There are lots – and we mean lots – of free apps out there for your Android smartphone. However most of them are just free to push ads onto your phone, or they’re cut down versions which nag you to upgrade to get the ‘full’ version. Which is why this online catalog of open source apps for Android really makes a refreshing change.
Fossdroid is a nicely styled online compendium of open source Android apps which are arranged in a useful selection of categories. You can browse your way through multimedia apps such as the wonderful VLC media player or classic games like Solitaire, knowing all the while that you’re supporting some real open source developers. And there’s a fair number of cool apps to select and download.
The site lets you download the .apk files directly, or access the source code for the app on Github, if you’re one of those that likes to tinker, which means that you have complete control over the installation of the app without having to rely on a Google Play account. Great if you want to add some cool apps without Google getting access to your details. And the fact that there are a good number of alternatives to Google apps available (like GPS navigation, media players and email clients) means you can set up a Google-free phone really easily.
The site also has a nice search function, but what we really like is the fact that each title has its own page, complete with a comments section that you can subscribe to. This lets you keep track of your favorite apps really easily, and also gives you a discussion point to try and help development continue. Definitely worth a bookmark if you’re an Android and open source fan! Nice!