I often recommend F-Droid to my Android-using friends. F-Droid is an alternative app store which contains only Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). It's great because the apps are almost all not…
HN Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17485893
Posted by ericdanielski
(karma: 639)Post stats: Points: 130 - Comments: 63 - 2018-07-08T20:06:24Z
I often recommend F-Droid to my Android-using friends. F-Droid is an alternative app store which contains only Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Itʼs great because the apps are almost all not evil. Did you know that a flashlight app doesnʼt need access to your contacts, location, and pictures? Did you know that every app doesnʼt need to serve you ads?
Yeah, sometimes the apps arenʼt as polished, and sometimes they lack some functionality youʼd like, but they are much less likely to contain/be malware or spyware. And sometimes they fill a unique niche not filled by anything else. And sometimes they are amazingly good.
The apps are some individualʼs or teamʼs passion projects, and most are not looking to earn money on the apps, they just want to make something they and others would find useful or fun. I wrote several of them myself, and I wrote them because I didnʼt like what was available commercially, or just had a weird idea.
Anyway, below is a current list of these FOSS apps I use (or have installed for my kids / future use). And again, one of the best features of any of them is that they donʼt serve you ads, and donʼt report your location and browsing habits anywhere. And donʼt steal your data and contact list.
To install them, youʼll need to go to F-Droid and install the main F-Droid app. When you do that, youʼll need to say "yes" or "allow" to the prompts asking if you want to install from unknown sources.
Note: there are a huge number of apps Iʼve not tried… These are just the ones Iʼve installed and found useful.
This is a replacement for the keyboard. It provides a much easier-to-use experience (to me) that the built-in keyboards donʼt, like easy access to the single quote, for example.
Ok, full disclosure: I wrote this one. LaunchTime is my replacement homescreen/launcher. I do like it sooo much better than the other homescreens though. Before I wrote it, I struggled greatly with the "app drawer" model used by most launchers. See the LaunchTime page on Github for a full list of features.
This app is designed to reduce the displayʼs effect on your day-night cycle by removing blue light. I donʼt know about that, but I use it as a "super dimmer" at night and it can run on a schedule, too.
A replacement for whatever spyware/crapware weather widget came with your phone.
Can display a list of WiFi access points and help you decide on what channel to use.
Adds a "save to a directory" option to the share menus. Run the app by itself first to set a destination directory.
A generic search app widget which you can target different search engines. Itʼs pretty slim and mostly useful so you donʼt have to have some companyʼs widget always running on your phone.
I used this to help me make this list! smile :)
A gallery of you photos, a photo viewer, and a photo editor.
Loads up your pictures and automatically detects and blurs faces so that you can share pictures that contain other people/kids easier. You can also manually blur (or unblur) regions of the photo.
Simple barcode/QR code/etc scanner. Just scans them and adds the code to its history so you can share them via text, email, file, etc.
Reading and Writing
A super slimmed-down Facebook app. Itʼs just a thin wrapper around facebookʼs mobile site, but itʼs great because it allows you to not have the two behemoth Facebook apps (Facebook proper and Messenger) to bog down your phone and gather data.
Kind of a hybrid notes and checklist app which allows adding all kinds of rich text and pictures.
Ok, itʼs mine again. An almost too simple epub reader. Very few features, but thatʼs how I like it. (Note: I recently discovered a large number of crashes due to variations on different devices I wasnʼt able to test. Iʼve fixed these in 0.3.4 which hasnʼt hit F-Droid yet.)
A simple daily journal. Can tie in with your calendar.
My very favorite shopping list app. You can manually sort the items (I have mine in ALDI-order), and have multiple lists.
If your device has a step counter sensor, this app can use it to keep track of your steps, and thatʼs it.
An all-you-need app to help you if you do interval training.
Very simple app to generate dice rolls. There are other, bigger apps available if you do tabletop gaming.
Access data gathered on food products. It can scan an itemʼs UPC barcode and retrieve nutrition info (if available).
A simple text editor.
An easy way to record sound files and share them.
A music player with a big list of free music and radio streams.
A kind of cool music player for mp3s and oggs on you phone.
Tune your guitar, or just entertain a child who likes to see waveforms.
View waveforms, or just entertain a child who likes to see waveforms.
Games and toys
Hereʼs just a list of games I occasionally play, or, more likely, my kids play.
Gamified educational app.
Like 30 weird puzzle games.
Another tower-defense game.
And a bunch more I wonʼt describe, but I found them fun enough to keep (or my kids did).
So thatʼs it. There are hundreds of other apps there which might fit your needs. Try it!
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I often recommend F-Droid to my Android-using friends. F-Droid is an alternative app store which contains only Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). It's great because the apps are almost all not evil. Did you know that a flashlight app doesn't need access to your contacts, location, and pictures? Did you know that every app doesn't need to serve you ads?quaap.com