Android Expert Profiles

How I Use Android: SwiftKey bigwig Joe Braidwood

SwiftKey has transformed the way many of us use our Android devices -- so how does one of the guys behind it use Android himself?

How I Use Android: Joe Braidwood

For a single platform, there sure are a lot of ways to use Android.

From the variety of devices and apps available to the near-endless array of customizations -- everything from basic home screen arrangements to advanced tools that change how a phone or tablet is used -- there's practically no limit to the possibilities for making the operating system your own.

Keyboards are a core piece of that customization puzzle -- and so for this next chapter of my ongoing "How I use Android" series, I thought it'd be interesting to see how someone involved with one of Android's most popular keyboards uses the platform himself.

In his own words, this is how Joe Braidwood -- chief marketing officer and frequent public face of SwiftKey -- uses Android.

The basics

Your current primary phone: Nexus 5, but my LG G4 in gray has been dispatched!

What case is on your phone (if any): None.

Your current tablet (if any): iPad Air. (Sorry?)

Your current smartwatch (if any): Pebble Steel -- but I was hanging out with [Android Central Editor] Phil Nickinson at Google I/O and I can't remember the model, but his steel watch with full color screen on Android Wear absolutely bossed mine. Phil, I want that watch, please. He also had the leather G4. These journalists, you know?

[Author's note: I believe we're talking about the LG Watch Urbane (which I'm wearing as well at the moment -- great device). Also: Hi, Phil!]

The home screen

A quick walk-through of your phone's home screen setup: I didn't arrange it; SwiftKey's Hexy Launcher did it for me. We launched this a couple weeks ago off the back of an innovation week that we held. It automatically sorts your apps into groups of hexagons by the colors of their icons -- and as you use the apps, it brings their icons closer into the center. The best thing about it is its simplicity and responsiveness.

Joe Braidwood Home Screens

What wallpaper you're using: One of the ones that ships with the Nexus 5. How boring is that? But because Hexy Launcher overlays icons, you can't really tell. It's more there as a texture.

The apps

Beyond the obvious stock Google programs, a few apps you can't live without right now (and a quick word about why):

Well, so aside from Hexy Launcher and SwiftKey:

Spotify. Because it's changed music discovery and those awesome moments when you say, "Hey, I love that song from back in the day" -- and there it is, playing out loud.

Munchery. Long days in the office, get home, delicious home-cooked and healthy food on demand. It's a fantastic business model, putting brilliant chefs to work in the comfort of their own kitchens.

AccuWeather. Because you never really know in San Francisco...

Check out more Android expert profiles below or in the official Google+ collection -- and stay tuned for even more entries in the weeks to come!

Android Power on Twitter
The march toward exascale computers
View Comments
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies