Attempting Android setup perfection - I ask your suggestions for improvement

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I am attempting Android setup perfection - therefore I ask for your suggestions for improvement...
As an experiment, today I reset my ancient S3 not-rooted Android phone to factory defaults, and reinstalled all the previously existing apps from the flash card (all without Google Play, the cloud, or a computer).
Here is a screenshot of the near-perfect desktop:
http://i.cubeupload.com/FDrkG8.png
Most apps seem to work just fine without a Google Play account:
http://i.cubeupload.com/TUcOci.gif
I ask for improvement suggestions in the following three areas: - Either improvement in organization - Or improvement in missing apps - Or further improvement in eliminating Google altogether
In a nutshell, here is what I did: 1. I reset the phone to factory defaults. 2. I installed the old apps from APKs on the sdcard. 3. Almost all the apps work just fine without a Google Play account!
The AppDrawer contains these 112 apps (some are T-Mobile required): 1)
http://i.cubeupload.com/a9pq83.png
2)
http://i.cubeupload.com/10PUFW.png
3)
http://i.cubeupload.com/8kwCAX.png
4)
http://i.cubeupload.com/bqA8GT.png
5)
http://i.cubeupload.com/WkHNno.png
6)
http://i.cubeupload.com/LACM69.png
The single desktop is set up with three goals in mind: A. Pyramid shape, most used apps on top, left to right. B. Apps never more than 1 or 2 taps away (most used are 1 tap) C. Folders organized with most used apps left to right.
Note 1: Unused or rarely used apps remain in the app drawer. Note 2: App icons can (and should) be in multiple logical places. Note 3: The "Google" folder exists to test for spyware logins.
I'm constantly improving with the goal of the perfectly organized Android mobile device, so that's why I outline the setup for you to help me improve with your comments.
Here is the organizational tree as of this moment.
The top of the pyramid is the phone app (it is a phone after all!) while the bottom dock is useless in a single desktop setup - it's just the bottom row of the desktop pyramid: - phone (top of pyramid) - recorder (bottom of pyramid) - sms (bottom of pyramid) - camera (bottom of pyramid)
http://i.cubeupload.com/2FkLuw.png
The folders (in pyramid location) are: a. *todo*
http://i.cubeupload.com/5dayFF.png
b. *communicate*
http://i.cubeupload.com/U1RwzI.png
c. *image*
http://i.cubeupload.com/p1iDmw.png
d. *audio*
http://i.cubeupload.com/JSsFcm.png
e. *video*
http://i.cubeupload.com/y9Xhws.png
f. *browser*
http://i.cubeupload.com/Y5FixO.png
g. *roadmap*
http://i.cubeupload.com/rytr0A.png
h. *outdoor map*
http://i.cubeupload.com/C5w9E5.png
i. *buy*
http://i.cubeupload.com/r8Omha.png
j. *files*
http://i.cubeupload.com/hsrbfN.png
k. *google*
http://i.cubeupload.com/pxtfs9.png
l. *network*
http://i.cubeupload.com/Zwpxlu.png
m. *system*
http://i.cubeupload.com/zUOXcg.png
Since the goal is near perfection, I simply present to you what I've set up in a few minutes, and ask what you might suggest by way of material further improvement toward the goal of perfection.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 08:12:41 -0400, burfordTjustice wrote:

Do you really think I'm the only one on the planet who organizes things by the standard of "A place for everything & everything in its place"?
Really?
Only me?
What's your standard?
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what you don't get is that everyone has a different notion of where to put stuff.
there is no one single way to organize things.
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On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 10:39:50 AM UTC-4, nospam wrote:

It sure doesn't look anything like my phone, I'm very happy with how mine is organized, and would not want the organization A has, that's for sure.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 07:58:19 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:

There were two questions, where you can help me *improve* my Android setup.
1. How do *you* organize your phone? a. What philosophy do you use? b. What categories do you use? c. Do you have a screenshot?
2. What apps do you find are *best*? a. I only choose the best of the best free apps. b. And I only choose them for what "I" do. c. But I pretty much do what everyone else does.
I find it surprising if I really have found all the best free apps for each purpose on a cellphone.
In fact, I'm sure I'm not that smart. There's no way I have thought of everything.
Someone here must have either a category of apps that I entirely missed that is generally useful, or, someone here must know of a great free app of general use that I haven't tested and decided upon already.
So the two original and fundamental questions remain unanswered: a. What organization category is missing from my desktop? b. What best-of-the-best free app is missing from my phone?
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On 11/08/2016 16:23, Aardvarks wrote: []

Do you mean you don't have any paid-for programs?
--
Cheers,
David
  Click to see the full signature.
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that is what he means.
not only that, but he doesn't get apps from the play store, foolishly thinking that google won't know which ones he uses.
except what he doesn't realize is that they do anyway.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 11:45:27 -0400, nospam wrote:

I would love to learn from you - but you have to have *some* substance.
Without a Google Play account, and without the requisite Google frameworks running, and without ever logging into anything, and ignoring the Google apps (which, of course, phone home), how is Google going to track what non-Google apps I use?
Remember, the best freeware: a. Works totally offline (if possible) b. Which goes without saying that I *never* log in (if it can be helped) c. And, there is absolutely no Google account in existence (that's why I have an entire google folder - to ensure none have an account)
How is running a non-Google app offline going to tell Google anything?
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bullshit you do.
anytime i or anyone else tries to explain anything to you, you go off on a rant.

rather easily, and unlike your bogus claim, you *don't* want to learn how.
every single time it's been explained, you keep insisting it can't be done.
google makes money by tracking people, so they're not going to make it easy to avoid being tracked.
the reality is that if you don't want google to track you, don't use a google phone (nexus) or a google operating system (android or chrome).
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 13:45:15 -0400, nospam wrote:

Except that *you* have never explained *anything* you say.
You speak of the hairy blue monster in the closet, and you scream for your Apple Marketing Mommy to *protect* you from your imaginary blue monster by closing the door to make you feel safe (because *feeling* safe, is the only thing that matters to you).
Yet, there is no hairy blue monster in the closet. And I proved that with tremendous detail already.
I ask again...
Q: Without logging into anything, and without any google accounts, how is running a non-Google app offline going to tell Google anything?
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once again, you snipped to alter context.
here's the complete quote:

and you prove my point:

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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 16:36:56 +0100, David Taylor wrote:

I'm likely decades older than many people here, so I started at a time before computers and cellphones existed in common use; therefore, I am very experienced at freeware and organization on all platforms.
I have asked before and nobody can come up with much that is worth paying for that we can't easily find freeware that does the same job.
In fact, there is almost nothing that you can do with payware that you can't do with freeware.
The only advantage of payware is that it's easy to find good payware. Very easy. All it takes is money.
In contrast, it's hard to find the best freeware. It takes brains. And effort.
So, to be clear - there *is* a cost to freeware. The cost is the sometimes immense time it takes to find the best freeware apps.
Luckily I've done that already, for all the functional things that "I" do.
But I'm always open to better freeware. If you have suggestions for better freeware than I already have for the purposes that I already outlined, that would help everyone.
I already listed all the apps I use most (in the original post). And I already outlined all the functional categories I perform.
I'm wide open. Rarely can people teach me new things - but I am *always* on the lookout for that special person who knows more than I do.
I want to learn from he who knows more than I do about these three topics: a. Getting rid of Google (I seem to know more than anyone here, sadly) b. Functionally organizing a phone (we all do essentially the same things!) c. Best freeware for what it is that we do (the cost in freeware is finding the best for what you're trying to do).
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On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 1:22:38 PM UTC-4, Aardvarks wrote:

What did freeware run on in that age prior to computers and cellphones?

All it took for me was entering "best android apps" in google. But then I use google. You can use the search engine of your choice.

I'm beginning to sense that.
but I am *always* on the lookout

No we don't.

First you have to figure out what it is you do. It's not hard to search for top apps, then see if any of those apps are of interest based on what you do.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:39:30 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:

It's not anywhere near that simple most of the time.
Just try, for example, to find the best free vpn out there.
You will be inundated with crap. Garbage. And junk. Most of which costs money.
Yet, if you knew already the best free vpn, you'd be using it just like I am right now using it. For free. Fast. Quick. Easy.
But, since it's for free (and since it's not well known - which is great because it's not blocked due to spammers using it!), it doesn't make the reviews.
The result is that if you don't know what I know about free Android VPN, you're never gonna find it using a Google search.
The only way to find it is either do what I did (which was try every single one), or ask someone who has already done that.
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On Saturday, August 13, 2016 at 10:16:32 PM UTC-4, Aardvarks wrote:

Yes it is, that's what I do.

I just googled for best VPN and immediately got hits to magazine articles where they review them, list the features, rank them. One article rates 15 of the top ones, the other 5. That seems far more productive than doing it your way, which doesn't even mention VPNs:
"I ask for improvement suggestions in the following three areas: - Either improvement in organization - Or improvement in missing apps - Or further improvement in eliminating Google altogether "
For the record, I don't use a VPN, have no need for one. I suspect that's the case with most of the others here.

If you already know so much, then why do you need the advice?

Sigh, there is no hope.
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2016 05:45:53 -0700 (PDT), trader_4 wrote:

I know it's what many people do. I do it too. Reviews are better than nothing - I agree. I've even written Android reviews on the best offline map programs, for example (posted to Android Central, for example).
However, the main problem "I" have with reviews: a. If they're written by some Indian guy - they're really a trick to drum up business for them so ignore all those on sight (they're copied almost verbatim off the web off some other Indian guy, all of whom are probably the same guy).
b. If they have advertisements all over the place, then you may want so suspect their judgement.
c. If they don't assess what *you* assess - then ditch them.
d. If they don't cover *any* freeware, then they're not being reasonable.
Given those caveats, some reviews are good.
For example, I use "App Backup & Restore" by Mobi.tools, which doesn't seem to exist anymore. So if I accidentally wipe out my stored APK for app backup and restore, I will be looking for the best free one out there, and I'll start with reviews.
However, I'll also ask here!

Does that article mention vpngate? Probably not.
Does that article mention that there are only two reasonably secure protocols? Probably not.
Does it mention that you *never* need any paid software client ever? (You don't need paid software even for the paid VPN services!) Probably not.
For example, many articles mention VPN that is native to the MAC but the native MAC VPN client is substandard (it doesn't support SSH). So all the standard MAC solutions are bad from the start (unless they add separate software for SSH, which is free, but which people pay for because they are MAC users so they're so used to paying for free stuff that they can't comprehend that they're paying for something that is already free.)
Very few VPN articles mention the truth, simply because they're all trying to sell you something that you can get for free.
NOTE: Corporate VPN is a different story - simply because needs are vastly different - so I'm talking personal vpn servers for people like us.

I never do anything on the net without VPN. VPN has it's pros and cons.
The pros include increased anonymity. The cons include substantially reduced speed.

Ah. That's a great question. I'm pretty smart. But so are many other people. While most people are dumber than I am, there are still millions upon millions of people who are much (much) smarter than I am.
Those are the people whom I ask advice from.
I'm very smart - and very experienced. But others are both smarter and more experienced than I am.
Those are the people I ask advice from. In the end, everyone is an expert in something.
I just happen to be an expert in freeware for personal computing. Try me. I'm also very helpful.
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On Sunday, August 14, 2016 at 12:40:04 PM UTC-4, Aardvarks wrote:

IDK, because I don't give a rat's ass about VPN so I didn't read those articles that pop right up on google. But I do know that isn't what your questions were and no one here has mentioned VPN so far, except you. So, what have you learned about VPN apps here? What did you expect to learn about VPN apps in AHR?
.
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On Thursday, August 11, 2016 at 1:22:38 PM UTC-4, Aardvarks wrote:

First off, you would be very surprised at the ages of the regulars in this ng. Check out the thread entitled "OT: Age listing for AHR"
Second, I'm curious...why are you even *here*?
Did you happen to notice the name of this ng? Why are you asking about setting up an Android phone application layout in a ng (supposedly) dedicated to home repair?
There must be a gazillion (rough numbers) forums related to Android phones and I'll just bet that there are members who would love to discuss this matter with you.
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On Thu, 11 Aug 2016 10:43:22 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03 wrote:

comp.mobile.android was crossposted in the OP.
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bullshit.
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