a lot of money, that’s just how inefficient they are. But how the heck can they rely on ads in an attempt to reach some profit? They annoy everyone, and still almost nobody clicks on them intentionally (definitely not me). Some companies are clearly trying to make users click on them by mistake, but a file commander with ads inbetween directories is just unacceptable and it won’t stay on my device for long.
My third problem is the user experience. Even though they are native apps and the companies know they will be used only on Android, they still often don’t stick to the design guidelines. I’m not interested in their companies’ custom animations or custom icons (increasing costs of production even further), when I have no idea what will the button do until I press it. Google provides a huge list of Material icons which is more than enough for most apps. Widgets are part of the UX too and I love using them, so they cannot stay unmentioned. Some apps provide widgets when it makes sense, that is a good thing. However, barely any allow customizing their widgets, even though the users have different light or dark wallpapers. Widgets can not only save a huge amount of time, they can also make the home screens look awesome when set up properly. Setting up properly is the key part here, as only a very few widgets are really customizable. If the app color doesn’t match the color of your wallpaper, or if the widget background is too light or too dark, well, you are usually out of luck. Also, there’s no need for creating apps with a thousand features that only 1% of users will use. I just want simple apps that work, don’t make me press 2–3 buttons till I get to taking photos in a camera.
Don’t make me think just to use a camera.
Then, I want apps that are useful. I’m not interested in creating movies in a smartphone or drawing butterflies over photos. If I wanted to, I’d download an app for that myself. I know that some apps from Google have to be preinstalled, but that’s a different topic. If the device manufacturers stopped producing all that garbage and instead focused their manpower and money on applying patches faster, upgrading OS faster and supporting devices longer, I’d be willing to pay even more for them. That would make them more money than hoping that I’ll click that ad. Just let the market take care of the apps.
So, this was my 2 cents on the topic. If you agree with my points, you should definitely check out my apps. There’s still a long way to go, but I’d love to hear your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t hesitate sending the negative ones too whatever they might be about.
Also, supporting me in any way would be greatly appreciated. The support can be either financial, but giving good feedback/ratings helps just as much. Spreading the word is also welcome. Feel free promoting the apps on any website/forum you like. You can find a couple screenshots/icons here.
Update: The apps are 2 years old, read the full story!
Update 2: Some of the apps are becoming paid, read more about it here.