Free (and mostly OpenSource) Android apps

Forum Forums General Other Distros Free (and mostly OpenSource) Android apps

  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated Jan 21-11:00 am by ModdIt.
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  • #50192

    Since most people have smartphones, and, at least in Europe, most of those devices are running Android, here’s my list, that allows me to me a tiny bit freer from Google- I also use some extra privacy settings, have a switch to turn off sensors/camera/mic, turned off bluetooth scanning, limited wifi search and turned off Playstore :

    *Browser – Bromite ( it’s open source, ad free, available from ), Firefox with privacy addons (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Calendar – etar (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Camera – Open camera (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Ebook reader- Aireader ( completely ad free, provides TTS functionality out-of-the-box, FBreader ( available in Google Playstore, has an instalable tts plug-in), Bookreader (open source fork of FBReader, available from ); Cool Reader ( ) [yeah, I read a lot…. 🙂 ]
    *E-mail – K-9 Mail (it’s open source, ad free, available from )
    *File Manager – X-plore (not open source but extremely feature rich, despite the free version having some features that are locked), “Material Files” (from Hai Zhang) – not as feature rich as the free version of X-plore, but great- it lacks integration with cloud drives, if that’s important for you, but allows sharing files via ftp server (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Gallery- There’s really no need for third party galleries, but, if you really want a nice alternative: Focus Go ( ad free, on Google Playstore)
    *Office Suite – Collabora Office (it’s android’s LibreOffice port, largely compatible with MS Office formats, like .docx, etc, ad free, available from Google Playstore – ideal for viewing all kinds of documents, not so much for editing, at least not at the current time, unless you are in a pinch), Microsoft Office apps (free version, available from Google Playstore, require a free Microsoft account to activate, but can be used off-line, great for both viewing AND editing documents)
    *Podcasts – AntennaPod (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Pdf reader – Adobe Reader (has a free version on Google Playstore – if it detects an Internet Connection, it makes you log on…), Xodo pdf reader (light, also allows to fill pdf forms, add/remove/reorder pages, create pdf files from scratch/pictures/files, has cloud connectivity, ad free, available on Google Playstore), Gaaiho pdf reader (very light pdf reader with annotation capabilities – has text re-flow but does not seem to always work-, ad free, on Google Playstore)
    *Media player – VLC (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *News/Rss Reader- Feedr – even allows you to download news and then you can read them off-line (ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Scanner application – you can use your android device as a high quality and extremely fast scanner, that generates pdf files – there are many great apps that do this, “Mobile Doc Scanner” is, for me, the best one, but it’s not free. Strangly enough the best Free, and ad free scanner, for me, is Microsoft’s “Office Lens” (both apps are available from Google Playstore)
    *Notes – Joplin (it’s open source, ad free, available from Google Playstore)
    *Youtube – Newpipe (it’s open source, ad free, available from -it’s fast, ad free and allows you to download videos/audio/substitles, what else do you need?

    *NetGuard – a free application that acts as a firewall – filtering, per application. access to Wi-fi and/or Mobile Internet – a great application that allows using applications that have intrusive adds (I know adds are the away developers make money, but, sometimes they overkill on adds- for those cases, I black list them on NetGuard, all the rest… hey, devs deserve to be paid for their work, right? Give them a break, pay by watching a reasonable ammount of Publicity)
    *GPS navigation – use alternative apps, available in your country (in Portugal we have “Meo drive”, a free, ad-supported, GPS map that works off line)
    *Application Store-
    *Light Casual games – Patience Revisited (available from Google Playstore)

    TIP: Use “web apps” instead of installing applications: for example- I have a Bromite icon to access 9gag, I do not need to install the 9gag app to view their content, same for MS Outlook, some news apps, etc…

    You can use opensource alternative applications apps here:

    • This topic was modified 5 months ago by PPC.
    • This topic was modified 5 months ago by PPC.
    • This topic was modified 5 months ago by PPC.
    Forum Admin

    Nice list. Thanks. Only thing I can ad is like using radiodriod2. It is in the play store also.

    radiodroid2 uses this for searching is my uneducated guess!/
    Kinda a familiarize and how to use it link.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by rokytnji.

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    Hi PPC, good list of apps but Many mentions of play store above for apps
    available from Fdroid.
    Calls to play are highly pervasive with regard to privacy, occurring
    hundreds of times a day, can reach about 400 MB data volume daily !, and
    really reduce usable battery life.
    I found time between charges way improved by about 7 hours after removing
    Google from a rootable sample phone. Blocking with Net Guard on two other
    phones acheived similar results.
    An Xiaomi note was trying to contact a total of 83 domains in the background
    after a debloat !. Many not in china, a lot are known tracking and analytics
    companys.. My last device from that company for sure.
    Information transmitted to play store is reputed to include exact location
    from GPS.
    You can not turn off background GPS tracking on the majority of Android

    F Droid, For those who are unaware, you can get Bromite repo added there, all
    guardian Project applications along with many other carefuly curated
    and manualy source code reviewed applications. You will also be informed of
    available updates by the FDroid APP. You can also set to auto download updates
    but you will always be asked if you wish to Install.
    For any apps you are unable to get from F Droid aAptoide and getJar
    are also excellent and generaly safe sources.

    Net guard from GIT has enhanced functionality with regard to adblocking.
    Fair Email from same dev Marcel Bokhorst <> is also
    Getting Pro features for the Netguard GIT version is possible without
    paying through play store. Essential for usage on no google phone.

    For navigation OsmAnd is pretty good, uses offline open street maps.

    PhyPox and Angulo triAngulo are pretty interesting apps, also from F Droid.
    Phy pox is about using phone sensors for physics experiments and measurements.
    Angulo and Tri Angulo turn your phone in to a 3d spirit level and angle measurement
    system by utilising phone sensors.

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