Since 5 years already I had a iPhone 4. Now it was time for a new phone, but I didn’t want an iPhone again. Of course it is easy to use and everything works like expected, but I wanted to use my own written apps like the weatherwidget and I wanted the possibility to install a Firewall and control the network traffic and of course encrypt and decrypt emails. So which Phone I should by? First I wanted the new Samsung Galaxy S5. It was too expensive with about 800€. So, I needed another opportunity. I am excited of the google nexus series. I had the nexus 3 or 4 for testing during my study and I was excited.
Therefore I had a look at the nexus 5 and for just 400 € it is amazing. In this blog post I just show a little bit my configuration.
No Google Search Bar
At the normal Google Now Launcher you have a big Google Searchbar at the top of your Startscreen (see picture).
I don’t like it and wanted to remove it. At the normal Launcher it is not possible to remove the Toolbar. Therefore I installed a new Launcher. I tested a lot, but the Nova Launcher was that one I liked most. With that launcher it is possible to deactivate the Google Searchbar:
Encrypt mobile device
One Big Point for me is device encryption. It is enabled by default with the new Android OS Kitkat. But with the previous one I had to enable it by hand. This setting can be found at Settings -> Security -> encrypt device (Gerät verschlüsseln).
Sync Photos with owncloud
What about photo backup? Or photo synchronization with other devices? If you don’t want to use google image synchronization and get your photos directly uploaded to google like me, you have to look for a different way.
I decided to use owncloud. Therefore I rent a virtual host and run owncloud on my own. If you install the owncloud app you have the possibility to enable “immediat picture upload to owncloud” in this app. So you have your pictures on your phone and also in owncloud for backup, sharing or whatever you want to do with them.
Synchronize Calendar and Contacts
How can I synchronize my calendar and contacts if I’m not using google mail? If you have read the whole text until this line, you might think I’m a really paranoid man… Well I don’t trust such big companies like google, apple or however they are called. Therefore I have my own caldav (calendar) and carddav (contacts) server. But how can I synchronize them with my phone?
I am excited about signing and encrypting emails with GnuPGP. I use it since years on my unix clients with mutt and thunderbird. On iOS it was not really possible or really expensive to use GnuPGP. But now on Android it is quite easy to use.
Maybe there are multiple ways to do it. I found a very easy one.
I use APG and K-9 Mail. APG stands for Android Privacy Guard and has set itself the goal of implementing the openPGP standard for Android. The app itself offers in addition to the creation of PGP keys the ability to encrypt, sign and send text and data with public key, but only develops in interaction with K-9 Mail Kaiten Mail or her full potential.
Get Developer Options
During my study I wrote some Android Apps. Therefore and for taking screenshots via eclipse I need the Developer Options. You can enable them by doing the following:
Tab 7 times the build number at
settings -> About Phone -> Build number.