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Cellphones Software

Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps? 167

An anonymous reader writes: The phone app ecosystem has matured nicely over the past several years. There are apps for just about everything I need to do on my phone. But I've noticed that once an app fills a particular need, I don't tend to look for newer or potentially better apps that would replace it. In a lot of areas, I'm two or three years out of date — maybe there's something better, maybe not. Since few people relish the thought of installing, testing, and uninstalling literally hundreds of apps, I thought I'd put the question to the Slashdot community: what interesting, useful new(ish) apps are you aware of? This can be anything from incredibly slick, well-designed single purpose apps to powerful multi-function apps to entertainment-oriented apps.
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Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

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  • music streamer (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2014 @02:20PM (#47791703)

    If you've got more than a few GB of music then get subsonic. You can stream your full collection from home to your phone to listen to at work, in the car, etc. When you're offline or configured to only stream over wifi you can have it stick to playing the last few GB you've configured to cache on your device.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 30, 2014 @02:52PM (#47791895)

    F-Droid is without competition: The only app store for open source software.
    OsmAnd is a navigation and mapping app which works with free offline maps based on OpenStreetMap.
    K9-Mail is an email app with IMAP-push support: get a notification as soon as mail arrives on your server.
    Xabber is a multi-protocol chat client.

    All of these apps are free (as in beer and in speech). None of these apps require the Google apps on your Android phone.

  • by RanceJustice ( 2028040 ) on Saturday August 30, 2014 @05:59PM (#47792627)

    I tend to gravitate towards FOSS when possible to be used on a rooted, custom Android ROM. Here are a few useful ones I've found...

    Note: Most of the following can be found on GooglePlay, in addition to other locations. They may also be on other app marketplaces, but these are those I've confirmed. Sometimes, there is a difference in version number or whatnot between F-Droid, GooglePlay, and an .apk downloaded from a homepage, so be aware.

    F-Droid ( - a FOSS app marketplace. Not the only place to find FOSS apps, but a great option for any interested uses.

    RomToolbox Pro (Google Play) - If you like to tweak, mess around with rooting and custom ROMs, RomToolbox has a great selection of utilities. Not entirely
    FOSS, but it is basically a wrapper for a ton of utilities, some of which have source available. The Pro version opens a few new features and supports the platform; generally worthwhile!

    Firefox for Android (Google Play) - Mozilla's privacy focused, FOSS browser. Has many of the same great features (add-ons etc..) as on desktop.

    GuardianProject apps ( - Lots of great utilities here, including Orbot (TOR for Android) and Orweb (TOR browser bundle for Android so to speak, based on Orbot and Firefox Mobile), ChatSecure (OTR-enabled XMPP client), and more. They also support, a SIP provider with privacy in mind.

    Antox ( - Android version of the FOSS "Skype alternative, but secure" TOX project

    OpenWhisperSystems apps ( - TextSecure and RedPhone are FOSS, encrypted SMS (and other text messaging) and mobile dialing apps respectively. If talking to a fellow user of the program, it automatically negotiates a secure connection, yet they still both work to send common texts and calls. Using them as your main apps still have some benefits (ie such as TextSecure taking both text and pictures you receive and storing them in an encrypted form on arrival). Note - TextSecure is new and up to par, RedPhone is a bit sparse and is being completely redone. They also offer Flock (very newly developed), a CardDAV/CalDAV FOSS app that allows you to sync contacts, calendars and more. Pay a couple a bucks and user their servers, or host your own.

    FreeOTP (Google Play) - With Google Authenticator no longer FOSS, this is your new best friend in Android 2-factor Authentication. You can generate and pair lots of different codes; if I remember correctly a RedHat dev wrote/maintains it. Works with all major 2FA standards and has lots of options!

    CSipSimple ( - A ZRTP/OTR supporting SIP client for Android. LinPhone (found on F-Droid) is a good alternative as well.

    K9 Mail (F-Droid) - This is a great, full featured Android mail client, that just happens to be FOSS. Plugin system too.

    MediaCrush ( - Not really an app per se, but one of my favorite image/media hosting sites around. Works with just about every media format, has an API, clients, and plug-ins for various browsers and platforms. FOSS, if you want to host your own MediaCrush site. Privacy focused too.

    KeePass2Android ( and GooglePlay) - A FOSS, full-featured, modern form of the KeePass database software for Android. Works with the newest KeePass 2.x database (.kdbx) styles. There's even an offline-only version if you prefer! Note, this is different from "KeePassDroid", which has less features and limited compatibility with the 2.x database format.

    Plumble (F-Droid) - A quality Android client for connecting to Mumble servers (Mumble being the gaming-focused, FOSS VOIP system)

    OwnCloud (, GooglePlay ) - One of the best FOSS cloud storage options, OwnCloud has an official client for Android. You can compile it yourself, but the pre-compiled version on GooglePlay is $0.99. You will need an OwnCloud server to connect to somewhere, of course. Consider this an alternati

  • Re:Audible (Score:4, Informative)

    by Roarkk ( 303058 ) on Sunday August 31, 2014 @08:27AM (#47794849) Homepage Journal
    Librivox ( [] ) is also valuable on this front. Not all of the recordings are great, but it's free (as in beer) audiobooks for books that have entered the public domain.

The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the fabricator and impossible for the serviceman.