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Best similar / closest to Samsung Galaxy Note 8 apps

Hannibal 99

Jun 11, 2022
My Note 8 screen (among other things) is toast, basically impossible to use, select or do anything with... So I ordered a new Sony Xperia 1 III (which carrier stores don't carry/offer).

The stock Google apps for photos/video storage & video playback, calculator and some others that come stock with the Sony suck pretty bad (plus I hate Google & only use what I absolutely have to).

I dunno if this is correct forum/thread or not (or if there's already thread answering all my specific questions or not), but I'm significantly vision impaired (1 app in particular has been very important for me as a work around/tool) so it's quite difficult for me to see, type, search, etc in general majority of the time (I can sort of manage, but things that say would normally take say 10-45 min takes me 1.5 hrs to several days to do now). In both my physical life & via digital/tech world... I have to memorize (as well as figuring out steps to assist like counting steps/foot steps when walking around, on phone using number of my finger widths for location of certain apps, icons, features, etc on each screen, etc)... in short, change especially fairly significant changes and unexpected changes are pretty taxing & difficult for me to readily adapt to.

My previous phone was a Note 8 and am trying to find Android apps similar to Note 8 apps, figure my fellow Note 8 users would have better perspective & ideas on similar apps... so I'm hoping this is acceptable thread subject. If not, please allow thread to remain and I'll remember for next time... As I've been working on typing this up since Thurs/Fri and will take me forever to re do post again, thanks.

What I'm hoping to get great suggestions/answers on is for Android Google Play store apps that are as close as possible to the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 apps of same type/use. The 4 by far highest priority are Samsung Note App, Google gBoard Keyboard App from Note 8 (I used older version of app), Samsung Pic/Video Visual Media storage/organizer App & Samsung Video Player App, which I'll go into more individual details about, and lesser extents a few others I'll list below primary 4 Apps.

Besides being as similar to Galaxy Note 8 apps, looking for similar, clean, user friendly if not and or simple & logical app UI & layout, either ad free or 1 time purchase cost for app that's ad free (not recurring subscription, monthly or yearly, etc), not required to sync app to use it or use cloud storage, etc, only basic required permissions directly relevant to stated app use/function, very ideally zero or at least very minimal data collection, data that's encrypted with zero 3rd party sharing, zero tracking, etc...

Of major priority for me apps....

#1) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung Note App". Compatible to transfer Samsung Note app saved Note files over to new app, at least typed word only type files (ideally would retain individual file header names/labels, starred favorites and hopefully the subject groups they've been organized into, date, etc). Features: ability to organize into custom groups/folders (ideally with some sort of color coding/markers), create custom titles/file names (ideally can favorite/star them, adding search tags is a bonus), either takes on dark theme from phone settings or has dark theme or similar app settings available in app (black background & white lettering is all that's necessary), can alter text font size (up to at least 34 font size, ideally up towards 60-64 size), can cut/paste words, sections of type, web addresses/URLs, letters, numbers, symbols & such to & from app/file, can save files to phone & ideally SD card (if has option for cloud storage & cloud access from multiple devices/platforms, that's a bonus but not really a important factor for me... local storage of files on phone is an absolute must though), doesn't have a limit to number of text files and ideally no limit to size of individual text files I can save on phone (and or SD card if it has the storage space) and all files that are saved are permanent (aren't auto deleted after 90 days, 1 year or even 8 years), very preferably has great auto save function (so if phone shuts off, app or phone crashes/freezes, accidentally close app, it has already auto saved file). Would prefer if can pinch zoom in & out a bit on text in the files (zoom out a bit to like 50-75% size, and zoom in to like 150-200% size would be really great), prefer if can alter text to bold, underline, italics, etc, hopefully recognizes symbols used in text from previous Samsung Note app files & gBoard not on my current gBoard (like 5 point star, large solid & hollow boxes & circles, sideways Chevron like left & right double << & >> type, heart, club, spade & diamond symbols, etc), prefer if can select individual whole file to clone/copy to create new identical 2nd file. If has additional features/abilities such as handwritten finger/stylus notes, sketches, etc, optional cloud storage with multiple devices/platform use, great but not required at all.

I have a lot of Samsung Note App files saved on my Note 8 I'd really like to be able to do a simple, unaltered transfer of over to whichever new Note making App for Android. Finding app that fits the bill is key, I used Samsung Note app daily to help do numerous things with my vision impairment.

#2) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Keyboard/gBoard App"... I wish I knew which extract version I had but can't currently read old phone screen to find out, pretty certain it was an older (not updated in some time) version from maybe circa January 2020 or so if not a bit before (I stopped updating gBoard when I'd read reviews that others really disliked changes the updates made and I would likely as well). This current version I very much hate that it has such a tiny amount of text it allows u to clip (defeats a massive portion of purpose IMO & I quite frequently do copy & paste very very long sections of text), plus for some reason constantly also makes a clipboard copy of number 8 for some reason. Similarly hate that all clippings are auto deleted after 1 hour unless u pin/save it. Those are 2 hugely massive negatives for me and how I use my phone.

Features: ability to copy & past to and from it with a clipboard feature that allows for very very long text segments to copy/paste (as close to infinite length segments as possible) as well as clipboard that allows u to save/pin several segments, and retains copied non saved/pinned segments until either I manually delete them or the number of copied segments slots fills up & it auto deletes 1:1 oldest non saved/pinned segment per new copied segment added. Has a similar UI & layout, similar icons & ability to customize which icons to have/not have & their order (icons in & to immediate right & left of the predictive text/spell check bar... such as icon to switch between text bar & app icons, and what the app icons for settings, clipboard, etc look like), ability to increase/decrease size of keyboard a modest amount so both the primary & secondary alpha, numeric & symbols are bit easier for me to see and so I can more accurately hit intended individual keys (at least for in the "regular" screen orientation, aka the non rotated wide width landscape or whatever screen & phone orientation), has at least 1 of phone or app dark theme settings that gives it black overall background, darker grey individual keys background & true white alpha, numeric, symbols etc for each key, similarly for predictive text/auto spell correct text & icons box having black background & true white characters/icons... If can customize colors, shade & light/dark level of each would be nice bonus but not a requirement or otherwise a factor. Would greatly prefer if the predictive text/spell check box has ability to swipe right & left to scroll through several word options as needed (like my old version keyboard could, which was up to 8-9 options, maybe a couple more) instead of being limited to whichever 3 it 1st suggests, similarly really liked having ability to long press basically any of 0-9 numbers and be given 1 or more options to select a same number but as small to X power number to upper right like in the ' symbol location, or select fractions like 1/2 to 1/9th via the 1 key, 2/3 to 2/9 via the 2 key, and so on. A feature I use surprisingly frequently in numerous ways. While not required, and not a significant factor in decision, would be bonus if has pretty solid quality handwritten via finger or stylus to text feature and or ability to sketch via finger/stylus especially if have options of different colors, diameter lines, etc. Similarly would be bonus if can selectively or overall change colors of alpha numeric typed in note app if desired, again not required though.
Ideally can slightly customize/modify a couple of keys... As some keyboard apps have comma & period on opposite sides than I'm used to or 1 or the other has a ' in place of , or . as primary, similarly some have an emoji/smiley face icon right next to space bar I loathe (I very rarely use anything of that sort so it's irritating to have on main keyboard and constantly accidentally hit. Prefer old version where it's an icon and is part of clipboard, GIF, settings, etc icons group that can be selected if choose to add it). No idea if it's an option/feature on any keyboard app or not, but would be nice if could reorder/rearrange the symbols (not the QWERTY alpha numeric parts) of keyboard to something more consistent & similar to previous 1 I used or at least maintaining consistent 10, 9 & 7 typing keys (excluding delete, upper/lower case, etc keys) per row on each of QWERTY alphabet, numerical & symbols and 2nd group of symbols variants (I especially dislike how new keyboard switches from a 10, 9 & 7 QWERTY alphabet keys per row to 10, 10 & 7 numeric & symbol keys and 2nd group of symbol keys per row, so that symbols aren't in same location in 2nd row in QWERTY Alphabet as secondary characters compared to Numeric Symbol as primary character... They're all to the left about 1/2 a key, etc)... Also strongly dislike how new keyboard also has seemingly very pointless very basic, large 0-9 numerical with small, side located basic math symbols variant and when in numeric & symbols or just symbols variants, has a key that switches to the pointless large 0-9 numerical variant in same dumb location as emojis variant button right next to the space bar.Also strongly dislike how new keyboard also has seemingly very pointless very basic, large 0-9 numerical with small, side located basic math symbols variant and when in numeric & symbols or just symbols variants, has a key that switches to the pointless large 0-9 numerical variant in same dumb location as emojis variant button right next to the space bar. Also really dislike how if trying to backspace/delete spaces before a word/sentence to move it into desired location in say a paragraph, instead of just deleting spaces behind, every time it moves up 1 line in height the marker moves to right 1 space & deletes a character, so if moving sentence up 3 spaces and starts with word "Payment", I end up with "ment" at start of sentence instead & must retype it, very annoying.
I have no idea if or how directly connected the vocabulary/spell check auto correct/predictive text/user generated slang, short hand, abbreviations & words are to the Keyboard Apps (especially non stock to phone ones)... But I do have some strong preferences if applicable. Having the 1, correct traditional USA English spelling of words, especially when that's 1 & only selected language in every setting possible (such as surprise Vs suprise for prime example, 1st version being the correct 1, yet repeatedly I'd delete incorrect spellings and for all intents & purposes I could reasonably find, also delete non existent abbreviations, words, etc I'd never used that would immediately reappear in predictive text & spell check/auto correct), similarly a decent portion of the time several of my user created, very frequently used abbreviations, short hand, slang, etc would never get added (yet misspelled words or jumbles of random characters would virtually always get added). 1 other thing, I dunno if it was Samsung, Google, or both... But roughly a bit over 1 year after I got my Note 8, suddenly the ability to go in to create & directly edit/add/delete custom vocabulary disappeared, but far more infuriating was fact that suddenly decades+ old, pretty commonly used in official & slang type use words that suddenly & for a very long time if they ever returned that were no longer in predictive text, spell check, etc that could not be added back to vocabulary... Granted for most part are words their very uptight & Uber fragile customer service don't want u to use, but many are common in primetime, mainstream traditional broadcast network TV shows perfectly acceptable to FCC, along with commonly used non slang other words such as "penetration" & it's subvariants (guessing BC certain uses can be sexually related, though many uses aren't whatsoever)... In short, in no way do I again ever want anybody, company or app being able to block, prevent, interfere or otherwise censor what words I type, use frequently, add to vocabulary, etc, especially on my own device in non public venues/ways... Truly enraging & unforgivable IMO.

#3) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung Pics, Vids, etc Visual Media Storage/Organization/Access App". The stock Google app on new Sony stinks, can't alter order, how individual media files or groups are displayed, makes for very unorganized/cluttered, frustrating app & use with basically no different settings, customizations or options to it. Features wanted: visual media storage, organization, etc app that at minimum allows for different settings for how groups of files/thumbnails and ideally individual files/thumbnails are displayed & organized. Can create custom file group/folder names, can select 1 or multiple files at a time to click & drag into different/new folder/group to be moved or copied, or to be deleted. Can favorite/star individual files, alter name of individual files & folders/groups, ideally can make individual media files as well as folders/groups private/secure and add a pass/security code or similar.

For the display/appearance, etc of folders/groups and individual file thumbnails, I really did like how the Samsung Note 8 visual media app did things.... Had most recently added/dated file as thumbnail for folder/group with nice red with white lettering "new" label on upper right corner when new files added. For individual video thumbnails, it would play brief portions of each video, similarly if clicked on video file it would bring it up & play video like thumbnail until either backed out of file or selected to play video & opened it in video player app. Like how it displays how many files are in each folder/group underneath the thumbnail & folder/group title, how when selected a folder/group it would have a list of other folders/groups with thumbnail & title displayed on lefthand side u can scroll up/down, can select & drag files over into, etc. Like how it automatically put new camera taken pics, new screen shots, new downloads, etc into corresponding folders/groups until if/when user decides to move them elsewhere. Ability to pinch zoom in/out to adjust the size & number of thumbnails per row for both folders/groups and for overall individual files within folders/groups (range of 2-4 or 5 thumbnails per row in both cases). Only thing Samsung app didn't do I wish it did, was display file/title name, etc for 1 or both of thumbnails and when click to open (had to click details to get title, etc in the file). Ideally suggested new media app would retain individual media file names, favorite/starred status, individual folder/group names and keep individual media files organized in their assigned folders/groups when transferring media files over from old Samsung Galaxy Note 8 phone & it's visual media storage app (I really don't want to have to go through & completely reorganize all visual media files, create new folders/groups, favorites/stars, etc).

#4) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung Video Player App" with Screen Mirroring/Share & Cast abilities. My old Note 8 video player app was fine, didn't need anything more or less from it... Simple, well located & intuitive UI & controls, share icon, general & video playback settings icons, etc. The play/pause buttons were large enough, the sliding dot for selecting time into video was large enough though a bit bigger and with more contrast would be better IMO. Don't need video editing, cloud, etc.

Of somewhat bigger priority apps.... (#5-#6)

#5) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 combo of "Time/Date/Day of Week/Location/Weather App & but mainly Home Screen Widget" from Note 8 (is it Accu Weather?). While I did prefer my Note 4 widget on Note 4, wasn't anything similar I could find for Note 8. But Note 8 Time/Date/Day of Week/Location/Weather Home Screen Widget was good enough & would like to find something pretty similar. I went with the larger, say 33-45% height of screen with width of widget allowing for 1 app icon width wise & 3-4 app icons height wise on left & right side of that home screen widget. Roughly maybe 1" high by 2" wide size digital clock (same size numbers across), had name of location either above or below clock display, think was weather of that day & that time as icon to left of clock numbers (sun, sun with some clouds & rain drops, etc), pretty decently sized month, date, day of week, etc below digital clock, similarly had display of what temp was as well, and when appropriate, it would display icons for different weather advisories in the widget too... I can't recall all details nor exactly where what stuff was etc, but the above is general jest of it. Could add favorite & store locations, swipe up/down in home screen widget to switch between current location and favorites/saved locations current time & weather, etc. Tapping on that homescreen widget would open up web link to more detailed & multiple day forecasts, and could get more details on weather advisories, etc. Digital clock, etc would auto change to current location, time zone, weather, etc when traveling. So something close to that as possible for my new Sony.

#6) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung File Management & File Access App". Covers downloads, recents, video, pic, audio, text, PDF, adobe, etc files. Displays date, file name, file size, etc. Can order/sort files by file size, date, file type, file format, alphabetically, etc and can search files. Would prefer if also had icon next to each file like Samsung Note 8 app did.

Of lesser priority apps.... (#7-#9/#10)

#7) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung Contacts App". Stock Sony Google contacts app is OK, but would greatly prefer basically identical contact app to Samsung Note 8 one, familiarity of layout, UI, features, etc is major reason why, so I don't have to try to memorize a new, bit different 1. Ideally notes, addresses, cell, home, work numbers/contacts, favorite contacts, etc are all compatible in same way in transfer of info to new phone & app.

#8) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung Phone Call App". Basic function stock Sony phone call app is OK, doesn't have a couple icon features that Samsung Note 8 one does, which isn't a huge deal but would be nice to have (video call, spam/block, etc). Main thing is the UI/layout of buttons/icons when making/on a call. An identical or very very similar layout would be great, again so I don't have to memorize a completely new layout for it (my eyesight quality varies quite significantly, from totally clear to tested as low as 4% of vision... Which can last for several hours up to 3 even sometimes 8 months basically straight, and only have 1 eye I can see anything out of either way).

#9) Most similar apps to Samsung Note 8 "Samsung Calculator App". Don't like layout & interface of stock Sony Xperia 1 III Google calculator app. Would be great if can get basically identical calculator app to one that comes on Samsung Note 8... Particularly the layout/order/location of numerals, mathematic function buttons, AC, delete, etc. Ideally has very similar history button and ability to choose whole equation, just final answer or just equation without final answer.

Probably a bit off Note 8 topic though continues above questions in broad sense, but hopefully it's not a problem but will edit & repost below part to either a Verizon/VZW or Sony Xperia thread if truly necessary, please just message me and don't flag whole post if it's a problem and will edit it soon as I actually see message...

#10) Anyone know how to add actual App & icon, etc or if there's a very similar app to the "Verizon/VZW Visual Voicemail App & Homescreen Icon" with notifications & number of unchecked messages? I can't find an actual VZW Voicemail App, and Sony has visual voicemail but only shows up as small icon when have "phone call" app opened. No direct icon nor notifications on screen available I've found available yet. No idea how or if VZW can add their Visual Voicemail App, homescreen icon & notifications... But would like to find something pretty similar to the VZW Visual Voicemail App that was on my Note 8 for continuity & effectiveness of use... Or ideally someone knows how I can add the actual VZW Visual Voicemail & Voicemail App & Homescreen Icon....
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XWidget also has a ton of the Samsung widgets (I am not sure if they ever updated to fix the bug in Android 12+ where the widgets stop refreshing though).

Samsung Internet and Samsung Notes will install on any phone, not just Samsungs. Samsung Health also works on non-Samsung phones. You won't get Messages, Gallery, Contacts, Phone Dialer or the like as those depend on specific OneUI APIs that don't exist on another phone. You can possibly find alternatives that are similar, but like my attempt at "Samsung-ifying" my Nexus 6, you'll end up with a half done attempt that won't ever feel right or complete.

I am not sure why you didn't choose another Samsung phone, such as one of the A-series, as they're cheap, work well and have the same UI design.
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