Beyond Linux, we use mobile phones to carry out activities with them. Based on the Linux kernel, like Deepin, shares another aspect such as the right to retake the data we keep and how we manage. Because it's largely FOSS, hence we know how it works behind the hood. In this we share by way of introduction Applications open source for Android created by amateurs who seek to maintain that essence without sacrificing quality. Much of them download for free from the F-Droid store, rather than Google Play.

We must remember something, this is a compilation for a self-sufficient experience on smartphones, so let's feel free to suggest improving the applications and meeting other needs. We also refer to those that stand out for their ethical updates (without malware or hidden advertising) and that allow export to an independent storage service (who want to manage their own data instead of Google like Fairphone or some based on /and/get rid of bloatware or migrate from a service that will expire soon, among several examples). There are other operating systems such as Ubuntu Phone, now UPort, or LibreOS that offer more complete and convergent applications but are still accessible to all audiences.

What is F-Droid and why of «FOSS» applications

F-Droid is the FOSS app storeacronym free and open source software. As we said before, Android is a FOSS operating system, whose code allows us to know how it works, which is perfected with the help of developers or amateurs. That idea applies to the most popular store, which offers updates by the author and can be maintained by the community forever. Obviously like any «open source«, Is governed by a quality control: it must not have malware or spyware or suspicious code.

Botón de F-Droid

The representative button of an open source application available in F-Droid

For practical purposes a FOSS equals free. For example, when we want to release books, video games, movies or documents, they should not be subject to something dependent such as DRM. However, if we want to update to the best version it is necessary to resort to its repository or add more.

Suggested open source applications for Android

Before starting

Aurora Droid, tiende de aplicaciones open source

Aurora Droid, trend of open source applications

Before we start we will use the app Aurora Droid, which is available on the F-Droid website. Ironically and unlike the official one, it offers a better and intuitive user interface (under the Material Design requirements). So you can review the available catalog quickly and elegantly. Once installed, it will update automatically from the official repository which is obviously F-Droid.

If you can't install: You will need to check the security of Google Play. Unfortunately, the latest versions force activate Play Protect. If the mobile does not carry that service like a Huawei or a free ROM, you are in luck.

Recommended essential applications

The applications shown below are widely used on the phone.

  • Amaze: File manager with copy and paste and ZIP compression. In addition, it has an application manager to uninstall them.
  • BaldPhone: Pitcher designed to resemble 2000 phones with large, easy-to-touch text. It shows accesses, applications and complements with utilities such as medications, telephone, photo and video viewer, notes, night theme, among others.
  • OsmAnd: Map viewer. They work offline.
  • FairEmail: Email manager. Support for sending and receiving messages and intuitive interface. It does not sync other data, we suggest using also DAVx⁵.
  • LeafPic: Photo viewer with built-in editor. The current version bears the surname "Revived."
  • Forecastie: Weather forecast based on OpenWeatherMap. Show today's weather with the next few days. Graphics and weather map included.
  • OpenBoard: Virtual keyboard with writing suggestions.
  • QKSMS: SMS messages. With backup, bulk sending and blocking of unwanted numbers.
  • Vinyl Music Player: Music player With eyelashes. It allows song scanning, setting sound gain and reading from SD cards.
  • VLC: Audio and video player. It is complete for its extensive codec support.
  • Bromite (available in the Bromite repository): Web navigator Chromium based with ad blocker.
  • Calculator: Operates basic mathematical functions.

Suggested companion applications

This list is not very essential unlike the previous ones. Therefore, some of them are useful for certain users.

  • Feeel: Exercise route. One of them is the aerobics routine in 7 minutes a day, whose steps are simple to memorize, with 30 seconds per activity plus 10 rest. If you need guidance there are several videos about it.
  • OpenFoodFacts: Database that bears your name, a community initiative with information on more than a million food products.
  • Finder: Application to locate the mobile and send coordinates by SMS to a trusted number in case it is stolen.
  • Librera Reader: Ebook and PDF reader. With library and types of reading by touch or swipe. The version contains all the features of the PRO edition of Google Play.
  • LibreTorrent: Torrent manager. Option to measure speed.
  • Moneywallet: Financial organizer. Shows transactions and transfers chronologically. Indicate which are the debts, the origin of the money and the categories.
  • Scarlet Notes FD: Adding notes. Includes notebook, search engine, multi-format editor, access lock and search engine.
  • Timetable: Courses and schedules of the school, college or university. Shows summaries, assignments, notes and exams. It also adds daily notifications and backup.
  • Stocks Widget: This shows the status of financial actions in a basic way.
  • OpenTasks: Task Maker with deadline.

Synchronization apps

It is useful for managing productivity information.

  • DAVx⁵: Multiple Accounts Synchronizer: contact, tasks, calendar and other services. For mail, we suggest integrating with Fairmail.
  • DecSync: Transfer contacts and calendar between mobile and PC. For that you must configure with a compatible client. In this case you can install this package for Deepin that saves the data in Evolution.

Suggested applications for online services

Other online services, which highlight some social networks.

  • NewPipe: Alternative YouTube client. It allows to view videos in full screen or window, local saving of lists and categorize the channels to show their latest videos.
  • Twire: Alternative Twitch client, YouTube competition. It is focused on video games but you can interact with the latest broadcasts online.
  • Telegram: Messaging application. Cloud-based with various features.
  • Aurora Store: Google Play client for applications not available on F-Droid. It can be accessed with a guest account, which skips the obligation to create a Google account.
  • PassAndroid: Client to download and show personal passes, card or virtual tickets. Compatible with Apple Wallet (formerly Passbook) and esPass.
  • MGit: Client for git repositories. Ideal for developers.
  • AntennaPod: Service to manage podcasts.
  • Kiwix: Dictionary and / or encyclopedia offline. Works with Wikipedia data.

Special mentions

It is completely optional. We only flag those that might be of interest in the future.

  • The basic applications of Axet, Simple Mobile Tools: Include file manager, alarm, maps and call recorder. The indicated authors carry their very minimalist designs and comply with basic actions.
  • KDE Connect: To interact between Deepin and the PC.
  • Collabora Office: Para editar documentos en el móvil, basado en LibreOffice.
  • In addition to the recommended repository of the configured Aurora store, we can add others such as Bitwarden, Bromite, Guardian Project Y KDE Android, LibRetro Y Nesyms. For example:
    • KDE for Android (available from KDE repository): Repository under development. It includes a Plasma Phonebook (contact list), Calindori (calendar), Buho (notes), Koko (launcher), among others.
    • Bitwarden (repository that bears his name): Software to save passwords with encryption in the cloud.
    • LibRetro (available separately): Game emulator. Supports several old-generation consoles, if the mobile supports it.
    • Save (from Guardian): Add metadata to upload original content.

This is a selection of the most useful. There are several in the store, you can also or suggest that the application be included in your main repository or create your own. Of course, to add an app to F-Droid you must know what the requirements are, such as the use of licenses and avoid proprietary SDK dependencies since the compilations will be carried out by the administrators themselves.

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Eli (@eli)
10 meses atrás

Excellent blog post  Diego good selection of apps for which we use Android.

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