Unsolicited App Selections for Android 7.x (May, 2017) Part 1

While staying at a friend's house in San Diego (Thanks Gen!), I was aghast at a neglected iPad Air in the guest room and promptly brought it to my buddy, who calmly told me he didn't use it anymore because his Android smartphone took care of all his needs. As someone who rotates using multiple devices (which included an aged iPad 2), I was thoroughly shaken. Three months later, I realized just how much of a hypocrite I was when I realized I only used my iPad 2 as a second screen text editor when I write Unsolicited But Offered articles for FreeBSD, Linux, macOS and Windows. My humble Moto G4 Plus and budget Kindle Fire HD 8 took care of all my modest mobile app requirements.

The Moto G4 Plus, which is complemented by my lightweight Lumia 650 with Windows 10 Mobile, has the following apps:

1. NHK World TV - For free TV content, NHK World TV is highly recommended for those interested in Japan's culture and history. Forget about the ludicrously shallow and myopic geek culture surrounding manga and anime. Japan and the Japanese are often misinterpreted and misunderstood (Western sites are filled with highly ignorant impressions of Japan). NHK World, while geared towards foreigners and tourism, is still more authentic than most content online. 

Sadly, NHK regularly hires lifeless, clueless Westerners as host, who often pretend to understand the nuances of Japanese culture and history, and generally look like idiots. Switch shows immediately. The best programs have subtitles and are presented by a local and native. Plus, unlike the incredibly skewed perspective of China's CCTV world news, NHK's Newsline is balanced and fair.

Favorite Feature: Unlike 99% of the subtitles provided by U.S. companies for imported Japanese movies and TV shows, the subtitles in NHK World TV are actually accurate and reflect the Japanese syntax and grammar properly. There are times when an English idiom is improperly used and slang is thrown around, but overall the translations are actually good. The narrator's script for Japanese documentaries are excellent. Anyone with even a basic knowledge of Japanese can appreciate the effort placed in the subtitles.

Note: Japanese documentary programs and shows are an acquired taste. The pace and tone are extremely slow, and a good deal of listening and reading is required to fully appreciate them. 

2. Bing Translator for Android - Bing Translator for Android has a different interface from the Windows 10 Mobile version but remains exceptionally useful if you're a language learner or frequent business traveler.

Favorite Feature: Offline language packs can be large but they're useful if you don't want to use data on a trip. The Mandarin offline pack in particular can be useful.

3. ExpressVPN - For more details regarding using ExpressVPN refer to the numerous articles here at Unsolicited But Offered.

3. Pulsar - If you're working in a country which has Google services blocked, Play Music is not only crippled, but pretty annoying to use. Despite idiotic and ignorant articles from CNET and Mashable regarding the MP3 file format, MP3s are still used worldwide and integrated in encoding for many containers. Apps like Pulsar, which provide a comfortable music-playing UI are still extremely useful for MP3 playback.

Favorite feature: If you're too lazy to set up playlists, Pulsar has the option to browse specific folders on your micro SD card and Internal Memory. The option to navigate to specific folders is surprisingly absent from apps such as Groove Music for Windows 10 Mobile, and iTunes.

Continued in Unsolicited App Selections for Android 7.x (May, 2017) Part 2


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