More Open-Source Android Apps.

I was recently listening to the Cortex podcast’s episode “State of the Apps” (which was interesting to me despite me never having used or planning to use an iPhone). That episode prompted this post, which is a rant about what free and open-source apps I am using, and why.

Now, I have made a post about the FOSS Android apps I use in the before times, which is now hilariously out of date (both Twitter – sorry, “𝕏” – and Reddit have disabled third-party clients, and Bromite is dead), which means that my post was more of an obituary than an introduction, which sounds about right.


A survivor of my previous post, AdAway continues to run on my phone as my first line of defence against advertising. AdAway is an ad blocker for Android which works by pretending to be a VPN, so that Android directs all its internet traffic through it, and then filtering out requests to domains known to serve ads. However, that is not the only reason I use it – I also use it as a sneaky way to avoid YouTube tracking my watch history.

Now, I can write multiple articles on the several layers of hacks and “temporary” fixes (collectively known as jugaad) on which my internet life runs, but let me give you a sneak peek. As I said, AdAway can block select domain names based on crowdsourced lists of domains known to serve ads. These include several domains belonging to Google and YouTube, one of which (I have no idea which, or indeed, how many) of them sends my YouTube watch history to YouTube’s servers. Now, I can turn off watch history in the settings, but YouTube recently made a change so that you won’t be recommended videos if you disable your search history, which makes sense if you think about it, which is why I don’t. But, if I don’t turn off watch history on Google’s side, but ensure that none of the data actually gets sent to Google from my phone, then that means I will still be able to see recommended videos despite not getting my watch history sent to Google.


Last time I mentioned FitoTrack, which I use to track my walking sessions. But, it turns out, walking alone in the middle of the night on an empty street (it’s the only time I’m free) gets boring real fast. Which is why I now listen to podcasts, which is really easy to do with AntennaPod. It has loads of podcasts to listen to from a variety of sources, and is easy to use with my Bluetooth headphones, which is nice. It also periodically checks for new episodes of the podcasts that I listen to, so that the new episodes are ready to stream when I open the app. (This is a dig at NewPipe.)

Collabora Office

We finally have a good, usable open-source office suite to use on Android, which is not just an emulated version of LibreOffice for desktop. (OnlyOffice’s app is unbearably slow and out of date.) With Collabora Office, I have finally been able to uninstall Google Docs, which I seriously despise at this point. And the best part is that I don’t even have to make any compromises, the app is well-made for touch screen portrait mode devices and, because it uses the LibreOffice engine underneath, it has good compatibility with Microsoft Office files (no, I won’t call them “Office Open XML”; Microsoft Office’s default format isn’t actually OOXML but a similar format with the same file extensions which deviates from the standard (if you could call it that) for “backwards compatibility”.)


Droid-ify is a client for F-Droid, a repository of free and open-source apps for Android – basically, the Play Store with only open-source apps. This means you don’t have to muck about with APK files and websites to download apps which are not on the Play Store. F-Droid already has their own, official client which is slow, old-fashioned and bug-ridden, but I prefer Droid-ify far more, because it is fast, modern and bug-ridden. It also has several third-party repositories available to enable with one tap, which I really like.

Infinity for Reddit

I mentioned in the beginning of this article that Reddit disabled third-party apps. This is only partially true. In reality, they have actually set a limit for how many requests an app has sent to Reddit. This isn’t a limit for how many requests you send to Reddit, but how many times the app – across all installs in all the devices of all the users – sends a request. For a fairly popular app like Infinity, this would be far, far higher than the allowed quota. However, the quota is quite big for an individual user to go over. So, what I have done is that I used this Google Colab script to compile my own version of the app with my personal API key so that Reddit thinks I am using my own custom app, instead of the default API key for Infinity, which means I get to continue to use Infinity to browse Reddit free of ads. Whether this is a good thing remains questionable.

K-9 Mail

A major app I wish I knew about at the time of writing the original post is K-9 Mail, which is probably the most polished, user-friendly and modern-looking FOSS mail client for Android. So much so, it is actually part of the Thunderbird project now – which means, at some point in the future, it will gain the ability to sync with Thunderbird Desktop and become Thunderbird for Android. It is fast, reliable and easy to set up. I only wish it had Push synchronisation (notifications are sent as soon as you get an email) instead of Pull (checks every so often for new emails) by default.

YouTube ReVanced/ ReVanced Manager

I have never used YouTube Vanced, YouTube Revanced, ReVanced Manager or any other related app. I do not support or recommend using ReVanced Manager, and I do not think you should use it to modify the stock YouTube app to add new features like SponsorBlock, ad blocking, dislikes counter and background playing. Just to be clear, I have never modified the default YouTube app to add new features and improve my browsing experience using ReVanced Manager, available at I have also never downloaded the YouTube app’s APK by searching for “youtube combined apk” on any search engine or website, and I do not condone using this APK file, if it exists, to use with ReVanced Manager if your installed version of YouTube is not supported. I only use the default YouTube app, with its ads, popups and unfriendly layout to browse YouTube and have never modified it to use Return YouTube Dislikes to get back the dislikes feature on YouTube, which is a feature I obviously dislike.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions. See you in 2025!

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