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This chapter is geared towards intermediate users. Some tech skills are required.

A list of 50 tracker-free FOSS apps

F-Droid

F-Droid

If you are the proud owner of an Android phone, have a look at F-Droid! It's an app store exclusively hosting free and open-source applications. Installing and keeping F-Droid up to date should be pretty straight forward. More detailed instructions below. For additional details or questions, refer to F-Droid's documentation or ask the F-Droid community.

Show me the step-by-step installation guide

Steps Instructions
Download Open up your phone's browser, navigate to F-Droid's website and download the .apk file.
Allow installation from unknown sources Open the downloaded .apk file. Your phone should prompt something like "For your security, your phone is not allowed to install unknown apps from this source". To temporarily allow installation from unknown sources, click on Settings ‣ Allow from this source.
Install F-Droid Leave the settings page and click on Install.
Forbid installation from unknown sources Browse to your phone's Settings to disable installation from unknown sources. Depending on your phone, this option might be located in Settings ‣ Apps & notifications ‣ Advanced ‣ Special app access ‣ Install unknown apps. Select your browser and disable the option Allow from this source.
Launch F-Droid After the first launch, F-Droid will update the software repository. That's the list of all the software packages available on F-Droid. This update can take a while, be patient.
Enable automatic updates Navigate to F-Droid's Settings page and enable the options Automatically install updates as well as Show available updates.
Manually update repositories Back on F-Droid's home screen, swipe down to refresh all repositories.

Can I install F-Droid or FOSS apps on my iPhone?

Owners of iOS devices are out of luck. Apple's walled garden makes it practically incompatible with mobile FOSS apps. Under the pretext of security, Apple's use of copyright lock and access control forecloses any tinkering, jailbreaking, repairing or diagnosis on iOS devices. Apple — not the user — gets to decide what content can be accessed, what apps can be installed and when the device needs to be thrown away.


Aurora Store

Aurora Store

Not all useful Android apps are FOSS, tracker-free or available on F-Droid. That doesn't necessarily mean they are bad. It also doesn't mean you have to use Google's Play Store. Install Aurora store instead, an alternative app store where you can download, update or search for apps without a Google account.


Tracker-free apps

Tracker-free apps (F-Droid)

FOSS application Description
FOSS browser FOSS browser Simple and light weight browser.
Webapps Webapps Turns your favourite mobile websites into secure apps.
Tutanota Tutanota Open source email application. Dark theme, encryption, instant push notifications, auto-sync, full-text search, swipe gestures, etc.
Librem mail Librem mail Open source email application. Encryption, multiple accounts, fork of K-9 Mail.
Simple email Simple email Open source email application. Privacy friendly, encryption, multiple accounts, two way sync, offline storage, dark theme, search on server, simple design.
K-9 mail K-9 mail Open source email application. Supports POP3 and IMAP, but only supports push mail for IMAP.
Silence Silence Encryted SMS and MMS application to protect your privacy.
Element Element Open source client for the matrix protocol. Matrix is an network for secure, end-to-end encrypted, decentralised communication. Can be run off self-hosted servers.
Briar Briar Open source messenger. Peer-to-peer (does not rely on central servers), end-to-end encryption, minimal exposure of information. Uses Tor.
Tusky Tusky Lightweight client for Mastodon, a free and open-source social network to replace Twitter or Facebook.
RedReader RedReader Client for reddit.com.
Feeder Feeder Open source RSS feed reader. No tracking, no need for an account, offline reading, background synchronisation, notifications.
Flym Flym Open source RSS reader.
Osmand Osmand Open source app for online & offline maps and navigation.
Open camery Open camera Feature rich camera app, including auto-stabilisation, multizoom touch, flash, face detection, timer, burst mode, silenceable shutter, and many more.
Simple gallery Simple gallery Highly customizable offline gallery, requires no Internet access to protect your privacy. Organise and edit photos, recover deleted files, protect and hide files and view a huge variety of different photo and video formats including RAW, SVG and much more.
Simple music player Simple music player Music player, easily controllable from the status bar, the home screen widget or by hardware buttons on your headset. Fully open source, contains no ads or unnecessary permissions. Fully customizable colors.
Simple calculator Simple calculator Fully open source calculator, without ads or unnecessary permissions. Customizable colors.
Simple notes Simple notes ully open source note taking app, without ads or unnecessary permissions. Customizable colors and widget.
Notepad Notepad Simple open source note taking app.
Carnet Carnet Powerful open source note taking app, with sync capabilities (incl. NextCloud) and online editor.
Markor Markor Open source text editor with markdown support.
Simple clock Simple clock Clock, alarm, stopwatch, timer. Fully open source, no ads or unnecessary permissions. Customizable colors.
Simple Alarm clock Simple Alarm clock Open source alarm clock with powerful features and clean interface.
Simple contacts Simple contacts Simple app for creating or managing contacts. Fully open source, no ads or unnecessary permissions. Customizable colors. Contacts can be stored locally on devices only, or synchronised with the cloud. If you host your own server, this app can be used to manage and synchronise contacts.
Open contacts Open contacts Open source contact app.
Simple calendar Simple calendar Fully customizable offline calendar to organise single or recurring events, birthdays, anniversaries, business meetings, appointments, etc. Daily, weekly and monthly views available. Fully open source, no ads or unnecessary permissions. Customizable colors. If you host your own server, this app can be used to manage and synchronise calendars.
Etar Etar Material designed open source calendar. Works with online calendars. Free, open source and without ads.
OpenTasks OpenTasks Open source task manager. If you host your own server, this app can be used to manage and synchronise tasks.
Davx5 Davx5 Open source client to synchronise contacts, calendars and task lists. Can be used with a self-hosted server or a trusted hoster.
AntennaPod AntennaPod Advanced podcast manager and player. Provides instant access to millions of free and paid podcasts, from independent podcasters to large publishing houses such as the BBC, NPR and CNN.
RadioDroid RadioDroid Listen to online radio stations.
Document viewer Document viewer View various file formats, including pdf, djvu, epub, xps and comic books (cbz, fb2).
LibreOffice viewer Libre Office viewer View docx, doc, xlsx, xls, pptx, ppt, odt, ods and odp files.
Keepass DX Keepass DX Secure and open source password manager.
andOTP andOTP Free and open-source application for two-factor authentication.
Free OTP Free OTP Open source two-factor authenticator.
Aegis Aegis Free, secure and open source two-factor authenticator.
OpenVPN Open VPN If you host your own server, this app can be used to establish a VPN connection.
Proton VPN Proton VPN Secure and free VPN. Claims not to log user activity. Features encryption, Swiss privacy laws, DNS leak protection, kill switch and more.
Simple file manager Simple file manager Browse and edit files. Open source, no ads, customizable colors.
Seafile Seafile If you host your own server, this app can be used to manage and synchronise cloud files.
Anysoft keyboard Anysoft keyboard Open source keyboard, multi-language support, voice input, gesture support, night mode, theme support, privacy friendly.
Simple keyboard Simple keyboard Open source keyboard.
Open board Open board Open source keyboard.
Hacker's keyboard Hacker's keyboard Open source keyboard with separate number keys, punctuation in the usual places, and arrow keys.
Newpipe Newpipe Lightweight Youtube app, without proprietary API or Google's play services. Also supports PeerTube.
Thorium Thorium Peer tube is a decentralised video hosting network, based on FOSS.
Quick dic Quick dic Offline dictionary.
Exodus Exodus Find out which trackers and permissions are embedded in your apps.
Zim launcher Zim launcher Free, open source launcher app, without ads.


Aurora Store

Privacy-respecting apps (Aurora)

Application Description
Firefox Firefox Fast, secure and private browser. Caution: 3 trackers (Adjust, LeanPlum, Google Analytics).
Tor browser Tor browser Tor browser for Android. Blocks trackers, defends against surveillance, resists fingerprinting, encrypts internet traffic. Caution: 3 trackers (Adjust, LeanPlum, Google Analytics).
Protonmail Protonmail The world's largest secure email service, developed by CERN and MIT scientists. Open source and protected by Swiss privacy law. No trackers.
Signal Signal Fast, simple and secure messaging. End-to-end encrypted text, voice, videos, documents, pictures. Open source, no ads. No trackers. Caution: requires your phone number.
Lawnchair Lawnchair 2 Free and open source launcher. Customise icon size, labels, rows, columns, icon packs, notifications, and much more. No trackers.


FOSS apps

Other FOSS apps

FOSS application Description
Icecat Icecat GNU version of Firefox. It's main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code is free software, Mozilla distributes and recommends nonfree software, such as plug-ins and addons. Caution: 1 tracker (Mozilla Telemetry).
Fennec Fennec F-Droid Privacy-focused version of Firefox. It's focused on removing any proprietary bits found in official Mozilla's buildes. Caution: 2 trackers (Adjust, LeanPlum).
Bromite Bromite Chromium browser, including ad blocking and enhanced privacy. Not available on F-Droid.
Ncalc+ Ncalc+ Powerful open source calculator. Not available on F-Droid. Caution: 2 trackers (Google crashlytics, Google analytics).
Insane alarm Insane alarm Open source alarm, will wake you up no matter what! Not available on F-Droid.
Tasks.org Tasks.org Open source task manager. If you host your own server, this app can be used to manage and synchronise tasks. Caution: 2 trackers (Google CrashLytics, Google Analytics).
Standard notes Standard notes Free, open source and completely encrypted notes app. Caution: 1 tracker (bugsnag)
Magic earth Magic earth Uses OpenStreetMap data, not really open source though. Not available on F-Droid. Claims not to track users. Includes Dashcam, navigation, traffic info, public transport schedules and weather.
Transportr Transportr Open source app for public transport time schedules in Europe and overseas. Caution: 1 tracker (mapbox)
Free tube Free tube Open source Youtube app for privacy. Not available on F-Droid.
Fossdroid Fossdroid Marketplace similar to F-Droid, promoting free and open source apps on the Android platform.

Sources for more FOSS apps:


Support

Support

For further details or questions, refer to F-Droid's community or ask the Reddit community for help.