#myAndroid

Over the weekend I caught wind of a neat little toy released on Android.com called “My Android” (colloquially, #myAndroid).  The basic idea behind it is to show you how many different ways you can customize your Android set-up beyond the stock screen that you get when you first turn on your Android phone.

How does it work?

Once you head over to the #myAndroid website, and click on the ‘Find Your Match’ button, you’re guided through a series of (mostly) binary tests.  They want you to react, not to think, as you make your selections.

Some of the options are obvious, but there’s a test near the end that asks “Hot dogs or legs?” that is pretty funny, but I’m not sure what results are derived from it.

What does your match give you?

After you complete the little quiz, you’re shown three home screen options that are tailored to your tastes based on your selections.  A quick animation gives you an overview of what your home screen might look like.

Scroll down a bit further and it gives you some more details about each home screen: the launcher (this is the “skin” or “theme” layered on top of Android – more info here), icon pack, wallpaper, and keyboard (more on that in a second).  Along with each item there’s a direct Play Store link so you can download them.

Problems with the process

I mentioned that I’d get to the keyboard suggestion; that’s where there’s at least one problem with the whole process.  Every time you complete the test to find your match, every keyboard recommended is Gboard.  I’m not saying that Gboard is a bad keyboard (it’s the one I use, in fact), but it seems a bit disingenuous that no matter what, the #myAndroid website will suggest it every time without fail.  There are a lot of different keyboards out there, and different styles will suit some more than others; this test should just leave the keyboard match out completely.

The wallpaper suggestion leaves a little to be desired too.  It will give you one of two options: Backdrops or Zedge.  It will show you the suggestion based on your test selections, but won’t give you the name of it or what to search for in order to find it in the selected app.

Lastly, I’d also love to be able to sample some of the launchers in a virtual environment before trying them.  They give you a very brief animation but to me that’s not enough.

Overall impressions

This is a great tool, for both new and experienced Android users alike.  I’ve even seen mention on the Android subreddit from iPhone users that this has helped convince them to switch.

I’ve found two new launchers – Evie and Smart Launcher 3.  I’ve used Nova Launcher for almost the entire time I’ve used Android, but thought I’d try something new based on the suggestions given here.

I use Evie on my Galaxy S7 edge, and Smart Launcher on my Galaxy Tab S2.  Both have their advantages/disadvantages, and so far I feel that Smart Launcher works better on my tablet and I wouldn’t really like it on my phone.  Similarly with Evie, I find that it works great on my phone but isn’t something I’d use on my tablet.

Even if you just want to shake things up a little, I recommend taking the #myAndroid test to find your match.

On a side note – I finally have a set publishing schedule!  Enjoy new posts from me every Tuesday and Thursday from here on out.

Radioplayer Canada

Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post, but I have considerable bias when it comes to the success of Radioplayer Canada.

The official Radioplayer Canada app is finally here!  This app is the result of a partnership between most of the major media companies across Canada.

Radioplayer aims to make streaming radio dead simple, putting various streams all in one place.  The app is available on both iOS and Android, and works pretty much the same on both platforms.

I downloaded it as soon as I woke up this morning, and listened to some stations in Ottawa and Toronto.  I added some favourite stations based on my preferences, and you can also browse by location or station name.

This is perfect for today, because of the NHL Trade Deadline at 3PM Eastern.  I don’t have a local sports station where I live, so I can tune into a station that does.  It’s pretty great.

Radio is evolving to online streaming
Radio is evolving to online streaming

Features

I haven’t tested all of the features of the app yet, but some highlights include a car mode and alarm clock.  The car mode looks like Android Auto, and features big buttons.  It’s a good indication of what it will look like with Android Auto built into the dash.

The app has a minimal layout, and only gives you the options you need to play the radio station you want.  Bell-owned radio stations are notably missing, but that’s because Bell signed their own deal with I Heart Radio.  It’s unfortunate, but there are literally hundreds of other stations to choose from.  CBC even got on board with this app.

You can check out the app yourself at http://www.radioplayer.ca.