Sean Rozekrans.

Mobile Changes: Retrospective. 2017 in Mobile. 2018 in Mobile.

2018 in Mobile.

In the past year my smartphone usage has once again changed. Time for another update.

Just like last year a lot of the changes centre round my flying hobby. It feels like every month another flight-related app makes its way to my smartphone. But I aim to change this in the future.

The quality of DJI’s aircraft operator software continues to become worse and worse each release. Frequent issues include the company publishing the tablet version of the app to smartphones. This means that when the app is (automatically) updated, it crashes or does not fully fit on screen.

The remote controller does not have a screen so if these issues occur, you are without part of your avionics and without a camera view. You cannot downgrade the app either, you have to fully uninstall it, which also wipes out all your settings. No guarantee that it works after downgrading either.

Even working versions of the app have issues. For example, at the time of writing, the offline maps functionality of the app is non-existent. Maps are absolutely critical when flying, especially in new areas. Mobile network coverage is not always present.

These and other issues, including hardware issues I wrote about last time, means that my next aircraft will be something completely different. Basically speaking, DJI intend to be the Apple of the consumer drone world. This includes forcing certain parameters and limitations on their users, just as Apple.

I have to find the Fujifilm of the drone world, and the Linux of the controller world to back it up.

One of the ways I’ll achieve this is likely through a separate mobile device, dedicated for flying. This has a number of benefits. It means it can be larger, a tablet perhaps, because it is not my day to day smartphone. This all makes flying safer too.

My current smartphone is still working fine, but it now has some war scars. As it so turns out making a portable device out of glass is not a good idea. My next smartphone will likely also be much cheaper. I still do not game or do anything heavy-duty, so I can afford to go for a lower tier next time, and a smaller screen size at that.

I have not added any major new apps to my smartphone in the past year, but I have swapped out my icon pack for Adaptive Pack. This is a special pack to be used with Action Launcher.

This icon set is special because you can change the shape of icons. Last year I had circular icons everywhere, but lately I have been preferring square icons which to me look nicer and can have more detail.

Action Launcher itself has seen many nice visual upgrades over the past year. Everything looks much more clean and I am happily still using it every day.

That is about it. This year it was mostly about deciding what I want to change. Next time hopefully I will have done just that.

Everything considered; it makes sense that there is not as much change. As is evident throughout everything I do, once I have settled on something, I tend to stick with it, until it does not work the way I want anymore.