Posts

Experimenting With Selling App Recommendations

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Are you looking for an app that does something you need but can’t find it, or don’t want to put in the time and effort to search for it? For a small fee, I will search the app for you and recommend one that matches your requirements.

I can search for Android apps, web apps, cloud tools, Chrome extensions, add-ons, or websites that work in Chrome. Except for games as I’m not into gaming. I’ll recommend at least one app that does what you want, summarize its key features and issues, and try it on different Android and Chrome OS devices to report how it works — if possible or practical.
If no such app exists, or I’m unable to find it, I’ll suggest one that does something similar or matches some of your requirements.
I have extensive experience with searching for Android and web apps. I love looking for and experimenting with new and interesting apps I may need someday. I showcase some of the best apps in my Practicing Google newsletter.
I set up these app recommendation services on my p…

Supporting Web Publishers With Scroll

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Scroll is a new monetization platform for news sites and blogs alternative to advertising. The readers who pay a subscription to the platform can access the partner sites without ads. Scroll shares the revenue with publishers based on the visits they get.

After a free trial and an introductory price of $2.49/month, the subscription will cost $4.99/month.
I stumbled upon the platform when Android Police announced joining Scroll as a partner. Android Police is my favorite Android tech news site for its great content and distinctive voice. I have been subscribing to Scroll for four months and, of the over 300 partner sites, Android Police is the only one I read regularly. My visits to other sites are a blip on the radar.

And this is the problem with Scroll.
If I subscribe at the full price, I'll end up paying $60/year for a single publication, which would be too much for the value. I’m sure the content of the other partners is great, I’m just not interested in what they offer. I want to …

My Newsletter Publishing Process

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It’s been almost four months since I launched Practicing Google, my weekly newsletter about practical resources on Google products and related technologies.
The newsletter is a spinoff of my efforts to learn about and keep up to date with the Google ecosystem. I share links from my readings and content consumption habits. I wanted to focus on the entire Google ecosystem with a practical angle, an empty niche I thought there would be interest in.
As a byproduct of activities I already do, I hoped producing the newsletter wouldn’t take much work, and I’d be able to keep the overhead low. This proved to be the case, thanks to a combination of tools and workflow.
Here is how I produce, edit, test, and publish each issue of the newsletter
Tools I use the Revue newsletter publishing platform. My primary production tool is Revue’s issue editor that allows to add rich text, links, media, and embeds.
Revue also provides tools for integrating with and importing content from social networks and p…

How to Set a Folder to Save Documents Scanned With Google Drive

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How do you scan documents with Google Drive for Android?
Let me guess. You open the app, tap the + button, acquire the document, edit the filename, select a folder, and save.

This is fine. But Google Drive saves scanned documents in the current folder which is often the root of My Drive like when opening the app. If you scan other documents in the same session, the current folder is again My Drive’s root. This requires extra folder selection work if you want to scan over one related document to keep in the same folder.
Here’s a trick to save a series of scans in a specific folder without having to select a folder each time. Navigate to the desired folder before tapping the + button to scan. This changes the current folder which sticks for all subsequent scans in the same session.

I Installed WhatsApp Because I Love Mom

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In these days of isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, even tech bloggers are more introspective and share personal stories or thoughts. Now it’s my turn.
At the end of March 2020 my mom was hospitalized for pneumonia, but unrelated to COVID-19 as she repeatedly tested negative.
It wasn’t clear whether she would make it. And I couldn’t visit her in locked down Italy. The only way to communicate with mom was through the WhatsApp video calls her doctors did.
My early experience with WhatsApp For years I resisted re-installing WhatsApp.
I had already used WhatsApp and uninstalled it the day Facebook announced acquiring the product in February 2014. I have no technical issues with the app, I just don’t like Facebook the company.

But installing WhatsApp was the only way to see and talk with mom at the hospital.
Everything went well and mom came back home after over a week at the hospital. Although I no longer needed WhatsApp to communicate with mom, I kept it installed on my phone (s…

My Lenovo Tab E7 Tablet 5 Months Later

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It’s been five months since I bought a Lenovo Tab E7 Android Go tablet. My main motivation was I always loved the 7” slate form factor. Now I have much more experience with the device and what’s best for, how are things going?

System and performance Performance is still more than adequate, with a caveat.
Although the tablet boots up reasonably quickly, it’s still laggy for some time after the lock screen shows up. Given the limited hardware resources, the device needs time to start up all system services and the built-in bloatware, as well as caching enough key apps and executable modules. A workaround is not to use the device for at least 5-10 minutes after powering it up so that the lag can settle.
Despite being a low-end, cheap device released two years ago, the Tab E7 continues receiving system updates. As I write this in early April 2020, I have Android Go 8.1 with 28 Feb 2020 baseband and 5 Feb 2020 security patch.
I occasionally get updates to Lenovo’s pre-installed software, n…

My Favorite Tech and Creator Newsletters

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I don’t like the social platform algorithms that decide what ends up in my feed.

That’s why for my content consumption I want tools that, instead of filtering, deliver all the content only from all the sources I want. My information hub is an RSS feed reader, Feedly. In addition, since before starting my own email newsletter Practicing Google, I have been subscribing to a growing number of newsletters on a variety of topics. From technology and software development, to content creation and publishing.


Here are the newsletters I subscribe to. I prefer niche, obscure, or unique sources, so I hope this list will help you discover valuable content that’s not mainstream.

Creator Tools Weekly: Apps or tools to help create, publish or sell content.For The Interested: Ideas for producing, publishing, promoting, and monetizing content.InboxReads: A weekly roundup of interesting newsletters.Not A Newsletter: A guide to sending better emails and newsletters with a focus on news organizations.PyCo…