Category Archives: geek:android

fic reading workflow problems :(

So I am still completely struggling with my tablet fanfic workflow.

Here’s what I do, mostly on the computer but not only, that gathers links to fic I want to read:

  • open tabs in Firefox that will need “dealing with” later
  • grab links from Twitter either through favoring or opening tabs in Firefox

Eventually this results in:

  • if it’s on AO3, mark the fic for later, knowing I can find it again on its own page.
  • if it’s not on AO3, bookmark it to read on Pinboard

Here’s what I do on a computer with fic I just read – this is stuff I want to Continue To Do when switching to reading on the tablet.

  • if it’s on AO3, kudos or comment
  • if it’s on AO3, bookmark the fic right there
  • in every case, bookmark the fic on pinboard (which might cascade into other stuff from IFTTT actions)

This, obviously, doesn’t save the fic for offline reading (sadly), and doesn’t build up my local fic library, which is something I want to create a workflow for but have failed to do so far.

Here’s what I do when I grab fic to read on the tablet:

  • open fic in a browser from my twitter faves links, or from Pinboard to read (rarely), or, most likely, from the for later list in my AO3
  • download the EPUB file
  • import the file into Aldiko for reading

Later, I end up with the same file in two places in the tablet: in the Download folder and in the Ebooks folder where Aldiko copied it upon import… (sidenote, I have issues with Aldiko not really responding to touches on the screen – I find it hard to turn pages and nearly impossible to control the brightness with the downward or upward slide, ugh. Very annoying, and I can’t tell for sure if it’s Aldiko itself or the tablet, but I think it’s the soft. grr.)

Then I read fic, and I end up with fic that I want to

  • leave a comment or kudos for
  • bookmark on AO3
  • remove from my AO3 later list
  • bookmark with tags on Pinboard
  • eventually someday conserve for later in a fic library
  • but, at present, remove from Aldiko where it’s creating a file management nightmare

My lack of process is dumb and inefficient to the max, isn’t it? But I’m so far entirely unable to build a better, more efficient workflow, and I’m just stumbling around failing to make things better.

So I thought I’d describe this whole mess to you and ask if you have any ideas at all for how I could simplify things.

If it’s useful to know, let me note that my computer is a Mac laptop running Lion for now; the tablet is a Nexus 7 w/ Android Jelly Bean; I use Pinboard, IFTTT, Dropbox, Firefox on the mac (with plug-ins, willing to add more if necessary); I made a bookmarklet for myself; I’m not against using Instapaper; I can/could use the Kindle app for reading and have a send to Kindle email address, etc.

What I mean is, if you think of solutions, don’t hesitate to throw them at me even if they mean installing a new thing, you know? I’m willing to try. I just want things to be less fussy and convoluted than they are at the moment, because OOOOF.

twitter problems

First off, thank you everyone for the apps recs since last time! I haven’t played much with adding any yet, but I’m sure I will when my schedule calms down. For now I’m either helping Mom move furniture or going to Ikea or fighting with the resulting Ikea purchases or nursing a case of heat exhaustion, so the tablet is basically just a part of my “sit down and relax” process, and I’ve been using it to check email, read twitter and read downloaded fanfic (yayyyy!).

Speaking of Twitter, here’s a run down of the issues I am encountering – writing them down will help me researching other clients later on, I hope:

Twicca issues:

  • It visibly flags the fact that I have new @replies or DMs but neglects to flag the presence of new tweets in my timeline. To load updates (for any of those 3 types) I need to press the reload button;
  • I like the range of options / actions that comes on for a tweet when I select/touch it, BUT that happens even when there’s a link in the tweet and I press the link directly. Meaning I always need two clicks to get to a linked page or image – not cool;
  • There’s no image preview in the tweets, which really sucks.

Tweetcaster issues:

  • too much screen estate lost to vertical left-hand side toolbars I could summon when needed (or which could be more discreet buttons / an auto-hiding bar, etc);
  • the icons are huge, which is, again, a screen estate problem, but on top of it is ugly – overall, the screen feels very ‘unbalanced’;
  • some tweet-related actions are too buried for my taste;
  • there’s an ever present horizontal white bar at the bottom of the screen like a piece is missing – unexplained, ugly, baffling.

Basically, my love affair with Tweetbot on iOS continues unabated, and I am in a permanent state of sadness that it doesn’t exist for Mac (yet) nor for Android.

If you have more/other recs for twitter clients, don’t hesitate to chime in!


So I got a Nexus 7. :D :D :D

This is my first Android device! I think I’m going to need a lot of help figuring things out, but that’s okay bc I have plenty of friends.

Interestingly, even though this device was bought in the US and I chose to keep the OS in English as I was activating it didn’t stop it from deciding to talk to me in French in the Play store and app recs, etc – I suppose it’s a feature of the geolocation from before I turned off the GPS. (This is dumb! WHO SAYS I SPEAK FRENCH when I buy a US device & set the OS in English?!)

As a result, the three (free) book propositions offered to me from the Play Book thing were by Proust, Voltaire & Verne. Out of curiosity I opened A la Recherche du temps perdu, and what did I find? There’s no space before any of the double punctuation marks, which is the rule in French. Let me tell you, I will NOT be reading Proust with English-style semi-colons and colons everywhere. Ugh, ebooks quality. LANGUAGES ARE DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER EVEN WHEN THEY USE THE SAME ALPHABET, dammit. /rant

So far, here’s what I installed:

  • Sleipnir
  • Twicca & Tweetcaster
  • Aldiko
  • Skitch
  • 1Password Reader
  • Dropbox
  • Pinboard
  • Instagram
  • Feedly
  • Flipboard

Some are apps I already use on the iPhone/iPod Touch and knew I wanted, and some are stuff I didn’t really have on those devices but connect to services I already do use (laptop, etc), like Pinboard and 1Password – I don’t miss 1Password on the iPod bc I don’t do lots of shit there that I need it for, but I knew I would miss it on the tablet where I’ll probably do more web surfing, etc.

And some are apps I have never used yet, like Sleipnir (a browser that’s been specifically made to tightly integrate surfing with mobile use? I am unclear on it yet, just want to check it out) and Flipboard, which I might never use but have been curious about for a while.

I think I like Tweetcaster’s functionality/UI better in terms of actions but I like the display of Twicca better, so I’m a little torn.

Here’s an issue I hadn’t foreseen that both have: since Twitter’s new API TOS changes, clients don’t allow you to RT a locked tweet even in an editable mode where you can remove the tweeter’s name. On the laptop I can still select a locked tweet’s text & “easily” paste it without the username in the edit box, add RT: or RT (locked): and send it off. But on the tablet, at least in those clients, selecting the text of a tweet for C/P is not possible. That’s going to cramp my twitter style a LOT, considering a ton of my friends are locked but don’t object to being RT’d in this way. Sigh. (If you have a Twitter client that allows that, please rec it to me!)

What I’ve done with it:

  • dealt w/ email, which is fun and smooth
  • downloaded epubs from AO3 & import them into Aldiko
  • wrapped it up in a ziplock back to read fic in the bath <3
  • (later, went back to click on the link at the end of the fic to go leave a comment on the AO3 page, yay)
  • learned how to navigate the settings somewhat
  • thought, eventually, of downloading the user manual to not fumble too much :D
  • read through my feeds w/ feedly – which I’ve used a little on the iPod but haven’t really mastered very much yet. (any hints welcome)

Mysteries I need to solve:

  • How does one do file management on this? I haven’t seen a pre-installed app that seemed the obvious answer to that – are there apps I need to download to do that?
  • Can I, say, download a Youtube video to keep it somewhere on there so I can watch it later? Probably, right? I just have to find out how.

What I’m going to need / test-drive later:

  • a good text editor or several (I use 3 on the iPod, and about 3 on the Mac too, so, yeah)
  • a podcast management app maybe?
  • a todo list / task manager, perhaps, OR a text editor able to open/recognize TaskPaper files (they are plain text but with their own extension, some apps are baffled by this, sadly)
  • a Tumblr app that sort of works? Does that exist for Android?
  • an app for Ravelry (I recently started using Wooly on the iPod, it’s promising…)
  • a PDF management / annotation / reading app that’s not my ebook reader, to deal with my knitting patterns
  • a row-counter / needle-gauge app maybe?
  • other things I’m not thinking of right now.

ALL RECS AND ANDROID BABBLE APP TALK WELCOME, please tell me things! Sell me things! Warn me off things so I can avoid the worst mistakes!

I am a n00b, please help school me gently. If you’re so inclined. :D