As alternatives to their strictly regulated competitors, open-source apps stand out for their qualities in freedom and user input. You have the keys to the source code and may change it at your leisure. Open source apps also enjoy vibrant community attention, with some projects being vetted and monitored constantly, all by users like you.

Installing open-source apps designed for the best Android phones means that you get all the benefits of your phone’s operating and storage systems while cutting through the red tape that mainstream services can impose to slow you down. The Play Store has no shortage of fantastic options, each with great ideas for putting the power in your hands. AP is here to provide 15 of the best open-source alternatives to get you started in the world of open-source apps.



As of May 2022, Firefox commands 0.5% of the mobile browser market share. While its chunk of the browser market pales compared to Chrome (65%), it doesn’t come preloaded on every Android phone. In our comparison of Chrome and Firefox, we noted the open-source browser isn’t as consistently smooth as Chrome, but it has a few nifty features and takes privacy seriously. If you’re worried about Google keeping tabs on your every move, Firefox offers a solid balance between privacy protection and advanced features.


While Firefox boasts better privacy features than Chrome, Brave tops them both. The only problem is that Brave isn’t like other browsers, so if the user experience is important, you may want to stick with Firefox.

With an in-built ad-blocker, incognito tabs, and a native Tor connection, Brave is an easy choice for the privacy-concerned user. To make things better, Brave has its privacy-focused search engine. While the search quality is lacking compared with Google, it doesn’t track your searches or clicks.

Lawnchair 2

Abandoned by its original development team in 2020, Lawnchair has been taken up by a new team that promises to keep it updated. It’s designed to mimic the Pixel UI, so it’s a great choice for Android users who prefer that design.

Regularly updated to take advantage of new Android features like Material You and packed with features like drawer categories, automatic dark mode, and notification dots, it’s bound to impress anyone looking for a new open-source launcher.

Open Camera

Open Camera open source apps roundup (1)

Open Camera is free, feature-packed, and has no ads. With more than 50 million downloads, it’s one of the most popular camera apps on the Play Store. In classic open-source fashion, the interface is a little rough compared with apps like Google Camera or Samsung Camera, but don’t let that DIY aesthetic dissuade you.

Good Weather

While the best open-source weather app is looking out your window, it can be hard to check the weather at night or while you’re in your basement. That’s where Good Weather comes into play, providing you with an open-source weather app packed with features, including detailed graphs.

Beyond the graphs, Good Weather displays your weather report clearly and straightforwardly. It also offers a couple of widgets, a requirement for any weather app.



A viable all-in-one media hub is a promise made time and time again to consumers, but Kodi is an example with some promising follow-through. Kodi is available on smartphones, TVs, and other devices. It’s an all-inclusive media hub that can run various file types, with the functionality to find and utilize other services that run those files. You are free to watch movies, listen to music, store photos, and emulate games from a variety of consoles. The biggest catch is the lack of content within the app. Kodi constitutes the means for using these files but does not provide any. Essentially, you have to bring your own food to the table.

As a means for watching movies and playing the best retro ports on Android, Kodi is perfectly functional and contains a wealth of options and customization settings. The app utilizes one of the best things about Android, enabling the transfer and use of files across multiple devices without dealing with conversion.


Online security is more important now than ever, and Keepass is a great open-source app for beefing up your device’s defenses against physical theft and online hacking. Included features allow the encryption of passwords, installation of face and fingerprint scanning access, and management of single-use passwords and two-factor authentication. Settings are satisfactory for tailoring your experience, including options to implement grammar correction and select your preferred native language. It’s a nice app to ensure the safety of your device from outside influence and a great choice for maintaining your peace of mind.

Proton Mail

The team behind ProtonMail is the same team behind ProtonVPN, a VPN designed to bring internet privacy to as many people as possible. ProtonMail is designed with the same goals, prioritizing user security and privacy above all else. Beyond that, ProtonMail is a beautiful app without the wonky UI elements you’ll find in many open-source apps.


While Spotify is the top podcast app on the market, its relentless drive toward exclusive content to generate higher ad revenue is ruining the podcast experience. AntennaPod is an open-source podcast app that can help you overcome your Spotify addiction.

You can subscribe to your favorite podcasts via an RSS feed and import and export your data. The app is built by volunteers, so you won’t be bothered by advertisers while navigating it. Any ads you hear are placed by podcast publishers, who receive 100% of the ad revenue.

VLC for Android

VLC has been a staple media player since its original release for desktop PCs in the misty days of 2001. Released on Android in 2014, VLC remains one of the best open-source media players available.

VLC for Android can play any video or audio file with all the features you’d expect from a media player, like closed captioning, teletext, and subtitles. It’s also regularly updated, staying up to date with apps like Android Auto.


While the drama between Google and Apple over RCS and iMessage continues to bubble, many people don’t enjoy aligning themselves with one of these tech giants. QKSMS provides a straightforward, open-source alternative to proprietary SMS apps.

It’s a great app with features like scheduling texts, cloud backups, and message searching. However, it can feel slightly out of date compared with RCS-supported apps like Google Messages, so the increased privacy comes at a price.


Mapping data on OsmAnd is sourced from OpenStreetMap, one of the greatest examples of a community working to build an open-source project. Data is provided by individuals, using everything from aerial photography to local knowledge.

It includes features like GPS navigation, map comparisons, and customizable widgets. While it can take some time to unlock the full potential of OsmAnd, at its core is an app that easily rivals giants like Google Maps.

LibreOffice & OpenOffice document reader

LibreOffice and OpenOffice are two of the most well-known open-source document editors. This app, while not affiliated with OpenOffice or LibreOffice, allows users to open and modify Open Document Format (ODF) files with minimal hassle. It also integrates with apps like Gmail, Dropbox, and OneDrive, so you won’t have trouble moving files around if you’re forced to use a proprietary cloud storage system.


AnySoftKeyboard is an open-source alternative to Gboard with a clean and straightforward design. It values simplicity over a raft of fancy tools, but there are still plenty of customization options. And while it includes useful features like voice input and gesture typing, you’re not going to see pop-ups and suggestions for various niche features you’ll probably never use.

One of the advantages of using Google or Samsung products is the consistent experience across all their apps. Usually, we have to give up this consistency when switching to an open-source experience. Simple Mobile Tools is an excellent alternative. It offers 15 free and simple open-source apps that focus on privacy and simplicity over fancy features. It’s a great solution if you’re looking for a consistent experience throughout your apps. The apps developed by Simple Mobile Tools include:

  • Simple Gallery
  • Simple Calendar
  • Simple Contacts
  • Simple Music
  • Simple Dialer
  • Simple SMS Messenger
  • Simple Draw
  • Simple File Manager
  • Simple Flashlight
  • Simple Notes
  • Simple Voice Recorder
  • Simple App Launcher
  • Simple Keyboard
  • Simple Calculator
  • Simple Calendar

Head to their Play Store landing page to download the apps. They also provide a few paid versions of each app with additional features included.

Open source apps take advantage of the freedom Android devices provide, improving on it where necessary. They are well worth a look if you want a break from overbearing rules.

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