Top Open Source Android Apps
These top open source android apps are all vetted by F-Droid, the volunteer project that culls through Android apps to find the best.
Notification handling is hit and miss on Android. Thankfully there are open source tools like AcDisplay to make notification management a bit easier. I've recently switched over to AcDisplay full-time after a falling out with my previous notification tool. AcDisplay provides me with complete control over when the notifications take place and works nicely with my lock screen as well.
I rarely use IRC these days, I simply don't spend much time chatting. Still, there are occasions where I need to connect when I'm on the road. After trying a few different clients I found that Atomic was the best option for me. Atomic boasts a proper IRC feel while still having the ability to change color schemes as needed. Atomic supports SSL and provides a solid IRC experience for Android phones.
If you rely on OwnCloud as much as I do, then you might consider installing OwnCloud-SMS. Instead of simply relying on your phone to store your SMS conversations, you can run OwnCloud-SMS to make sure your conversations are available elsewhere. Lost phone to a broken display, there are a hundred reasons why having access to your SMS on your OwnCloud server could be a life-saver.
Time-lapse photography is tricky, to say the least. I've found that using ChronoSnap is the best way to setup and shoot time-lapse photos without any of the common mistakes. ChronoSnap can use the front or rear camera, capture pictures without running the background display and it works reliably.
There are few things more annoying that listening to a mp3 playlist and discovering all the songs are playing at different sound levels. Luckily this is a rare issue, but it's a big enough problem that I've had to implement Droidgain to address the problem. Droidgain will comb through your mp3s and make sure the audio has been normalized. This means quiet tracks have their levels increased while loud ones are reduced to match the rest of your music library.
I'll be first to admit that there is no shortage of photo effects apps in the Google Play store. Yet there is something to be said about using a simple to use photo filter app with an MIT license. I like Effects Pro because it's distraction free, has a great UI and I'm able to add filters in no time at all. You can either use the preset filters provided or opt to slide the color swatches yourself instead.
Despite me listening to less podcasts than I used to, I still make time for my favorites. Using Podax provides me with a clean interface, useful widgets for my home screen, and solid sync support with gpodder.net. Podax is very straight forward and I've never had a single complaint using it.
For the most part, Android does a good job at utilizing its available hardware resources. Still, I'm the sort of person who really likes to see first hand what is happening behind the scenes. This brings me to AnotherMonitor as a solution. Using AnotherMonitor, I can get a clean visual representation for my processes and which applications are using what resources. AnotherMonitor also provides me with a helpful color contrast which is useful when I'm troubleshooting a rouge app.
Sometimes digging through a list of settings is a hassle. In cases like this, a simple shortcut on my home screen would be really helpful. This is where Any Cut comes into play. Any Cut allows me to create home shortcuts to just about anything you can think of. Apps with special variables attached or perhaps a shortcut to a specific Android setting. If it can be set, chances are Any Cut can produce a home screen shortcut for you.
Easily one of my favorite programs for drilling down app permissions and access. Applications Info will provide you details on an app's activities, permissions, features, along with related services. If you're needing to dive deep into the validity of a specific application, Applications Info is for you.
Wouldn't it be cool if a wifi access point had custom messages? Say, the password for the specific hotspot! With Wi-Fi Reminders, you can assign special messages for specific wifi hotspots. I've found that this is useful if you need to remind yourself of a specific password or if there is any specific reminder you'd like to associate with any stored wifi hotspot.
If you have a rooted Android phone and would like to run a proper firewall on it, then AFWall+ might be a good match for you. AFWall+ allows you to run iptables right from your Android phone. I've found that most people rely on it to better control in and out data traffic. AFWall+ provides you with the ability to set custom rules, export/import them and highlight specific apps in the color of your choice.
Most ad-supported apps on Android aren't a big deal. Unfortunately though, there are those limited apps that install adware and begin displaying random ads even with the related app closed. Tracking down this type of issue can be tricky, luckily AirPush Detector makes discovering rogue app behavior a lot easier. It's not an adblocker, rather, it's merely a tool to help you determine which apps are displaying ads and whether or not this is expected app behavior.
In the past, I've been a big fan of sending my Android notifications to different computers running a compatible server application. Unfortunately, this doesn't work so well with devices that aren't running on the same network. Luckily Botifier makes it possible to see Android notifications on devices like newer car stereos and smartwatches. If you have something with a screen and it's Bluetooth compatible, chances are you can push Android notifications to it using the Botifier app. With regard to practical use-case scenarios, I think car stereos are a perfect fit for Botifier. Album and artist information, text to speech for some Android apps, even accessibility options that rely on Bluetooth work with Botifier.
Most people don't realize that they're not limited to the Android apps found in the Google Play store. There are also great open source apps available from F-Droid. The apps found in F-Droid are both open source and specifically designed for your Android device. In this article, I'll share some of my favorite open source Android apps and share my experiences with each application.
The open source app advantage
In this article, I've shared some of my favorite open source Android apps. As you may have noticed from the links, each of them is vetted and tested by the good folks over at F-Droid. This means you're working with verified open source software and the code is readily available for inspection. While it's true that there is a ton of great software on Google Play, the fact is there is also a fair amount of it that is questionable in nature.
What say you? Do you have some great open source apps that you like to run on Android? Perhaps you have a favorite video player or a music jukebox app that you can't live without. Hit the Comments and share your favorite open source Android apps with us.
For more great apps, check out our other lists of Android apps:
|Must Have Android Apps|