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List of recommended Android software
Google's Android is one of the two primary competing cellular phone systems (with the other being Apple's iPhone). Android was formerly the Hacker's choice due to its kernel being Linux and it's hyper-customizability. In the time since its initial release in 2008, Android has increasingly become locked-down to the End-User and continues to be harder to root and hack. If you know what you're doing, you can easily jailbreak your Android phone —as well as root it— into a nearly-fully functioning computer. Many forums and communities exist for this very purpose, and specialty software exists for these tasks. This specialty software is prone to change often and frequently, and does not always work on every single cellphone. Much of this software is also maintained by Indian Programmers or the Chinese.
Universally recognized software for accessing higher functionality includes Termux, a Terminal Emulator, Xposed, a root-level module installer, xPrivacyLua, a per-app permissions-management system, just to name a few.
To unlock full-functionality, one must know the exact model number of the cell phone. There is a chance that your model number is unknown by the community. Older Cell Phones work better for rooting, and the installation of alternative roms because hackers (and crackers) have had more time to experiment with them.
This page is filled with recommended software that is not nessesarily requiring root and is for common use. Android uses a package type known as APKs, which can be aquired from Google Play, or alternative App Stores not requiring Google Services such as APKPure and F-Droid. Always express caution when installing from third-party repositories.
- 1 Rooting/Custom ROMs
- 2 "App Stores"
- 3 Web browsers
- 4 Imageboard browsers
- 5 Communications
- 6 Music
- 7 Video players
- 8 Privacy and Security
- 9 Ad-blockers
- 10 File Managers
- 11 Navigation
- 12 Photography And Photo Gallery
- 13 Torrents
- 14 Miscellaneous
- 15 References
- 16 External links
- 17 See also
A few applications will require root access, and occasionally phones will ship with bloatware that you cannot remove. To solve this, read up and get yourself Android ROMs.
- F-Droid (FOSS Repo) — Most popular alternative to the default Google Play store. All your main FOSS applications can be found here (sometimes even paid versions on the play store are avaliable on F-Droid for free). Also allows you to add other repository locations as well.
- Aptoide — An alternative, decentralized set of repos that inspired F-Droid, for those who still want mainstream apps and timely updates without having to sign in to Google or sideload apks repeatedly. It features malware scanning and compares the app signature with that of the Google Play Store when available.
- You can also download APK files directly from Google Play with Evozi's APK Downloader or APK Downloader,Android Apk,Aapks, APKPure or Yalp Store. Be wary of third party sources that claim to provide unmodified APKs from Google Play if an app signature, checksum or other means of verification is not available. Some may bundle in malware or adware.
- ApkTrack — Well, it's not an app store, but it scrapes a couple of sites for updates for apps you have installed, and gives you the direct .apk download for them. Useful for people who use proprietary software (e.g. Nova Launcher, KLWP), but want to avoid using the Play Store. One could argue that it's useless when Aptoide (with its verification and whatnot) already exists, but it never hurts to have more alternatives.
- Chrome/Default Browser
- Usually the default browser
- Just werks.
- Suffers from all the same problems as the desktop version of chrome (privacy concerns, bloat, etc). Not recommended.
- Firefox for Android
- Based on Chromium, FOSS and respects your freedoms;
- Baked-in adblock engine with filters from EasyList, EasyPrivacy and others
- Removes click-tracking and AMP from search results
- Brave for Android
- Based on Chromium. Open Source, developed by Brave Software, founded by former Mozilla exec Brendan Eich
- Built-in AdBlock, tracking and security protection, and further speed optimizations.
- Has an upcoming micropayment feature that is somewhat controversial
- Follows Google's UI pattern;
- Uses the Webview engine integrated with the Android system, so older versions of Android may have security issues with this browser;
- The Playstore has a paid "plus" version and a free version. Plus comes with integrated, optional adblocking and Free version is limited to 10 tabs open at a time;
- The version on F-Droid is identical to the Playstore's paid version, but free of charge.
- Naked Browser
- Very minimalistic, barebones UI;
- Lists trust as the first feature in the description;
- Author is a confirmed /g/entooman.1;
- Uses the Webview engine integrated with the Android system, so older versions of Android may have security issues with this browser.
- Based on the latest Firefox release (codenamed Fenix).
- It has proprietary bits and telemetry removed, but still connects to various Mozilla and Google services that can track users.
- Based on Mozilla's Fenix version of Firefox, GeckoView and Mozilla Android Components.
- about:config support
- Easy way to download the .apk files and keep updated a variety of browsers from github. Includes Bromite, Brave, Iceraven and more.
- Kuroba -- Forked from Clover after the main developer stop accepting pull requests. Fixes a ton of bugs, supports 4chan, as well as many others. The go-to client.
- Overchan — Another fork of overchan. Browse a number of russian and non-russian imageboards.
- Dashchan — Powerful *chan browser, made by the Russians at 2ch.hk. uses the extension apps for supporting particular imageboards.
For most users, the app will you use to communicate will be dependent on the platform your friends use (or you have forced them onto). Most platforms will have their own app that you can use however they will usually contain many anti-features. Some platforms have 3rd party apps which may not save your privacy but may make your experience better.
Majority of the apps here will only work if both parties have it, otherwise it simply is a fancy replacement for the messages app.
- Signal — The successor of TextSecure and RedPhone. It provides end-to-end encrypted VoIP and IM over Wi-Fi or cellular internet using your existing phone number. It is recommended by both Snowden and Bruce Schneier. It previously required Google Play, but now you can download the APK from the website directly.
- Silence — Send encrypted SMS messages. Fork of TextSecure with only the SMS encryption and no internet messaging. Available in Google and F-Droid App Store.
- GNU Jami — Serverless, DHT-based messenger, a GNU project of the Free Software Foundation.
- Xabber (XMPP and others) — has OTR support.
- Conversations — God tier XMPP client supporting OMEMO, GPG, and OTR encryption.
- K-9 Mail (Email) — supports OpenPGP if APG is installed.
- FairEmail — Open source, privacy friendly email app
- Telegram (IM) — a more secure WhatsApp/Viber replacement (please be aware that the server side is still proprietary, although you can still use "secret chats").
- QKSMS — If you don't care about security, this is a very nice one to use instead of Google Hangouts or your phone's preinstalled messaging app. It is open source also.
- Revolution IRC - Decent IRC client. Is open source.
- GoneMAD Music Player — (Paid proprietary) Know the recently released Foobar2000 for Android? This app more or less is what its' devs are trying to recreate - and they can't do it, despite the fact that it was in development for years. Supports a shitload of formats including .opus(!!), and it has a decent UI, which is reminiscent of Vanilla Player and Rocket Player combined. Good, robust app.
- Vanilla Music — A superior FOSS music player.
- Timber — yet another open-source mp.
- SicMu Player — Ultra barebones lightweight FOSS music player that's based on folders displayed in a file hierarchy tree view, in addition to some nice basic features.
- MX Player — A solid player. Will play nearly everything (some formats will require a custom codec), really good subtitle support. Proprietary and ad-supported.
- VLC — Android version of the vastly popular VLC client. Plays everything.
- MPV — /g/s recommended desktop video player is on android. Suggested for those who want a FOSS video player, but don't like VLC.
- Vanced — YouTube Vanced is a mod for the youtube app. It adds features such as adblock, background play, popout player, etc. It requires root for all its features to work.
- NewPipe — A lightweight YouTube front end without the botnet. Can download videos for offline viewing, play audio in background, play videos in a small window while using other apps. Supports subscribtions without a Google account. Can be used for Soundcloud, MediaCCC and FramaTube as well. It is under heavy development, uptaded regularly.
- Skytube — YouTube client with hardware acceleration, it can subscribe you to channels without an account.
Privacy and Security
- AFWall+ Easy to use firewall (requires root).
- KeePassDroid, KeePass DX, Keepass2Android — KeePass/KeePassX compatible password managers.
- Locker Factory resets your device after a customisable number of login failures (requires root).
- NetGuard — Firewall that works as a local VPN. It doesn't require root.
- OpenKeychain APG (OpenPGP).
- Shelter — Uses the work profile feature to isolate apps from having access to files, contacts, apps, etc., from the main profile. The isolated apps can also be freezed.
- Wi-Fi Privacy Police — Defeat certain methods of Wi-Fi location tracking.
- XPrivacyLua — Successor to XPrivacy that doesn't seem to suffer from the same problems as the old version. Made by the same author as the original XPrivacy. Requires Xposed and Android 6.0+.
- XPrivacy — Requires Xposed. Allows you to restrict app permissions.
- AdAway — Blocks ads by editing host files - requires root.
- Adguard — Works as a local VPN. Also battery hungry, but lets you use a firewall even if you don't have root, and can filter mobile traffic.
- Blokada — Ad-block that works a local VPN and doesn't require root. Can use multiples lists for rules, e.g. AdAway.
- DNS66 — Blocking host names through DNS. Can be used for ad-blocking. Best part is that it doesn't require root, or fucking around with proxy settings. Worst part is that it's got a couple of issues. Be a good /g/entoomen and help the dev find and squash bugs, or suggest features.
- Ghost Commander — Another Norton Commander clone. Gives access to all files on the device. Requires root.
- Amaze — Available on F-Droid, features material design, and has root options.
- Solid Explorer — Free trial for 2 weeks pay required later, but APKs exist. Payment also doesn't work for everyone.
- FX File Explorer — File manager with archive creator and extractor, media player, image viewer, binary (hex) viewer and text editor. Root capabilities possible with free add-on app. Premium add-on enables access to cloud services, SMB, WebDAV, FTP, sending files directly to another instance on another device through NFC and/or Wi-Fi as well as accessing files from the browser. APKs exist.
- OI File Manager — Very lightweight file manager.
- Dir — FOSS ultra lightweight and barebones file manager with all the basic features you'd probably need and literally nothing more.
- Organic Maps — Privacy-respecting OpenStreetMap based mapping with a clean interface.
- MAPS.ME — OpenStreetMap based offline map and turn by turn navigation.
- OsmAnd — OpenStreetMap based mapping. Allows you to store detailed mapping info locally for offline access.
Photography And Photo Gallery
- Open Camera — Feature-rich open-source camera app.
- LeafPic Revived — Alternative Image Gallery, Material Design and FOSS.
- Simple Gallery — FOSS gallery part of a series of FOSS apps made by the same developer.
- Obscuracam - FLOSS camera app made by The Guardian Project to obscure faces in photographs.
- Camera Roll - Fast and intuitive Gallery replacement with cropping, EXIF editor, file manager. No longer maintained.
- A Photo Manager - Super lightweight.
- LibreTorrent — Free and open source torrent client, very similar to Flud but without the ads.
- Torrent Client — A Torrent Client.
- AntennaPod — An Excellent podcast manager that is available on F-Droid.
- RadioDroid — A wiki-based, open source streaming radio player.
- Transistor — A bare bones app for listening to radio programs over the internet.
- Material Tea Timer — A fucking material tea-timer so you can have your tea tasting just right, ensuring peak coziness in the cold during months. Cafe de Touhou is also recommended playing in the background.
- Forecastie — Get the weather forecast for anywhere in the world, cached for offline use.
- Kiwix — A web reader for offline content, notably Wikipedia.
- Aard2 -- Offline dictionary and wiki reader for .slob files.
- Editor — A simple text editor that saves documents in plain-text format.
- PirateBox — Run a fileshare/chat wireless hotspot. Requires root.
- spaRSS — Auto-updating RSS feed reader with full text extraction (no more truncated feeds).
- Survival Manual — Learn how to survive innawoods. A great companion for both veterans and newbies alike. Hell, it's a good read even if you're not going anywhere. Guide is based on the (public domain) US Army Survival Field-Manual FM 21-76, and is fully working offline. Even has illustrations.
- microG — FOSS re-implementation of Google's proprietary Android user space apps and libraries. Great for those who desire a bit more privacy, but still want to continue using Google's services. When used on older phone, it can even better your battery life. (Your ROM needs to support signature spoofing - Omni 5 and 6 have it in out of the box, but other ROMs require a patch. If you're not comfortable with running xposed, or just want to avoid it for some reason, you can use Needle by moosd). Implementation status can be viewed here.
- MuPDF — The Android port of a well known and efficient PDF reader. There is also a mini version with less bloat.
- Document Viewer — Basically MuPDF (literally) but better. Supports many common file formats (except .doc and .docx, but you should be exporting to .pdf like an adult). Respects your privacy together with a good balance of being feature-rich, yet simple to use. Comes with sane defaults but offers extensive customization. Since it's built on MuPDF for document rendering it looks great, while the bookshelf view is also very nice to look at. Overall a great app for reading.
- Tachiyomi — Free and open source manga reader for Android
- Diary — a Diary (not bloated). Notes are stored as .txts, sorted by dayte and put in /year/month subdirectories. Includes calendar interface to help navigate notes.
- MidSequer2 | v1 - Basic piano-roll midi sequencer with straightforward interface.
1 Has a bookmark of /g/ in one of the demo screenshots.
- Prism Break — Lists software that respect your freedom and privacy (and points out those which do not).
- Droid Break — Lists notable free and open source software.