Android has been known as an open-source operating system, with its source code available for everyone to tinker around. However, that’s not the case with most Android apps although we would love to see more open-source Android apps. Well, there are numerous reasons to support the development and usage of open source apps for both businesses and individuals. These apps bring more security, implement ideas from the community, are flexible & available to audit and are mostly free or affordable. Moreover, businesses and developers can use the codes from these apps to add functionality to their own programs. Thankfully, there are some cool open-source apps available for Android.
So, if you have been looking around to find the coolest open-source apps for Android, stop looking because here are 15 best open-source apps for Android:
Note: We are only including apps that are available on the Google Play Store. We have also made sure to include source code links from GitHub, if that interests you.
1. Amaze File Manager
There are tons of good file manager apps available on the Play Store but Amaze manages to stand out due to some of its cool features wrapped in a beautiful Material Design UI. The file manager packs in all the basic features along with SMB sharing, navigation drawer to jump between folders quickly, app manager, root explorer and the ability to bookmark files.
We are all aware of the VLC media player but did you know that it’s available as an open-source app. VLC for Android brings support for most audio and video codecs along with network streaming. It also includes cool features like media library, ability to browse folders, multi-track audio, gestures for volume, seeking & brightness and more.
3. Signal Private Messenger
We have already talked about Signal in our list of best secure messenger apps and it deserves a mention here too, due to its open-source credentials. The messenger brings the usual messaging features along with support for voice calls but its USP lies in its security features like end to end encryption to chats and cryptographic protocols.
4. ML Manager
ML Manager is a simple app manager for Android that lets you extract APK files from installed apps & games and share them with ease. Moreover, you can share APK files of even system apps. The Pro version of the app brings more features like ability to hide apps from launcher, uninstall system apps and remove cache per app.
AntennaPod is a podcast manager app that lets you stream or download millions of podcasts (free and paid) from a ton of publishers. Along with the bigwigs like BBC, CNN etc. it brings podcasts from independent publishers as well. There are cool playback features too like queue, adjustable playback speed, sleep timer and chapter support.
6. Lightning Web Browser
The Lightning browser is as lightweight as it gets at around 2 MB in size. However, it still packs-in all the features we expect from a modern day browser. The WebKit based browser includes a few unique features like different color modes, all the popular search engines to use from, user agents, reading mode and more. While Lightning is free, it’s available in a paid version as well that brings AdBlock and unlimited tabs.
Wikipedia needs no introduction but its official open-source Android app does! The app brings a number of cool features to make Wikipedia browsing a breeze on Android. The features like link previews, tabbed browsing, “define” button, table of contents etc. make the user experience on the app a pleasure.
8. K-9 Mail
K-9 Mail lacks the aesthetic beauty of various email clients on Android but it makes up through the features it offers. The email client supports IMAP, POP3 and Exchange support and brings features like search, push mail, multi-folder sync, flagging, self-bcc and more.
There are some very cool SMS apps available these days and QKSMS is certainly one of them. The SMS app features a ton of options along with various options to customize the look of the app. Some really notable features of the app include delayed messaging, popup support, auto emojis, split SMS and more. Overall, QKSMS is a highly feature-rich app yet very subtle in its approach.
10. Material Audiobook Player
If you want a simple audiobook player without any complicating options and features, the Material Audiobook Player is highly recommended. The app lets you choose the folders where you have your audiobooks saved and gives you the options to hide these audiobook files from music players, which is much appreciated. It also includes options to adjust playback speed, bookmark books, sleep timer and remembers where you left things off.
11. PDF Reader
PDF Reader, based on the MuPDF library is a simple yet efficient app. The reader lets you view PDFs in thumbnail, as well as in grid view and there’s ability to bookmark files, search text, double page mode and flowing text for a beautiful reading experience. The app is free but you’ll have to make an in-app purchase to remove ads.
12. Timber Music Player
Timber music player (beta) might not be able to compete with the best music players available for Android but if you want a capable open-source music player, this is your only option. The gorgeous looking music player brings tons of customization options along with the cool music playback features like pause on detach, queue support in notification, equalizer and more.
13. Omni Notes
Omni Notes is a very productive and feature-rich note taking app, which features a great UI that lets you navigate to different notes through filters and tags (support for colored tags). It includes a lot of cool features like batch note editing, full text search, automatic recognition of URLs, e-mail and phone numbers, customization options etc. There’s also support for different attachment types in notes like photos, videos, geo-location, audios, sketch and more.
14. Native Clipboard
As the name suggests, Native Clipboard is a clipboard app that lets you access whatever you have copied seamlessly. The app is available to you at all times and you can bring the floating window up any time by simply double tapping in an edit field. The app packs in various gestures and there’s bit of a learning curve but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be using it way more often.
The open-source wallpaper app features around 15,000 stunning images from sources like Unsplash, Google Earth View and Jay Mantri. The app includes various categories to choose from along with options to “love” an image for future use. There’s also ability to set wallpaper with a single tap and if you use Muzei on your device, you’ll be happy to know that Wallsplash supports it.
Aren’t these open-source Android apps really amazing?
Well, if our opinion matters, these indeed are some very cool open-source apps. These are some great apps even if we don’t consider the open-source moniker. So, take a look at these apps and let us know what you think of them. You can also take a look at some of the other great open-source apps available over at F-Droid (catalog of open-source software), since not all open-source apps are available on the Play Store.