50 Open Source Apps for the Mobile Workforce

Open source apps to help you work on the go, develop your own mobile apps, manage your mobile workforce, and more.
Posted September 20, 2011

Cynthia Harvey

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As smartphones and tablets become increasingly popular with consumers, they're also becoming a common work tool for employees. A recent study by Dimensional Research found that 87 percent of enterprises allow employees to use personal devices for work. In addition, 80 percent of those companies allow employees to use personal smartphones for work.

In response to this growing "consumerization of IT" trend, the open source community is beginning to develop apps aimed at the mobile market. In particular, they've created a large number of open source development tools that can help enterprise IT departments create mobile apps. In addition, several mature open source apps now have features that enable mobile workers to use them from their smartphones or tablets.

For this list, we collected a wide variety of open source apps with mobile features. They're listed by category with the tools for developers and IT departments first. As always, if you have additional entries to add to the list, please note them in the comments section below.

Mobile Development Tools

1) PhoneGap

PhoneGap claims to be the "only open source mobile framework that supports six platforms." It allows you to use HTML5 and JavaScript to create truly cross-platform apps that are able to access the native features of the various smartphone platforms. Operating System: requires OS X for the developer; creates apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry WebOS, Symbian, Bada.

2) Rhodes

Designed for enterprise application developers, Rhodes is a Ruby-based framework that enables developers to write applications once and turn them into native apps for each of the various platforms. Commercial support is available and the company behind the project (Rhomobile) offers a number of other related enterprise mobility solutions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X for the developer; creates apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone 7.

3) ZK

ZK claims to be the "leading enterprise Java Web framework," and it supports the development of both Web and mobile apps. It's been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. Operating System: OS Independent.

4) Appcelerator Titanium

Titanium helps create apps that work not only on the largest mobile platforms, but also on all of the major desktop platforms. It supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, and Python. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android.

5) IPFaces

This tool aims to make it faster, easier and cheaper for experienced ASP.Net, Java or PHP developers to create native form-oriented apps. Commercial support, training and other services are available. Operating System: OS Independent for the developer; creates apps for iOS and BlackBerry.

6) JQTouch

This jQuery plugin enables mobile Web development for the iPhone and Android devices. It's easy to install, customizable and offers theme support. Operating System: iOS, Android.

7) Jo

This HTML5 mobile app framework creates both Web and native apps for iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry and Chrome OS. It relies heavily on CSS3, and it works with PhoneGap. Operating System: iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Chrome OS.

8) Sencha Touch

This mobile JavaScript framework assists in the development of mobile Web apps that look and feel like native apps for iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. Note that it only supports WebKit browsers like Chrome and Safari. Operating System: OS Independent.

9) MoSync SDK

With MoSync, you can build cross-platform mobile apps with familiar tools—C or C++ and the Eclipse IDE. Commercial support and training are also available. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian.

10) Restkit

This Objective-C framework "aims to make interacting with RESTful web services simple, fast and fun." It uses an API and a object mapping system to help reduce the amount of code you need to write when creating apps for the iPhone or iPad. Operating System: iOS.

Mobile Device Management

11) Funambol

Funambol includes a number of mobile-related tools in one package: a data synchronization service, a device management service, client connectors and a software development kit. The site also acts as a forge hosting multiple projects built with Funambol tools. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian.

App Management

12) QuincyKit

QuincyKit collects information about app crashes and reports them to your server. It automatically generates reports about similar types of crashes and gives you the option of collecting user feedback. Operating System: OS X, iOS.

Content Management

13) Joomla

This extremely popular content management system powers 2.7 percent of the Web. A number of extensions and apps are available at the link above to help you design sites for smartphones and tablets. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

14) Drupal

Another well-known open source content management platform, Drupal boasts more than 630,000 users. A number of modules, themes and other tools are available on the site to help you create Web content for mobile devices. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Chart Engine

15) Chartdroid

Chartdroid offers developers a native chart engine for Android. It creates bar, donut, line, pie and scatter charts and graphs. Operating System: Android.


16) WordPress for Android, WordPress for iOS, WordPress for BlackBerry

The WordPress open source blogging platform now offers clients for the major mobile operating systems. Interfaces and features vary slightly by platform, but they all offer many of the same features as the desktop version. Operating System: Android, iOS, BlackBerry.


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Tags: Android, mobile, android apps, open source apps

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