12 Open Source Apps To Try

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.

F-Droid

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.

Lawnchair Launcher

This one is a close call for me. There’s a lot of great launchers for Android and some really interesting open source ones. Lawnchair has the right mix of customization, speed, and minimalism to make me happy. Hyperion comes in close but I’m not a fan of paid upgrades.

Tasks

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.

NextCloud

NextCloud is a free cloud platform that can be hosted locally. NextCloud extends far beyond simple file backup with additional apps available for notes, calendar, contacts, and more.

Bitwarden

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

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.

Firefox

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

NewPipe allows users to access YouTube without a Google account and play content ad free. Videos can be downloaded locally.

Standard Notes

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.

KDE Connect

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.

Tutanota

Tutanota is a free, secure, encrypted email service. I would be cool with that alone but their Android app is open source as well.

What are your favorite open source apps for Android? Let us know in the comments below.

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