The majority of Android devices are designed for portrait use and so most of the apps prioritize vertical display orientation. Quite a lot of apps therefore offer either only a basic support for landscape use or sometimes even don’t work at all, as in the case of the Microsoft launcher.
In this occasional series I’ll try to offer some tips for interesting apps that are either well suited for horizontal displays or could somehow improve life with your Gemini PDA. If you have any tips for other great apps I should feature, feel free to let me know in the comments.
Reddit – Sync for Reddit
Let’s start with some time wasting. Sync for Reddit is one of the best and most highly rated Reddit clients in the Play Store.
What makes it great for Gemini PDA is the ability to display both the feed and the selected post with it’s comments section at the same time side by side. That way you’ll not end up seeing just 4 posts on the left side and a bunch of empty space on the right. It reminds me an excellent Windows app Readit.
Plus it has all the usual features that you would expect. I’ll point out just one more – it can cache Reddit posts for offline use (hence the name) so it would be useful even for Wi-Fi only Gemini’s.
Price: Free with ads / €2,99
File manager – Solid Explorer
File managers really lend themselves to widescreen use and so it’s no surprise most of them work well with Gemini. My recommendation for a general purpose file app is Solid Explorer. It makes a good use of the screen, has integrated viewers for a lot of file types and decent amount of customization.
What I like the most is the ability to connect to a plethora or online cloud storage options such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and more. This comes quite handy especially in situations where some other app asks you to load a file and standard Android “select app you want to use for this” popup shows up. If you pick Solid Explorer, you’ll know you will be able to select both local and cloud files.
Price: 14 day full trial / € 1,99
Browser – Microsoft Edge
Yes, Edge is a good choice for Gemini. While I don’t like that in portrait mode it has a top URL bar and an extra bottom navigation on the bottom, none of this is an issue in landscape on Gemini PDA. Edge intelligently merges both to a single top bar that makes a full use of the screen width and doesn’t waste any extra vertical space.
The browser can also be easily set to pull desktop versions of the websites so you can see more of the content. It can sync bookmarks and passwords with it’s Windows counterpart and the final party trick is the ability to send the website URL to be automatically opened on your desktop.
Unfortunately the mobile Edge doesn’t support any extensions yet.
WhatsApp – Whats Web Clone & Scanner
With the exception of the United States and few other countries, WhatsApp (like it or not) is almost universally used app for texting and sending multimedia. But what if you don’t use your Gemini PDA as your primary phone, but only as a secondary device?
If you were to install standard WhatsApp on Gemini, it would want to use your data SIM’s phone number and it doesn’t support to be run on two devices at the same time. Luckily there is this app.
It allows your Gemini to be a remote client to your main phone’s full app. It uses the same service that allows you to access WhatsApp on the web or via the desktop app. It even features the same two column design so it fits Gemini’s screen orientation.
I should mention that for this to work, your primary device needs to be on and connected to the internet. When you’re sending or receiving messages, they’re sent and received through your phone. So it uses some extra data.
The app contains occasional full screen adds. Thankfully you can pay to remove them. If you do, remember to completely turn the app off (even from memory) for the ad removal to take effect.
Price: Free with ads (no paid option) / €1,39
Milan Bazant works as an IT consultant and lives in Prague (CZ). When he’s not working, he’s constantly tinkering with gadgets of all kinds or trying to apply Enterprise IT solutions to the home environment (to the dismay of everybody involved). Apart for spending too much money on electronics, he also feeds some other hobbies like reading, traveling, and cars. You can follow him on Twitter as @MilanBazant