Solid Explorer is my favorite. I ditched ES as soon as the first version of Solid Explorer came out. It is beautiful functional and customizable. It supports extensions, so there are some extensions that add FTP support and other cloud service integrations. It has the option of a dual-pane explorer interface as well.
There's an app called Island. (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oasisfeng.island) Use it. It creates a work profile on your device, and is perfect for this scenario. Clone the app in question to this profile and your problem is solved.
Alternatively, you can create a second user account on Tuesday phone, but this is not ideal since you won't get notifications or be able to do anything on the inactive one when your switch back and forth.
You can also in the meantime just not grant those permissions. If it refuses to with without it, then I'd just straight up tell my boss that the app doesn't work on my phone. If anyone bitches about it, remind them that this is your personal device.
There are multiple SMS Backup Apps on Google Play which let you export all of your messages to a PDF/CSV file. You can then print that export. One such app is this.
Goodluck with your case!
Sorry for your loss. :( In addition to SMS backup apps (there are many — I use SMS Backup+, myself), you could just screenshot them. Then, if you have Google Photos, Google will back up the screenshots.
Either way (preferably with a text based solution), you should print them out and put them in a scrapbook or something. High tech solutions are great, but don't forget low tech. Having pages you can touch might be more helpful.
Aside from being lightweight and feature rich, it is well supported by the developer and a crowd favorite for many years.
It doesn't matter. Take it off the charger when you want to. Modern batteries have circuitry to prevent over charging that would damage lithium ion batteries. I just wouldn't let the battery stay or get to 0% charge often. So keep your phone plugged in whenever you want
Ninja edit: http://www.howtogeek.com/169669/debunking-battery-life-myths-for-mobile-phones-tablets-and-laptops/
With your social media apps, have a look for some alternative apps that are often better than the original (i.e. swipe instead of facebook's app etc).
If you are interested in doing some dev work but have no experience, get an app called tasker, head over to /r/tasker and have a poke around. It is a fantastic app which allows you to program without writing/learning stacks of code/api's etc. There are also a whole bunch of plugins to extend the functionality of it which is where tasker really shines. There is a bunch of plugins created by /u/joaomgcd who is active on here and an all round fantastic developer/human!
Also take some time and play around with the customisation aspect of android. Custom launchers and icon packs to change the look and feel of your screen, widgets galore to give you info you want.
Overall, just have fun with it and don't be afraid to try a whole bunch of different apps that do the same thing, at the end of the day, what is the best for one person might not be the best for another.
Welcome to the android ecosystem - It's not a choice, it's a lifestyle!
Adblock plus on android creates a proxy which routes your network traffic through it in order to block ads. It is mistakenly picked up as the source of that traffic because of that. Source https://adblockplus.org/en/android-faq#traffic
If you are rooted adaway works much better and doesn't have that problem.
You'll want to get something like iShredder that overwrites the data- ordinary deletion simply gets rid of directory files, not the files themselves, which stay there until overwritten. I've used iShredder but there are plenty of similar apps on the play store.
There are fall detection apps out there that can detect a fall. I've never used any before so don't have any recommendations, sorry. But it might be worth a look. Good luck!
Get blue filter glasses for night use. You'll feel much more comfortable reading; without needing to hack things to dim as low as you can go.
I think this is related to the way bluetooth operates, though I don't know of an exact way to change it.
I've noticed that if I play music and close everything out, starting a car and auto connecting to bluetooth will relaunch what was last played, no matter if it's been closed down.
I can think of 3 options, but I'd hope there's something better (and note ~~you~~ your friend may want to test these first before assuming they work):
Play something else after research. Maybe your umm friend should get in the habit of playing a relaxing music playlist after his umm research. This will then be the last played item and should be the media to autoplay when connecting via bluetooth.
Disable bluetooth media. Go to your bluetooth settings (in Android), hit the gear icon next to your car's bluetooth device, uncheck "Media Audio." This fully disables the audio, so you would have to turn this back on whenever you wanted to play music in the car.
Try an app like https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=maderski.bluetoothautoplaymusic&hl=en to force a particular app to play when bluetooth connects.
Try to use encrypted (HTTPS) servers whenever possible. This might help: https://www.eff.org/Https-everywhere (Firefox for Android supports plugins.)
Reddit supports encryption now, but I don't know if your Android client supports it.
It wouldn't hurt to take a close look at the apps on your phone, too. Maybe he installed something secretly, allowing key logging or screen sharing.
So there are a few things you should do:
I've used SMS Backup and Restore for years now without issue: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.riteshsahu.SMSBackupRestore
It lets you export to a file that you can do what you want with. It also supports uploading to Dropbox or Google Drive.
Only thing I don't like about it is the UI can be a tad confusing but maybe that's just me?
Just to echo what some others have said, getting an old Samsung phone to experience Android isn't really a great option. Samsung heavily skins over stock Android to make it "their own". Other companies like Google's own Nexus devices, Motorola, Sony, and Blu tend to stick much closer to stock Android, and the experience is much cleaner, simpler, faster, and less buggy.
I would recommend getting rid WidgetLocker -- it's always been a hack, and it will continue to be. For security reasons, Google doesn't actually allow apps to replace the lock screen.
For playing music, try Google's own music app. You can put the files on your phone, or upload them into Google's cloud (recommended) and the app integrates very nicely, adding music controls to the lock screen, notifications, etc.
Also, grab Google's Messenger app for SMS. Samsung's version is quite buggy.
The Android operating system has had code for "3D touch" (force touch) since 2009, with the use of capacitive touch screens making measuring touch sensitivity possible (see the difference between capacitive vs resistive touch screens here). App developers have never implemented it, because it wasn't a wanted feature. Now that Apple has "innovated" it, maybe it'll become a wanted feature, and app developers will implement it? I don't know. Personally, I would rather long press than force touch.
You can play with force touch on your screen using this app, it shows the value returned from the OS of how hard you're pressing on the screen.
You can have unlimited backups at 16 megapixels or less, otherwise you get the standard amount of storage. Change your settings here: https://photos.google.com/settings
I personally think it's the best cloud service available. None of the others will give you an offer like this, and their pricing for additional storage is very reasonable.
I suggest using KeePass 2. Save your database in Dropbox. Use KeePass2Android on your phone. Set Dropbox on your phone to keep an offline copy of the database file and KeePass2Android can be set to use it.
Any computer you have Dropbox on will be able to use the database. If you add a new key on your phone or on any computer, the database will be automatically synchronized.
This is exactly what apple intends to happen - annoy you into getting an iphone. It's bullshit.
I like to try to get my people to use Signal. It's very similar to iMessage (so it's familiar to iOS people), and it works cross platform. It also has the reactions so they can continue to do that and it'll work on your end too.
Switch to Signal: https://signal.org/install
> I've never installed AdBlock as I've read (on Reddit, if I recall) that it's simply unnecessary and just drains your battery life.
That's completely untrue. An adblocker is probably your #1 defense against rogue ads that hijack your browser and open up random pages. Now, antivirus/antimalware is unnecessary and just drains your battery life.
Chrome doesn't support addons, so you can't run an adblocker addon with it.
There are 3 types of adblockers on Android:
The first is the most effective but requires root, and that's a system-wide adblock that edits your hosts file (basically, it takes all the addresses of the ads and refers them back to your localhost address, preventing them from loading)
The second is system-wide via proxy/VPN which doesn't require root but does require an app to run in the background to keep the proxy/VPN connection
And the third is browser-based adblocking, which doesn't require root, but requires a browser that has the capabilities of using addons
I recommend Firefox because it has the ability to use addons.
I'm sure since this is your first smartphone, you're not too familiar with what root is unless you've ran a Linux/Unix based operating system before. Root is basically becoming the administrator of the device, rather than just a user, allowing you to edit the system (more so than your simple Settings app).
If you are not willing to switch to Firefox, you can use AdBlock Plus for Android, which is adblocking via proxy. For a non-root system, you'll need to follow this setup guide, but once it's setup, you don't have to worry about it at all.
APKMirror is a trusted source. They only upload apps with their original signatures and you can trust that they haven't been tampered with. I am not sure how far back you want to go, but they should have a long list of youtube versions as they upload new versions any time they are released. I am not sure if reverting to an older apk will change the quantity of ads. That might be a server-side change, but I suppose it is worth a try.
Get used to the Google Camera. It's one of the best in the market. So you want to be able to use it to it's best.
Same with Google Discover and Assistant. They can be personalized to a good extent. Make it work for you perfectly.
Play around with chrome flags on Google Chrome.
Use Google photos. From your imported pics and videos, choose the folders which you want backed up in the Device Folders option
Install Files by Google. It keeps your device clean by clearing junk files and duplicates ,etc. It'll serve as your file manager also since in stock Android you do not one natively.
Maybe, install an equaliser app. You have stereo speakers. So change it to your liking.
Buy a case/skin to protect your phone ��.
I think the easiest way would be to install a launcher that let's you restrict access to certain apps. First that comes to mind is Luna Launcher
It will only display apps that you want (unless you unlock it with a code) and you can lock the thing down to just do the tasks you want.
The problems I experienced with battery and power consumption is the reason I ditched my S4 and Android in general. From what I can remember I used an app called Greenify to control apps running in the background. Maybe trying this will allow you to find what directly minimizes the battery life and fix it.
Hello u/mrandr01d, it appears you tried to put a link in a title, since most users cant click these I have placed it here for you
^I ^am ^a ^bot ^if ^you ^have ^any ^suggestions ^dm ^me
I use KeePass2Android and recommend it. It's free and open source. It stores the db in the cloud on the service of your choosing, (encrypted, of course) and shares the db with KeePass on your computer.
I don't know anything about accessibility.
The constantly awake is most likely your problem. If the device is awake, it uses more power. Normally it only wakes up now and then to check for messages and such.
Were any apps still running during this time? Most likely something that plays video or sound. Your phone won't go to sleep while the media server is being used (even when playback is paused).
If you have root, you could try using wakelock detector to see what apps are keeping your device awake.
Cerberus definitely isn't dead. You register by buying a $5.5 lifetime license which works with up to 5 devices by using the regular app.
The website and the client app are for logging in only and for tracking your device.
With some help from you for setup you can use this.
I just tested it on Moon+ and was able to scroll via voice just be saying "scroll down".
"best" is subjective.
I've been extremely happy with Firefox.
They have a variety of options depending on your needs.
Firefox Focus is good if you're more security focused.
>Browse like no one’s watching. The new Firefox Focus automatically blocks a wide range of online trackers — from the moment you launch it to the second you leave it. Easily erase your history, passwords and cookies, so you won’t get followed by things like unwanted ads.
>“Private browsing” on most browsers isn’t comprehensive or easy to use. Focus is next-level privacy that’s free, always on and always on your side — because it’s backed by Mozilla, the non-profit that fights for your rights on the Web.
• Blocks a wide range of common Web trackers without any settings to set
• Easily erases your history — no passwords, no cookies, no trackers
In case if your device doesn't have different options for wallpaper. Install Google Wallpaper. Open the app and set wallpaper. It will show 3 options. (Home, lockscreen and both)
Antivirus/Task managers are all useless, all they do is display ads to you.
In case you need an app to clean some space up, try SD Maid.
Android has always done this for the screenshots visible in the recent activities section of the OS where you can quick switch to another task. There have been similar scares about Chrome tabs which are similarly thumbnailed.
It's possible to flag a window as secure which means the recent activity thumbnail is no longer the screenshot:
You could always try an app flagged as secure and see if the captured screenshot respects that rule. It's easy to bypass the secure flag in a rooted/custom rom:
So a bypass being active might be a good sign of spying vs. normal behavior.
Google login is built into Android at a systemwide level. You sign in once, and you're all set. If you want to restrict access to Gmail, I suggest you use a third party application like AppLock.
Samsung Galaxy M20.
6.3inch 1080x2340 display
Octacore Exynos 7904 (better than the Snapdragon 617. The benchmarks scores are like 2x higher on the Exynos)
13MP camera back, 8MP on front
64GB internal storage
SD card up to 512 GB
5000mah battery Adaptive Fast Charge (15W)
Rear fingerprint sensor
I don't know where you live, but in my country you can buy a Galaxy M20 for an equivalent of $204 and you get a free JBL Bluetooth speaker with it.
All these apps give you a temporary performance boost as what they do is kill your phone's background processes, which if you ask experts, is an horribly wrong way to optimize performance on Android.
Try Greenify instead: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oasisfeng.greenify
And if you're looking for suggestions on optimizing performance on your Android device, have a look at this article.
The problem is the age of the device. Over time the tools used to flash devices deprecate support for older devices, so you would have to get the flashing tool from that era. Also ROMs are dependent on having the driver and software support for that exact combination of hardware so you would also have to get a ROM from that time, so you would be lucky to get an AOSP (Android Open Source Project) ROM with support for your exact devices hardware. Add to that the chances being worse because you don't have a major manufacturer brand of device and long term support that you can find help from other users is usually unlikely.
Then you will run into the problem that at this point it would be a security nightmare.
There is a chance you might get a Linux ROM like PostMarketOS ( postmarketos.org ) but it is in such early states I would not hold out much hope.
If you still plan to do it I wish you luck.
There's the Island app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.oasisfeng.island&hl=en_GB which lets you set up a totally sandboxed account space.
Though I personally wouldn't put work apps (especially any requring device admin access) on my own phone. If work believe it's important for me to read emails remotely (it really isn't), they can issue me with a phone.
Messages is a SMS app from Google.
It can send messages via Internet and media files too and also share seen option but only if your carrier supports that.
the iMessages is completely mentained by apple, but in case of android messages, Google can't operate it cause of some laws (I don't much about it) but it supports if your carrier supports.
you can read more in this article.
I wouldn’t use a free VPN if I were you, a lot of free android VPNs are malware. You’d be better off getting a paid one instead. After all you are investing in your own security. Something like NordVPN or TunnelBear should do the trick, these are known to offer strong encryption.
The best answer I've always seen from this is if you're not paying for a product then you are the product.
Meaning someone is collecting the information you're putting through their VPN and selling it.
Private Internet Access, I believe, is $40 per year. Not bad considering the holidays are upon us and credit card gift cards will be close at hand.
have them download this:
And then you install this:
They open the Quick Support app and tell you the code it shows, and you input it on your end. Tada!
I've cancelled MightyText. I've had reliability issues with group text messages.
I recommend Pulse SMS which is far more reasonable and has a lot of great features. It gets updated with new features at least a few times per week. I also prefer their web/chrome extension interfaces.
Personnaly, I use Chrome Remote Desktop: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.chromeremotedesktop
Otherwise Teamwiever is supposed to work too: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teamviewer.teamviewer.market.mobile
Both apps need a client installed on your PC.
Ahh, you're right! Looks like Habitica was the culprit...which I just installed last night after seeing it on the front page of /r/android. Uninstalled and the notifications no longer appear. Reinstalled to confirm and they came back. Unbelievable.
"The phone is not yet released officially. It will be released around mid November and two weeks after that, the source code will be released."*
said by Andy Rubin at the AsiaD conference.
*paraphrased by me
Never fear, there is a very easy solution.
Grab This app from GPlay Market.
After installing, open it and hit "Application Backup"
Back up your apps.
After getting the new Droid, grab Astro on the new droid, download, and make sure you have your old SD card in the new Droid. Open astro, use the file browser, navigate to /sd/backups/apps
Click the app you want to reinstall and hit "install"
There. all done, quick and painless.
They also record what you say while using the app, and then show ads about things you've talked about on Facebook. Facebook is all about their ads and profiling you to sell your data. I'm not surprised they archive deleted photos. I deleted my Facebook and moved to Minds.
Download, install and get to know 'Tasker':
I'm no Tasker expert, but I bet it would be a case of leaving everything as you currently have it BUT set up a tasker task so that when you press answer to answer a phone call, your media player would play your chosen music file through the phone's speaker. I'm not sure if Tasker would be able to further control what happens after that but it's a start!
You can use Google's Files
If you want something better (and foss), you can use Syncthing
Pretty much all of what you are talking about is called bloatware and it's why more and more people are steering clear of buying phones through a carrier. Samsung and your carrier get kickbacks for installing 3rd party software and making it non-removable. That sucks, and it's not an "android" problem it's a carrier/manufacturer problem. You can buy directly from samsung and get the unlocked version and it comes with much less software, but there will still be a few issues.
For a solution, there are apps like these that can disable apps (be careful on what apps you disable though, you can mess up parts of the phone, follow a list. You can try to root your device and remove the software or try a custom ROM. In the future vote with your wallet and buy a phone that doesn't have bloatware.
I used to use Google Authenticator. But because I often do factory resets on my phone, or switch phones completely, I ended up switching to Authy. The alternative is to disable 2FA temporarily, then re-enable as soon as your phone is back.
You can build this in any automation app—Tasker, AutoMagic, AutoMate, or MacroDroid. Here it is in MacroDroid.
I use Nine (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ninefolders.hd3&hl=en) and it does this. It sandboxes the email account so that only the application can be affected by server side policies. It's also $5 off right now.
EDIT - It originally said $5, it's really $5 off.
Make sure Google Play service & Google app both are updated to the latest version.
Change your device's language to English (US). Navigate to Settings > Language & Input > Change it to English (US).
Clear your Google App data & Google play service. [To do this , Go to settings > Apps > Find the Google app in the list. Click on it. there will be something like storage. Click on it. > Now click clear data. You can also do it by going to app info ] This will clear all the previous settings on your Google App. Also, make sure your Google App language is set to English (US).
Once done, just tap and hold the Home Button of your device and you will see a message pop from the bottom asking you get started with 'Google Assistant'. Enjoy!
Give Swipe for Facebook a try. I have a couple or three different workarounds under the "Messaging Client" setting that helps prevent exactly this.
Google Keep works well for many and I've heard that Evernote is wonderful as well.
It is handled by the OS normally. It's just that Messnger also has that feature for some reason. It's a huge, bloated, proprietary program with too many permissions.
I uninstalled it, and my battery life and performance have both improved.
If you really must use the service, look into a lighter alternative. You might like Disa, Swipe, or FaceSlim.
Legit. I have one. It's the international model, with dual SIM and the Exynos processor instead of the snapdragon, and has a faster internal SD card bus.
Works with TMobile in the US, though you won't get 4G with it.
Since it's Exnyos, custom ROMs are easily available as well.
I use Reddit Sync, and it supports Multi-Reddits. I do have the Pro version. I am not sure whether it's in the free version. My multis show up in the slide out menu all the way at the bottom, beneath my list of regular Sub-Reddits.
They have. Ubuntu, Firefox and Sailfish OS have their respective DEs which can run on top of a standard Android boot-stack and kernel. Sailfish can even run Android apps using the Alien Dalvik VM.
If you're interested and have the skills, you can port Sailfish OS to your Android device, starting here - https://sailfishos.org/develop/hadk/
Also read my other comment/rant on the challenges you will face if you want to go down this path.
While the flagship phones are the 'best', think about stopping into your local electronics store to play around with some of the options. While reading the specs for the phones are nice and all, feeling the phone in your hands and interacting with it are very good ways to find out if you're going to like a phone or if you should not consider a particular model.
On a seperate note, Google semi-recently made this tool to help converts find a phone that works for them. Although I'm sure it's not perfect, it can be a good tool for finding a good starting point.
Welcome to the Android family! :)
1e100.com is not a Google domain. It is a squatter.
1e100.net is however (and should be communicated over ports 443/5222/5228).
A quick search on SU yields that it is also used to communicate with Google for a lot of services, not only for the Google services, but for browser (safesearch) and searches. Source
As you have root, you can modify your hosts file to redirect 1e100.net to 127.0.0.1 which would redirect 1e1000.net to your localhost. (I do not know any effect this would have with the standard browser, however).
You may also want to xpost to /r/Google
Lots of people have them. No it can't do the game thing. Look it up. Google
Try running Safety Net Checker
I use SpaceDesk mainly. Although I use it as a wireless monitor but it can also be used by USB tethering. Hope this helps.
You will still need to open the app on your phone and connect.
You could also use a Wifi USB device to plug the printer in to make it a WiFi printer. They are about $40-60 so it would not be cheap. USB to Wifi Printer server
If you are willing to switch to Google's messaging/texting app from Samsung's:
They have Messages for Web feature where you can view messages on their web ui.
Once you're in the app, press the three dots on the top right and hit "Messages for Web" and will guide you with instructions from there
Here is a guide if you want to go even further and make the website its own stand-alone application on your mac that is separate from your web browser:
The switch is made server-side on everyone's account. Even if you downgrade the app to a working version, the new UI will be applied.
If you want something lighter, go with https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.facebook.mlite
Other than that, the only thing you can do is complain to Facebook through their feedback menu.
I once found an app that changed all the contacts photos to a first name last name letter combo and added colours as background. I'll try to find it.
You'd have to modify your build.prop (requires root). But if you don't want to root, you could try using App Cloner to create a clone of the Amazon Video app but change the build.prop values just for it (in App Cloner, click on the app - Developer Options - Build Props
For this to work though you need to get the correct values from a real S7 - maybe someone here has a real S7 and can share their values?
I have so many devices that I've just switched everyone I talk to regularly over to Telegram. The cross platform (android /iOS) requirement is the real deal breaker here.. If it wasn't for that requirement I'd recommend Join
Are you using the official Reddit App? That would be an issue with the app itself, not Android.
The great news is there are many Reddit apps to choose from to find what meets your specific needs.
I use Boost for Reddit which addresses the specifics you mention.
I don't think that's possible. Use VLC to play videos/movoes on your phone.
> Where did the files go?
Files are still there. But play movies app won't detect it. Play movies app shows only purchased content from play store. As I suggested use VLC to play it.
Mr. Number (Freeware). I use this app personally and have zero complaints. It does what it says, has no ADs, and as stated in it's about dialog is free and always will be. You can add notes to spam numbers to tell other Mr. Number users what the number is for. You can also block any number that you choose instead of having to rely on an unreliable database.
Reddit app: Try them all, and keep trying them. You'll find that many of them are pretty good. There is no best one. (But Boost is best.)
This may not be want you want but perhaps clearing all your SMS messages and starting over might be best.
Search the Play Store for an app called "Secure Folder" published by "Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.". This is their latest implementation that uses Knox to create a secure sandbox for apps. You can put all of your work-related stuff into Knox and your work will have access to wipe the sandbox that Outlook is running in, but not your entire phone and personal data. It's most likely already installed on your phone and the play store may just have an "Enable" button instead of an "Install" button (at least it did on my S7).
There isn't always an elegant/fast way to do this. There is an app called SD Maid that is built for this and it usually does a good job of removing all the leftover files that you no longer need. With that said it isn't perfect.
A file explorer (I use Solid Explorer) will let you delete files/folders as long as you know where to find the files to delete. I use this occasionally to go through and delete folders in my /sdcard/ directory that I don't want anymore.
I believe it's Flow Free?
Also, in the play store app you can access your library of apps, so if you downloaded it onto an android device with the same account, it'll be listed as off-device, toward the bottom of the list.
With this app you can set the SIM card to be used for each contact and choose to always use this card on this contact or to always ask.
I don't have DS so I can't test it, but that should be what you're looking for. Note that this is a 7 day trial and it then is €3.99 (or whatever price & currency it will be for you)
SMS Backup & Restore
Backup call logs and texts internally or to an external source. I do SD card and cloud storage everyday at a specific time (does this automatically).
I found out what caused it. Earlier today google pushed an update for their google quick search app ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox ), this update broke my home button.
So uninstall the app and you should be fine for now.
Found this one a while back. I haven't used it for more than a couple minutes but it seems like it might be what you're looking for
Looking at the specs for that phone, you're only left with 3.51GB to play around with once the OS is installed, which isn't a whole lot. Without knowing exactly what taking up space on your phone, here is some general advice:
DiskUsage is an old app that still works to see where all your space is allocated to and can help diagnose major space eaters on your device.
Storing passwords in plaintext is a very bad idea. I suggest you try using this and sync your database where you need (you can use Google Drive)
Any phone, then download Wiser or Necta Launcher. Also, you can increase the text size in the Settings > Accessibility menu.
The Flickr app gives you 1TB of full quality auto backup. It doesn't compress them like Google photos. I haven't used it though so I can't say anything on the app quality.
If you want to get around it, Nine is a little pricey but sets permissions so they can only nuke the email account you add and not your whole device. May or may not break your university TOS.
BTW note that like the app store permissions, it only lists the stuff they can do, not stuff they're actively doing.
That's a built-in feature of the Google Now Launcher. Unfortunately, the Google Now Launcher has very few customization options, so your only option to get the search bar removed is to use a third party launcher app. Most third party launchers allow addition/removal of the persistent search bar (which is what all launchers call the search bar you're referring to). Personally, I can't recommend Nova Launcher enough, but it does come at the cost that the left-most screen being a Google Now shortcut is lost. You could still swipe up from the Home button on the navication bar to reach it while using any other launcher, though.
> you can factory reset then encrypt your device then factory reset it again.
This is false. You should encrypt before the first factory reset, otherwise your (now "deleted") data is not encrypted and still recoverable.
If you did factory reset before the encryption, use a secure wiping app (like this one) to clear the traces of your deleted data
some games will not work without Google Play services installed, and you will not be able to sync your progress to the cloud with games that support it.
re apps, if Play Services are required for the app, then of course you cannot use them.
FYI - http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/using-android-without-google/
Not many. Proof: https://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?nHeightMax=135&sOSes=2,3&sOSversions=2900,3970 (filtering for max height 135mm, latest OS version so Android 9.0 Pie, iOS 11). Even the XZ2 is getting a bit huge for my liking.
(Or you could go the comedy route and get the Palm Palm :D)
You can install the One Hand Operation+ App. It's part of Samsung Good Lock 2018 and adds swiping to go back. And to go home, recents, turn off the screen, quick switch, etc.
Here's a link:
Just download the apk (Android Package) and install it. Apk mirror is safe and a great place for Apps that aren't globally released yet. Like this one.
You can use the Bixby Button to only call Bixby Home, and disable Bixby Voice. It's the iPhones widget page in smarter and available from any screen. Solves two of your annoyances in one strike. Mine shows my frequent apps, Music player, schedule, news, Twitter feed, weather, etc.
Also the Edge Screen has lots of similar features. Mine only opens when I swipe next to the power button. It shows a custom selection of Apps, and a way of capturing screenshots or even GIFs directly. But there's a billion ways to customize it with music players, calculator, chat apps, etc.
Google Photos is arguably the best Photos App out there, just for the smart search and free unlimited backup.
If you have any more questions or want other things to customize, just ask :D
It sounds like you have air push advertising download Air-Push Detector from the market and it should show you if this is effecting you.
Air Push Detector
You need to disable iMessage, I think.
This was the best article about a fix I could find with just a quick search.
Here is something you might want to show them. Gives an OK explanation of what a launcher is, then lists pros and cons of each launcher. The launchers are voted on, so the best ones rank higher than mediocre ones too.
I'd explain a launcher like this: a launcher is like a desk. You can change the desk itself so that the drawers are different, and it's a different size and looks and feels different...but you can put all your old stuff back onto/into the new desk...so it's like a re-organization with added benefits.
The old functionally is called "Notification Ticker", which has the notification messages scroll in the status bar. The new Lollipop type is called "Heads Up Notifications", where a banner pops down at the status bar. Personally, I prefer using the old ticker instead of heads up, as the heads up notifications take up way too much space.
Changing this over is not easy, unfortunately. There is no global setting for this. Some apps themselves offer an option to enable/disable heads up notifications, such as Groupme. However, not all apps do, especially not Google System apps. Additionally, just disabling the heads up notifications does not restore the notification ticker. So now the notification icon just pops up in the status bar without any scrolling message.
To restore the notification ticker and disable all heads up notifications globally, the only method I know of is installing Xposed and the Restore Notification Ticker for Lollipop Module. Works for Xposed 5.1 as well, in case you were wondering.
I know you might be new to Android, but when you get more experience with the OS you might want to try rooting your device.
The feature you miss (tap status bar to scroll to top) is actually available on Android, but it requires that your phone be rooted and that you install the Xposed framework on your device. When you have the framework installed you can then download the module called Status bar scroll to top.
I think the feature is cool, but I currently have my phone set up so that double tapping on the status bar turns off my screen.
Personally I say the Pixel is just as overpriced as the iPhone. Though, to be fair, it would make for a super easy switch.
Two other phones that are well priced and will make for easy switches are the OnePlus (5 or 3T really, both great phones) or the LG. LG's V30 looks bad ass, along with their G series.
Good luck, there's loads of good Android phones to choose from
As for easy swapping over, I was given this website when I swapped.