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How I use Android: Nova Launcher developer Kevin Barry

JR Raphael | Aug. 21, 2015
The mastermind behind one of Android's most popular customization tools talks about his own home screen setup -- and why big-screened devices aren't for him.

What case is on your phone (if any): I don't use cases or screen protectors. I generally don't like how they look or feel. My phones do get a bit beaten up, but it's not an issue as I don't keep a single phone as my primary for too long, and test devices can be beaten up.

I've yet to damage a device bad enough that it can't be used as a test device, and I'm not sure a case could protect that kind of accident, anyway. I did crack the screen on my first-gen Moto X, which was unfortunate as I was enjoying that phone. But I demoted it to a testing device and promoted one of my test devices to primary until the new Nexus that year was released.

Your current tablet (if any): I hate tablets. I really want to like them — I think it's important for me to use one as a number of my users use them. But I just haven't found a reason. Most of the day, I'm at my desk, with two 27-in. monitors hooked up to a real computer with a comfortable physical keyboard. After work, I'm generally with my son, and it's easier to pull out and put away a phone rather than a tablet. If my wife and I are looking at something online together on the couch, we use a laptop.

But as I said, it's important for me to use one. So I try to use my Nexus 9. I like the 4:3 ratio on the Nexus 9. I have the keyboard dock, hoping it'd encourage me to use the tablet for emails, but mostly I just use it to test.

As a side note, I do use and love the Satechi R1 Arm tablet stand. It works for phones or tablets and is very adjustable. When testing, it means I don't need to look down at a flat phone on my desk or keep it in my hand the whole time. I've found that most phone stands aren't very sturdy or don't handle phablets well. My only complaints about the R1 are that the ledges at the bottom tend to cover capacitive buttons on Samsung phones, and they can get in the way of devices with off-center USB ports (like the Huawei Mate2).

Your current smartwatch (if any): I'm not really using one. I have the G Watch and Moto 360 from Google I/O and went through a period of wearing one every day but eventually stopped. Lately I've been trying to give the Moto 360 another try, but just occasionally. It's handy when out on the bicycle.

 

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