The Best Free And Open Source Android Apps
Most people haven’t heard of the Free and Open Source philosophy. It’s about creating software that has source code that’s easily viewable by the public, can be downloaded and modified, and can even be redistributed as a unique version built on top of the original. There isn’t a huge amount of incentive for most people to move all their apps to open source, but in the age of surveillance and data harvesting, it’s nice to know that the app you’re using isn’t stealing all your personal data to sell to third party advertisers.
Fortunately, there are a lot of different apps available that follow the FOSS philosophy and integrate extremely well into the Android ecosystem.
KDE is the organisation that’s behind Plasma, one of the world’s most popular desktop environments. They’re also behind KDE Connect, which is an Android app that’s designed to provide a way to sync an Android device and a computer. It works with both Windows and Linux machines, and allows you to send files, read messages, and even control the states of the computer, like putting it to sleep, shutting it down, or locking the screen.
When it comes to receiving and sending emails, there are an abundance of apps to choose from, but not all of them are free and open source. FairEmail is the exception to this, providing a feature-rich email client that works with almost all popular email services, including Gmail and Yahoo. It’s easy to use, and totally free to download, but users can opt to pay a once-off fee to gain access to premium features.
Firefox is a well-known internet browser that’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. It’s available on almost all platforms, including Android, and it can be used for emailing, browsing, watching videos, or playing the latest Lucky Creek games. The Android version of Firefox comes with several appealing features. These include improved privacy, state-of-the-art security, and the ability to sync with linked desktop version of the browser. Along with this, it’s also possible to use add-ons, such as Dark Reader or uBlock Origin.
YouTube remains one of the most popular ways to stream media, but most people will be keenly aware of the many ads that you have to sit through before getting to the content. The answer to this problem is NewPipe, a powerful app that gives you access to everything that YouTube has to offer but without anyone of the inconveniences, like 2 or 3 advertisements in a row. NewPipe is open source and free to download and use, and it’s possible to donate to the organisation to give them financial support.
Talking about multimedia, there are few other apps that are quite as powerful as VLC. With a long history of development and an active community, VLC is an extremely versatile app that works on most modern platforms and is capable of running any multimedia format imaginable. Like other apps, VLC is maintained through community donations.