10 free open source apps for Android

Though most Android apps are free, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re open source or freely distributed. There are tons of quality alternatives to the most popular commercial apps out there. Open source apps are by their very nature more secure and customizable than others of vaguer origins. The website Droid-Break has compiled the best free open source apps for Android. These are some of our faves from among its recommendations.

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is unquestionably the best representative of how good the open source model can be. The solid policies of the Mozilla Foundation have made it the second most-used browser on the market. That said, its default preset browser is Yahoo, but that’s easily remedied if you opt for DuckDuckGo. [Download]

Telegram

Our favored son here at Uptodown. It sets the bar in terms of offering a properly reliable messaging service that’s versatile and on par with commercial alternatives. Actually Telegram tends to be the pioneer when it comes to adding features that then get replicated by WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and company. [Download]

VLC

It’s no coincidence that one of the best media players for both PCs and smartphones is open source and openly distributed. VideoLAN organizes the work of developers from around the globe who donate their time to this project. That a project born in academia in 1996 has become a point of reference in its field says a lot about the open source model. [Download]

Amaze File Manager

Though there are other free, good quality, ad-free file explorers out there (among them Mixplorer), they are distributed as open source. If we’ve got to pick one here, we’ll definitely go for Amaze File Manager. Its main appeal is its lightness and simplicity, forgoing the plethora of options that other file managers often pile on to attract users. [Download]

Open Camera

Photography and retouching apps are a dime a dozen, but if you’re looking for a truly straightforward option with no ads, no unnecessary features, and no connections to weird remote services, there are few better apps than Open Camera. Its scant 600 kilobytes house a huge array of possibilities in terms of both taking pics and applying real-time effects or using interesting post-processing filters. [Download]

K-9 Mail

Email clients are a tricky subject given the importance of the data they handle. K-9 Mail is a dinosaur in this sector, but that doesn’t mean this collaborative project doesn’t offer a versatile email client. The only inconvenience is that it doesn’t include a wizard to quickly auto-configure accounts from popular services like Outlook and Gmail, though the website still explains how to integrate them easily. [Download]

MAPS.ME

It’s complicated to fight the Google giant and its geolocation/maps service, but the guys over at MAPS.ME make it possible using the enormous collaborative database from OpenStreetMap. It’s actually got little to envy Google – until recently it was among the only good alternatives for downloading maps for use offline. [Download]

FBReader

Another basic app is your ebook reader or digital document viewer. FBReader can display ebooks, Kindle files, and even plain and rich text docs. Plus it has its own system for syncing files between devices (it’s especially useful given its multiplatform nature). Though by default it can’t read PDFs, it’s got an easy plug-in you can download to enable viewing those files too. [Download]

Turbo Editor

Text editing on your smartphone or tablet is no longer a pipe dream. Turbo Editor offers a comprehensive and multipurpose text processor to edit both plain text and code in tons of supported programming languages. It can handle indents, add color, and auto-structure code as you enter it plus work with files by browsing through the device’s local file structure. [Download]

Pixel Dungeon

Open source games are everywhere, which is why we’re going to leave one as an example of how much fun you can have with them if you do a little digging. Pixel Dungeon is a roguelike with a pixel-art look (surprise!) where you have to advance through randomly generated dungeons while defeating enemies and leveling your hero up. And given its open code there are obviously tons of variants and clones of it for your gaming pleasure. Enjoy! [Download]

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