What’s on My Phone: Kenn Abuya

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What's on my phone - Kenn Abuya

Introduction

The What Is in Your Phone series is an interesting part of looking into the way we use our phones, and what you can learn about the apps we love, a customization here and there, and how we unwind after a long day – staying indoors in preparation to sleep at night.

The first part of this series can be read here, and let me warn you early enough, it is far more interesting than what you are about to read here.

You see, I have been using Android phones for a decade now, and over that time, I have come to know my essentials and how to organize them for quick access. This means that that the apps I used to love half a decade ago haven’t changed, and there is something called age that somehow stops you from trying out new apps, customizations, or pure experimentation with stuff (although I just went back to flashing ROMs, this time Android 11 Beta for the Galaxy S10 – but more of that story in another day).


And with that in mind, let’s jump right in.

Phone – OPPO Reno4

This device has been my daily driver for the past two months. It is an excellent device, but I did not get the chance to review it because my colleague George did. There are many good things I have to say about it, but I’m not going to do that because of time and the theme of this story, but if you really have to know, refer to the linked review, or take my word for it: it is great.

Homescreen

I have the simplest homescreens around. And that for good reason: quick access to my most frequently used apps.

It is only a single page besides the Google Discover one on the left side.

This keeps everything simple for me.

Simplicity has further been explored by avoiding folders (never really liked them).

I also have two widgets; Google (when I want to search something fast), and the weather widget that I hardly use, but love it for the large clock.

The apps I used most are right here too: Spotify, Google Photos, Maps, Instagram, mySafaricom App, Play Store, Gmail, Twitter, Hangouts (don’t even ask), WhatsApp – and the dock has the camera app, Messages, Chrome, Plus Messenger (a better Telegram app) and the Phone app.

Told yah, simple!

 Lockscreen

ColorOS 7.2 allows me to richly customize the lockscreen, but I haven’t done that because I don’t see the need to.

However, the clock and weather widgets are here.

I get to see my notifications from the lockscreen two, and haven’t found the need to hide them (might do that when the pandemic goes away).

The Reno4 has an in-screen fingerprint reader, and it flashes anytime you lift the phone.

I haven’t activated Always on Display, but this is how it looks:

Notifications Management

I approach notification just like any other person would, and that is by opening them immediately. Doesn’t matter if it is a message from a person I don’t want to talk to; I read them all because I love being the bigger person (this is a joke).

As said, I can also read notifications from the lockscreen, and if they are from my work email, I complete them on the computer.

Quite pedestrian, right?

Customization

Besides ordering my icons on the homescreen, there is nothing I have done with my device.

I don’t use third party launchers anymore – probably because they don’t play nice with the Reno4 (I’m looking at you, Nova Launcher). This also extends to third party icon packs, which the native launcher in ColorOS supports by the way.

I also haven’t done much with Settings besides changing a few display settings and sounds management for notifications.

I know I am a boring person, but when you use these things for a long time, you get into a routine that you don’t want interrupted. I am sure you can understand that.

For your information, however, the Reno4 has a ton of settings that you probably can’t finish going through in one sitting, so it is a very good device for the adventurous.

How to unwind

I don’t really unwind using my phone or apps – there are far too many nice things out there to do just that.

But I have a total of 3 games that really like; Microsoft Solitaire, Sudoku and Woka Woka.

My Apps

Here is a list of all my apps:

Conclusion

As I rightly warned, I don’t customize my device that much, and have settled for a few apps that I have used over and extended period.


ColorOS, in part, is to blame because it is so good right now for it to make me try to change its aesthetics. I hear version 11, which is coming alongside Android 11 is even better, so I don’t think I will use a third-party launcher for a while.

Still, I hope you learned something.

More articles in this stream:

What’s on My Phone: George Kamau

What’s on My Phone: Kenn Abuya

What’s On My Phone: Kiruti Itimu

What’s on My Phone: June Okal

What’s on My Phone: Saruni Maina

What’s on My Phone: Dickson Otieno

Stay tuned for new entries each week.


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