Keep track of all subscriptions on your Android device

Subscriptions – Manage your regular expenses is a free application for Google’s Android operating system to keep an overview of subscriptions.

Subscription-based services, apps, games and other products are on the rise on the Internet and in technology. You may subscribe to media services such as Netflix, storage services, subscribe to Office and other software solutions, to game streaming and flatrate services, online news services, and more.

Add traditional products and subscriptions such as mobile phone, Internet and TV plans to the mix, and you end up with an ever increasing number of subscriptions that you need to track.  It is difficult to keep an eye on the monthly and yearly expenses as well as renewal periods.

Do you know how much money you spend monthly/yearly on subscriptions?

The free Android application Subscriptions – Manage your regular expenses, yes that is the name, provides you with options to manage all subscriptions.

Managing subscriptions on Android

manage subscriptions android app

When you start the application on an Android device for the first time you are asked to pick a currency; this is the main currency that the app sets automatically when you add or edit subscriptions. You may create subscriptions in other currencies but need to switch to these manually during creation.

A tap on the plus icon opens the “add subscription” page. There you add the monthly, yearly or one-time fees, pick a name and add optional information such as a description and notes, date of first payment, the payment method, and a color or label.

The application lists all subscriptions in the main interface. It highlights the monthly cost of each subscription by default but you may switch that to the yearly view instead. The overview page displays the total that you pay per month or year depending on your selection.

Subscriptions – Manage your regular expenses supports filters on the page that you may activate. It is possible to filter by label, if you added them or by payment method. The latter is quite useful as it could help you list all services that may need updating, e.g. when the used Credit Card expired or is about to expire.

Subscriptions may be sorted by name, price, or next billing date in ascending or descending order.

A tap on the settings button displays all available options in an overlay. You may hide or show the time until the next payment is due, display labels, turn on night mode, change the default currency, or back up the data.

Closing Words

Subscriptions – Manage your regular expenses is a useful application for Android to keep track of subscriptions. The app displays monthly and yearly totals, highlights upcoming payments, and supports labels and notes to make things more comfortable.

Keeping track of subscriptions is the primary purpose of the application but it can in theory also be used as a reminder application. The application lacks notifications and synchronization options on the other hand which means that you need to open the app whenever you want to check upcoming subscriptions.

Now you: how do you keep track of subscriptions?

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How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub and Google Docs

Filling up a PDF form is pretty easy. You fire up a PDF editor application, use the text tool in it and type away.

How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub and Google Docs
Editing a PDF which already has text in it? It’s not that easy.

Say for example, you have an application form which has a few text fields but instead of blank boxes to type in, there is already text in some of the fields like “Write in CAPITAL letters”, “Include your State”, etc.

I know this is a rare example, and your use case scenario might be a lot different. Editing such forms can be a lot more difficult. Why? Because PDFs are meant to be finalized versions of documents, hence you can’t delete text from them like you would do in Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer.

The hard way

You could try taking a screenshot of the PDF and use an image editor to erase the text. Then you could print and scan the edited version to create a new PDF. Use a PDF editor to write what you wanted to in it. That’s a lot of work. And what if you don’t have a printer or a scanner?

The easy way

There are a few ways to do this including using paid applications like Adobe Acrobat. Inkscape is a free option which supports PDF editing and it could work well (depends on the PDFs content).

If you have Microsoft Office, you could try using Word to edit PDFs. LibreOffice supports editing PDF documents as well. During my tests, all three programs rendered parts of a test document useless (for e.g. check boxes were missing or distorted, images/logos were blurred etc).

Even if I could erase text using these applications, I would not be able to use the document because the programs had modified other parts of the PDF. Offline free PDF editors that I tried didn’t have a whiteout or eraser option either.

There are quite a few online services that let you edit PDFs. And one of the most popular ones is Google Docs.

How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub and Google Docs

1. Upload the PDF to your Google Drive.

2. Double-click on it to preview it.

3. There is an “Open With” option at the top of the screen. Click on it and select “DocHub”. (This is a third-party service but is trusted by Google).

4. You will be prompted to grant DocHub permission to access your Google Drive. It needs this to read/write your PDFs. Once you allow this option, you can use the DocHub website directly in the future (as long as you’re signed in to your Google account).

5. The PDF should load in DocHub and you will see a toolbar at the top of the screen.

How to whiteout text in PDFs using DocHub

6. Select the Whiteout tool (eraser icon).

7. Draw a box over the text that you wish to delete. And it will be deleted.

8. Save the PDF and it’s ready for use.

Edited PDF DocHub

In case of our application form example, this method can be used to make the text field appear blank. After which you can use the text tool in DocHub or any PDF editor to fill the form.

There you go, a free cross-platform to whiteout text in PDFs. All you need is a web browser, and a PDF, obviously you need one.

Closing Words

Online services may not work in all situations as you may not want to upload confidential documents to an online service. If the PDF document is generic however, it is a valid option that should work in many contexts.

Now You: Which tool or service do you use for editing PDFs?

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AntennaPod is my new favorite podcast player for Android

AntennaPod is a free open source podcast application for Google’s Android operating system that is easy to use and feature-rich.

Podcasts are audio shows that can be streamed or downloaded to a local device to play them in a generic audio player or specialized podcast player. Shows are created about all sorts of things, from science and business to specialized topics such as Lego or language learning.

There are plenty of podcasts applications out there, and many of them highly rated. While you may not want to use the basic Google Podcast app, you could explore other options such as Podcast Addict or Podkeeper.

AntennaPod

antennapod

AntennaPod is a free app that is available on Google Play and F-Droid. It should run on any Android device that runs at least version 4.0 of the operating system and is updated regularly.

The application supports the importing of opml files which is handy if you migrate to it from another podcast application that supports the exporting of podcasts. AntennaPod supports multiple podcast directories that you may run searches on to subscribe to podcasts directly.

Just hit the “add podcast” button to get started. You find options to search iTunes, FYYD or Gpodder, and may also enter podcast URLs directly to add them to the subscription list.

Type the name of a podcast or something else, e.g. Linux, Learning Spanish, or Football, in the search field after you have made a selection to get a list of results. Tap on a result to display a description, dates and available episodes. You may click on subscribe just then and there to add the podcast to the subscriptions, and may want to check the dates of the last releases to make sure that the podcast is not dead.

All podcasts that you are subscribed to are displayed under subscriptions and in the main menu of the application. A tap displays the list of episodes and an option to download individual episodes right away.

AntennaPod does support automatic downloads as well but that feature needs to be enabled in the application settings first. If you do, episodes get downloaded automatically based on how you set it up.

Tap on a downloaded episode to play it right away in the podcast player. The player offers all standard controls such as pausing, jumping or skipping but also handy options such as changing the playback speed, downmixing audio or changing the volume of left or right channels individually.

antennapod podcast player android

The playback settings offer extensive customization options. The player pauses playback automatically when headphones get disconnected and resumes playback when they are reconnected. The same is true for calls that you may receive on your device.

Another handy feature is the option to set a different media player for playback. If you use a dedicated audio player on the device you may redirect playback to it automatically.

Back to the download settings. You may enable automatic downloads of episodes here and define exactly how many and when these are downloaded. You may set a limit, the default is 25, or make it unlimited. The app downloads podcasts only if you are connected to wireless networks but you may enable mobile downloads or use the Wi-fi filter to enable downloads only when the device is connected to specific Wi-Fi networks. There is also an auto-delete option available.

Each podcast comes with its own set of download options. You may exclude it from being updated automatically or automatic downloads, and use a filter option to exclude or include certain episodes from the downloading feature. Authentication is supported as well.

What else? You can change the light to a dark theme, integrate the micro-payment service Flattr or gpodder to synchronize the podcasts with other devices.

Closing Words

AntennaPod is a powerful podcast manager and player for Android that offers an impressive number of customization options. The integration of multiple directories to find and subscribe to podcasts, import and manual URL options, and synchronization support using gpodder, makes it easy to find, subscribe to, and sync podcasts.

Now you: do you listen to podcasts?

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Google Go for Android is now available globally

Google Go, a lightweight application for Android to use Google Search and other Google services, is available globally now. Google launched the application back in 2017 in select regions and as part of Android Go.

Go is a relatively new line of applications by Google designed specifically for regions with less reliable Internet connectivity. Google published several Go apps for Android in recent years, most recently Photos Go, a lightweight alternative to the heavier Photos application on Android.

Other examples include YouTube Go, the files manager Files Go, or Google Maps Go. Google Go was known as Google Search Lite previously.

Google Go for Android is a lightweight alternative to Android’s Google application. While it does not support all the features of the Google application, it supports popular features and may be an alternative (or the only option) for some users.

Google notes that the application uses less storage and memory than the Google application and that it has added some extra features to the application to reduce used storage on the device even further in some circumstances.

A list of tools and application links is displayed to you when you launch Google Go; that is different to the main Google application which displays news on its startpage.

The top two rows link to Google or Android specific tools and services. You may tap on search or voice search to run searches on the device, tap on images to run a search for images, check downloads, or open the YouTube application.

Lens is a relatively new feature that enables you to use the camera of the device to translate text or hear the words of text you point the camera at. Discover is still there but you need to activate the option to get a list of news items (the same that the Google app displays when you start it).

google go android

The two rows underneath link to the web versions of popular applications. You find links to Amazon, Wikipedia, Facebook, or Instagram there. An option to add apps or to display them all is provided as well.

Want to add Reddit, Pinterest, or eBay to the list? Just tap on add app to add it. Note that the selection seems to be based almost entirely on your region. When I opened the “all apps” listing, most apps offered to me on the page were German services and websites. Google Go offers no options to change the region.

It is easy enough to add shortcuts to web versions of sites and services that you use without using Google Go. If you use Chrome on Android, all you need to do is open the site in question and select Menu > Add to Home afterward.

Google Go may open special “lite” versions of these sites. You need to open the application’s Settings and enable the lite option there first, however. Lite versions focus on the content and remove other elements of webpages to speed up the loading of pages.

Closing Words

Google Go and the entire Go line of apps is an attempt to win over users who don’t have the best of experiences with the standard Google apps. If you do use the Google app on your Android device you may want to check out Google Go to see if it suits you better; this may be the case especially if you notice slow-downs or other issues while using the main Google application.

Some of the included features may be useful to some users, e.g. the Lens functionality to translate text that you focus the camera on. Google does not reveal anything about the data that it collects when users use the application. The company links to the global Privacy Policy which does not mention Google Go specifically.

Now You: Have you tried Go apps in the past? (via Born, Google)

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Bookworm is a light-weight eBook reader for Linux

While Calibre has a built-in reader, and is the absolute best when it comes to managing and converting eBooks, some people may prefer an alternative when it comes to reading ebooks. Bookworm, a lightweight ebook reader for Linux, offers a minimalist experience.

Developed for Elementary OS, Bookworm is also available for other Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or OpenSUSE. Options to install from source or flatpack are provided as well.

Bookworm 2-page view

Bookworm does have some basic editing options such as editing the metadata (Author name and tags) but it is not a full-fledged ebook editor. To edit the data that it supports, highlight a book and left click on the author name or the tag field.

The book Library

There are 2 views that you can switch to in the Library; grid view and list view. Grid view displays the books with their cover art (if they have any), list view shows a list of the books with their title, author, last opened date, rating and tags. The search bar on the top lets you quickly find the book you want.

Bookworm is a light-weight eBook reader for Linux

The toolbar at the bottom left corner of Bookworm’s Library has 3 icons: the Check mark button is used for selecting multiple books, the + button is for adding books to your library, and the -icon is for deleting books. You can batch import books to the library by using the shift key in the add book window. I used it to add about 100 books and it worked fine.

Reader view

Bookworm dark mode

Left-click on any book listed in the library to read the book; this view consists of a toolbar and the reading pane. The application supports three different reading themes and additional customization options.

The Library button takes you back to your bookshelf, the info button displays the contents, bookmarks, search results, annotations (that you add), and word meaning (of a selected word). You can use the A icon on the toolbar to change the font size, and to increase/decrease the margin and line width, or to switch between the 3 background colors (white, sepia and dark); these options remind me of the Kindle app.

You can right-click anywhere in the book view to check the meaning of a word, to annotate text, or switch to full screen (keyboard shortcut: F11). Use the arrow icons at the bottom of the screen or the left/right arrow keys on your keyboard to turn the pages.

The gear icon next to the search bar lets you modify some settings including a dark mode (for the interface/toolbar), and a toggle for 2-page reading mode which is nice. You can change the font type, background color, text color, and highlight color from the Preferences pane. These changes are saved to the selected profile, but you can reset it anytime.

Bookworm preferences

Bookworm supports eBooks in EPUB, PDF, MOBI (Kindle), FB2 formats, and CBR & CBZ comic book formats.

Note: Bookworm worked fine when reading all formats except CBR during my usage. I tried different books, and it kept throwing an error. The default document viewer in Mint could open the same books though.

Speaking of eBook readers, Microsoft Edge Chromium looks set to be the default browser in Windows 10, but won’t support the EPUB format. Shockingly, no user asked about it in the AMA hosted by the dev team yesterday. The regular Edge browser can read EPUB books, but will be retired soon. Back to Calibre on Windows I suppose.

Check out our EPUB Reader overview for Windows.

Now You: Which ebook reader do you use, if any?

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Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app.

Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website.

Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

The app sits in the system tray and can be accessed with a double-click. You can use it to capture the on-screen content drawing a rectanglular area and letting go of the mouse just like you do in most screenshot apps.

Global keyboard shortcuts are not set up by default but you find a configuration file to enable them on KDE Plasma desktop. Once set up, you may use the Print key to take a full screenshot or Shift-Print to take fullscreen captures of all monitors.

Once you have captured part or all of the screen you will see the built-in editor of Flameshot which displays the screenshot’s content. There is a toolbar at the bottom of the screen, which has the following tools: Pencil, Line, Arrow, Selection, Rectangle, Circle, Marker, Blur, Move, Undo, Copy, Save, Leave, Upload to imgur and Open the capture in another app.

Flameshot screenshot editor interface

The blur tool is priceless when you have to redact information from a screenshot. The arrow/marker and rectangle tools are also useful for creating tutorial images.

You can view the dimensions of the selection right on the Flameshot toolbar. The copy option saves the screenshot to the clipboard which you can paste in another app to edit, or share.

The upload to imgur option saves the screenshot anonymously and displays three options: Copy url, open url and image to clipboard.

flameshot tools demo

The color of the paint tool can be changed while editing a screenshot by holding the right mouse button. Doing sot displays a color wheel to pick another color; this can be useful if you want a different color for each element that you add to a screenshot. For e.g. you can use 1 color for arrows, another one for the marker and yet another for the rectangle. You can use the mouse-wheel to change the paint brush’s thickness as well.

flameshot color palette

Depending on the selection size (screenshot area), the toolbar arranges the icons partially at the sides (for smaller snips) or at the bottom (for larger snips). Flameshot saves the screenshots in the PNG format, but you can manually save them in JPG, BMP, etc.

Right-click on the taskbar icon to access the app’s configuration menu. You can use it to manage any of the buttons that are available in the editor’s interface. It also has options to change the color of the buttons and to set the opacity of the area outside the screenshot.

The only other options that I found useful were in the filename editor. Flameshot saves snips using the name “screenshot” by default but you can set a custom name from the filename editor. It also has many time-stamp options that can be added to the filename.

Flameshot settings

Closing Words

Flameshot is impressive at what it does, and is very user-friendly. It kind of reminds me of ScreenPresso in many ways. Though the editing options in Flameshot are amazing, you can’t edit existing images using the application.

There are only 2 areas where Flameshot lacks behind: it cannot capture screenshots by selecting a window and there is no option for delayed screenshots other than using the global shortcuts configuration file as it unlocks an option to capture a screenshot with a 3-second delay.

But I think you can workaround these by using the built-in screenshot tool in Ubuntu.  The program is also available for Windows but it is still in early beta.

Now You: which screenshot tool is your favorite?

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KeePassium is an open-source KeePass client for iOS

About a month ago, I wrote an article about a KeePass client for iOS, called Strongbox. I also mentioned an alternative app named KeePassium and that I followed development of the application on GitHub and Reddit for a while.

KeePassium Password Manager is an application for Apple’s iOS operating system.

I looked at the free version of the app exclusively. There is a premium version available for $11.99 per year that lifts the 1 database limit to unlimited and unlocks additional settings.

Let’s take a closer look at the app.

How it works

KeePassium is an open-source KeePass client for iOS

KeePassium’s interface is clean, minimal and pretty. When you run the app for the first time, you will be prompted with 2 options: add a database or choose an existing one. If you pick the latter, you can use a database that is hosted on cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, One Drive, Box, NextCloud, or using WebDAV or SFTP.

Database, password generator and more

You will need to install the corresponding cloud service’s app on your iOS device for the option to show up in KeePassium. The advantage here is that KeePassium doesn’t need to be connected to the service as it can load the KeePass database from the Dropbox folder on the device.

That’s quite fantastic as it removes authentication worries from the entire process. Though KeePassium only saves a database that it creates in the KDBX4 format, it can also open/save KDBX3 and KDB formats. Of course, you can use the app to change the master password too.

KeePassium database

Once you add a database, it shows up on the side-bar. Tapping a folder displays all the logins inside it and selecting a login will show the username, password (hidden) and URL on the right pane. You can also attach files and notes to a password entry.

It also hides the actual number of characters in a password so that the information is hidden and is not revealed to others who catch a glimpse of the screen.

KeePassium password entry

You can sort the side-panel by tapping the icon on the bottom left. The search bar on the top of the pane lets you find entries quickly. There is a backup database option which will save an extra copy of the database on your device.

KeePassium sorting

The password generator can be accessed by tapping the + icon on the left panel and selecting “Create Entry”. This is also how you add new logins to the database if you create new accounts.

KeePassium can generate random passwords using the following parameters: password length, lower case, upper case, special symbols, digits, and look-alike characters (like 1Il). The autofill option works fine and can be used in Safari or other browsers to securely login to your accounts.

Security

KeePassium is open source and free, though it does have a premium version with some extra features.  The app supports ChaCha20 and AES (like KeePass does) and also supports Argon2, Salsa20, and Twofish algorithms for encryption.

KeePassium free vs premium

When you switch to another app, Keepassium locks the database as it should. Though I did find it annoying when I was testing it by switching to and from Safari to test the manual copy to clipboard and search options. Maybe keeping the database open for 10 seconds or something could help prevent this, an option to enable this would be sufficient.

The App Lock adds an extra layer of security to KeepPassium. When enabled, you will need to enter your device’s passcode just to access the app. You will still need to enter your master password to open the database which makes it time-consuming but provides better security.

KeePassium app lock

The “Unlock with master key” option is disabled by default and for good reason. When you enable it, Keepassium will remember the master key (master password) for the session so you don’t have to enter the password every time you open the app. When you switch to another app and return you will find an “unlock” button (instead of a password field) on the app’s home screen. The master key will be automatically cleared after the database has timed-out.

KeePassium unlock with master key
KeePassium unlock with master key 1

I personally don’t like such options, because if you forget to clear the master key and hand over your iPhone or iPad to someone, or it gets stolen or taken away, the database and all the passwords and information it contains can be accessed (unless you enable App lock).

The Database time-out is linked to the “unlock with master key” setting and Keepassium’s default auto-clear time is 60 minutes. That’s too much in my opinion but fortunately it can be customized and set to auto-lock from as low as 30 seconds and up to 24 hours or even never. Of course, you shouldn’t keep the database open for that long. I’d say keep it to 30 seconds or a minute for maximum security.

You can optionally use a Key File to unlock the database. I get that some of these options may be convenient for some people, but it really should be security over convenience any day.

KeePassium settings

Closing Words

The promise of open source, free, no ads, no analytics, and no in-app browser in KeePassium does seem to be true. I’d say you’re getting more than what you’re paying for, even with the free version. That being said, I misunderstood the Touch ID/ Face ID unlock option in KeePassium. It doesn’t unlock the database, it is one of the app lock options. You need to enable “remember  master key”, to get it to unlock the database. Well, maybe I’m expecting too much, but as a longtime user of Keepass2Android, it is one feature which I really like.

Strongbox doesn’t support search in the free version whereas KeePassium does. Other than that, I think both apps are equally good. This really is a try it yourself and decide kind of situation.

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Google launches Gallery Go by Google Photos for Android

Gallery Go by Google Photos is a new Android application by Google designed as an alternative to Google Photos. The application has been launched worldwide by Google but it is feature-restricted in some regions.

Designed to be lightweight, Gallery Go by Google Photos follows other “Go” applications such as YouTube Go, Google Search Go or Google Maps Go which Google launched in recent years.

The applications are designed for new mobile users and markets favoring lower-end devices, and are part of Google’s plan to reach even more users.

The application requires Android 8.1 or higher but that is the only requirement. Anyone may download Gallery Go by Google Photos to their Android device if they meet the requirement. The app has a size of 10 Megabytes which is small when you compare it Google Photos which has a size of 42 Megabytes currently.

gallery go by google photos

One of the appeals of Gallery Go by Google Photos is that it is designed for offline use. The gallery application is not as feature-rich as Google Photos but it comes with a handful of extras that may make it interesting. It can be used to view and manage photos, and to edit them as well.  The app supports viewing, copying and transferring photos from and to SD cards as well.

The application displays categories at the top and below that a chronological view of images. Categories are feature limited in certain regions but Google fails to mention why that is the case.

Gallery Go by Google Photos may sort photos into categories such as Selfies, People or Nature automatically using machine learning. Google calls the restricted feature face grouping in the description.

Tap on any group to display its photos and tap on any individual photo to view it in full and display editing options. You may share or delete the image, use the built-in auto enhancing functionality, or tap on edit to display further editing options. These are basic and allow users to apply filters, and to rotate or crop images.

Videos support sharing, editing, and deleting. The edit options are limited to selecting part of the video to save it to the device.

Other features include switching to a folder view mode to manage Camera photos, screenshots, or WhatsApp images.

Closing Words

Gallery Go by Google is designed as a lightweight application to speed up certain image and video viewing processes by using machine learning to categorize content automatically. The app is fairly limited in regions where face grouping is not enabled in. The app supports some of Google Photo’s major features, auto-enhancing being a major one.

The app is definitely better than YouTube Go as I refuse to use the application because of its requirement to enter a phone number on start.

Now You: What is your take on the new Gallery Go app by Google?

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Is File Manager the best Files app for Android?

File Manager is a replacement application for the default Android Files app that offers a better experience and more features than the default file manager on Android.

I don’t like the Files app; it is too basic for my liking and too limiting. One example: why can’t I use it to browse any folder on the device but only select folders? (Update: it is possible, you need to select the menu button and enable “”show internal storage” to add the option to browse all storage.)

New versions of Android come with two apps that are called Files. One is the default file manager, the other was previously known as Files Go and designed to free up storage on the device.

File Manager

file manager

File Manager is a free, very popular, application for Android. It is ad-driven but the advertisement is light and the pricing of the premium version is reasonable. You can either make a one-time payment of $7.99 or pay $1.99 yearly.

The file manager displays main storage areas as well as file categories when you start it. You can explore the device’s main storage or SD cards if connected, or browse categories such as Downloads, Apps, Documents or New Files.

The available browsing options set it apart from Files as you may use the app to browse folders of the device that the default file manager Files does not make available.

File Manager lists three additional options on the frontpage. Users may integrate cloud storage providers to integrate those directly in the files manager. The app supports Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and Yandex currently.

You may browse the folders and files of connected cloud storage accounts and download selected files to the device. Apart from that, there is also the option to connect remote storage, e.g. a NAS or FTP server, and to enable access from a PC; the latter uses FTP for that and may be useful to some users, especially if the device cannot be connected to the PC directly using a cable.

A tap on any of the main file browsing options displays a folder and files listing. File Manager displays a breadcrumb navigation at the top to quickly navigate back. Each file is displayed with a file type icon, name, size, and last modification date.

A tap on the file opens it either using internal viewers, if available, or displays a list of available options to open the file; a tap on an image opens it using an internal image viewer, a tap on a PDF suggests other apps that support the format.

File Manager comes with an internal image viewer, music player, and text editor. You can disable those in the options if you prefer to open these file types with an external app.

A long-tap on a file displays additional options that include copy, move, rename, delete, share, bookmark, properties and open with.

All lists support customization options. You may change the default view to two different view modes including one that focuses on icons, change the default sort order from date to name, size and other parameters, and enable the viewing of hidden files.

file manager android

File Manager supports the creation of new folders and files, and you may use the built-in search to find specific files quickly.

Another useful feature is the bookmark system. Long-tap on any folder or file that is not displayed on the startpage of the app to add it as a bookmark.

A tap on the menu icon and the selection of the bookmarks star lists all bookmarked folders for fast access. The menu displays recently opened locations as well, and the clock icon under menu recently opened files.

The settings list several interesting options. You can set default apps for file types there, disable internal viewers, enable an option to display system storage, or enable or hide options in the application’s advanced menu.

File Manager may be used to analyze the storage. Select the three dots in the main interface and then the Analyze option from the menu. The app runs some quick calculations

Performance

Performance of the application is great. I tested the app on a Pixel 3A and everything opened and ran instantly. I cannot say if the experience will not be as smooth on devices that are not as fast, it is possible.

On the device, however, performance was excellent.

Closing Words

File Manager is a well designed application for Android that replaced the Files manager entirely on my device. The app is fast and supports a ton of options that Files does not support. I did not use it to integrate cloud storage but you could and that would certainly be a bonus, especially if you just want to browse files and move some to Android every now and then.

Now You: which files manager do you use on Android?

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Strongbox Password Safe is a free, open-source KeePass client for iOS

Many privacy/security conscious users, including myself, prefer to use KeePass. After all a free, actively supported, open-source application, that stores your logins in an encrypted database on your local storage is hard to beat.

Strongbox Password Safe is a free, open-source KeePass client for iOS which I personally prefer to use .

Strongbox Password Safe is a free, open-source KeePass client for iOS

iOS used to have a ton of great KeePass clients, but a lot of them have been abandoned for over 2 years. A new app called KeePassium is currently in open beta. Also free, and open-source, with a better looking UI, it does seem promising. But, let’s focus on why Strongbox is a good choice.

Cloud-based services like LastPass, and the open-source Bitwarden, may provide a lot of options when it comes to Password Managers on iOS (and other platforms). They are free to use on all platforms, and hence people often opt for convenience when it comes to mobile devices. The auto-fill feature is especially useful on a smartphone.

Strongbox Password Safe is a free KeePass client for iOS

Strongbox provides the same functionality, and offers a lot more privacy. For one, it doesn’t store your database on its servers. You decide where the database is stored and accessed from.

You can create a new database using Strongbox or import an existing database. The latter has the following options to choose from.

  • One Drive
  • Google Drive
  • Dropbox
  • WebDAV
  • SFTP
  • Copy from URL
  • Files (Local Storage)

Strongbox Password Safe supports KeePass 1 (KDB 1) and KeePass 2 (KDBX 3.1/KDBX 4.0) and Password Safe 3 (PSAFE3) database formats.

Note: If you choose a cloud-storage service, it is advisable to use the corresponding service’s app on all your devices to keep them up to date. For example, I use the Dropbox app on my computer, Android phone and iPad to sync my KeePass database (.KDBX) across all 3 devices.

Selecting a cloud service will require you to authenticate the Strongbox app to access your account. Once you have done that, you will need to select the database that you wish to use. It is perfectly safe to store your KeePass database on the cloud, since it will be encrypted and requires the master password that you set, to decrypt it but that is not a requirement.

Just make sure you use a strong password. For added security, always enable 2FA (Two-factor authentication) for your Dropbox/Google Drive/One Drive accounts. You can optionally set the database to be accessed in read-only mode if you wish. I wouldn’t really advise using the “Allow empty password” option.

Once your database has been added to the app, tap on it to open the database. The app displays the information using a two-pane view. The left pane has all your folders, and accounts which aren’t stored in any folder. Tap a folder or account name to open it. The details of the selected account will be displayed on the right pane.

Strongbox Password Safe open-source KeePass client for iOS

This includes the FavIcon of the website, the title of the login, your username and password (hidden by default, can tap to view), the URL for logging in to the account, and any metadata if available. You can edit any of the fields or add a custom field using the “Edit” option.

You can sort the list from the toolbar on the bottom. This is where you can also manage the program’s settings, which includes options to change your master password, export the database, etc. It also displays some interesting options such as the total number of usernames, how many of those are unique, including the number of unique passwords, most used username, the database format, etc.

Tip: Navigate to the iOS Settings > Passwords & Accounts > AutoFill Passwords and select Strongbox. This allows you to use the app’s autofill feature in Safari and other apps. To use the feature, open any website where you have an account, hit the sign in option, and the keyboard should pop-up when you tap the login field. Select the displayed “login”. It will have the word Strongbox above it, and you’re good to go.

Password Generation, Auto clear clipboard and Advanced Options

There is a gear icon in the top right corner of the Strongbox UI, which you can use to generate secure passwords. This can be handy if you are creating new accounts, or replacing old passwords. There are some other useful options like the new entry defaults, that can also be useful for adding new entries. It lets you set the autofill options for forms with a default username (can be your most used one), or custom username, and even lets you save a randomly generated password.

The Auto clear clipboard option is a must use one, though it is disabled by default. You can set it to as low as 30 seconds to a maximum of 3 minutes. There is a similar Database automatic locking option, but this one is pre-enabled.

The best feature in the app is perhaps the App Unlock failure setting, which you can customize. It allows the application to delete all databases, local files, caches, etc that are related to Srongbox after a certain number of failed attempts. So, in case someone gains access to your device and tries to break in to your database, the app will protect your information by auto deleting them.

Optional paid features

My only gripe with Strongbox is that the search database option is not available in the app for free. You have to pay to use that feature. There are a couple of subsctiption options that you can opt-for, or a one-time fee for a lifetime license that unlocks this feature among others. Strongbox Password Safe Pro supports Touch ID and PIN Code, i.e., you can use the fingerprint scanner on your iPhone or iPad or the screen unlock code, to quickly access your database. The only other feature that the PRO version has is support for KeePass FavIcons.

But really, I’m nitpicking here. Given the lack of other KeePass clients, and the fact that I rarely search for passwords, I’m fine with the freemium model that Strongbox employs. You can try the Pro features for free for 91 Days, if you like to.

If you’re an Android user, I can vouch for Keepass2Android. It is available in 2 versions: One which works offline, and another with cloud-storage sync.

Now you: Which password manager do you use?

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