While its easy to run open source software on Linux (its comes preinstalled!), it may not be so obvious on Android. There are free and open source apps available for just about everything on Android. Being FOSS though doesn’t make an app great. Like their closed source cousins, there’s a lot of mediocre apps available. These are my go to favorites.
If you want to explore open source on Android, start with F-Droid, an open source app store. Many open source apps can be found in F-Droid but not in the Play Store.
Tasks syncs to do lists with Apple Reminders, Google Tasks, and CalDav servers. I’ve used it successfully to replace Google Tasks and Microsoft To-Do.
Bitwarden doesn’t get the love it deserves. Its the only open source password manager that I know of with a local server option. Passwords and other sensitive information can be stored on your own local, private server or stored securely encrypted in the cloud. Bitwarden integrates into Android to replace Google’s Password Manager. Just to make things easier, there’s a Linux application plus browser extensions.
Slide is a slick Reddit replacement. The theme can be customized to an AMOLED Black (my favorite!) or whatever color you can conjure. Slide is also ad free by default. Navigation works by “sliding” between subs.
With Google’s snooping built right in to Chrome, Firefox is a no brainer. With significant updates, Firefox is faster and lighter than ever. Some extensions like ad blockers work on the Android app. Firefox also comes in a Firefox Focus that automatically blocks ads and trackers by default. I stick with the beta. Its stable and I like seeing new features faster.
VLC Media Player
VLC is my go to choice for media players. It plays everything imaginable and does so well.
NewPipe allows users to access YouTube without a Google account and play content ad free. Videos can be downloaded locally.
There’s a lot of note taking apps for Android but Standard Notes is probably the most flexible. It syncs to the cloud, complete with encryption, and can be accessed across multiple devices and platforms.
This is an essential part of my Linux system. KDE Connect works with Android to show notifications like calls and texts on the desktop. There is a full blown text messaging interface for the desktop or messages can be responded to from the notifications. Its also an easy way to wirelessly transfer files between Android and Linux. KDE Connect will even turn an Android device into a touchpad for the desktop.
What are your favorite open source apps for Android? Let us know in the comments below.