8 Android apps to sate your lust for open-source

Mobile & tablets

by Jimmy Nicholls| 30 April 2014

Free games, tools and productivity apps for you to sample.

Open-source software is the philanthropic side of tech. While the Googles, Amazons and Facebooks of the world are out making billions, amateurs are still hunched over their desks in bedrooms, classrooms and offices knocking out code for little more than the joy of it, and perhaps some recognition.

Windows has long been a breeding ground for such efforts, with alternatives for nearly any programme you can think of. Linux, an OS built around the open-source principle, is equally served. But Google's Android platform is a lesser known source for projects that anybody can contribute to.

The following apps can be accessed through Google Play or F-Droid, a third-party source for apps. To install the latter simply navigate over to this link via your mobile browser of choice and hit download. Once it's set up you are free to browse the repository at your leisure.

Firefox's app for mobile is sleek and easy to use.

1. Firefox

The recently updated browser has had a younger brother for mobile for a while. More friendly to use than the browser that comes bundled with the phone, and the alternatives such as Opera and Dolphin, this app gives you easy access to your frequented sites, history and bookmarks, as well as an intuitive tab system. Like the desktop version, you can extend the functionality of the browser through the add-ons menu, and you can also browse privately - useful for the more, er, discreet among you.

2. Wikipedia

It's no surprise the crowd-sourced encyclopaedia has an open-source app, and a very tidy one it is too. Pages are displayed with sections tabbed and info panes neatly rendered, with internal and external links present and correct. There are also the standard tools for sharing, bookmarking, and even changing language. There's no better way to research your essay while on the move.

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