My phone intersects on various aspects of my life such as minimalism, de-googling, FLOSS, etc. As a result of that I’m often posting lists of apps on various subreddits to share my practices and I thought it’d be neat to collect it all here.
I have a barebones android phone without any of the Google framework in; meaning I don’t have the playstore etc. My apps tend to be from F-Droid so non-commercial, open, and quite pragmatic.
My minimalism here is embodied through only really carrying around what I need on the phone, as there’s not really the chance to get distracting apps and choosing apps with very minimal or functional designs.
A lot of my apps are default system apps which are generally omitted from this list. My main tension point is around the audio apps as I have three – one for each podcasts, music, and audiobooks. I’ve not found a good single app that does all three well at all and each of the ones I’ve chosen are exquisitely designed. So I guess they’re minimal in the sense they’re really good at one thing.
Apps that I use:
- Audio – AntennaPod for Podcasts, Voice for audiobooks, and Odyssey for music. I tried to use the default Music app for android but it’s become abandonware and wasn’t playing tracks in any reasonable or predictable order. Odyssey is blazing fast, looks pretty, and follows material design well.
- Cloud sync – Nextcloud as my dropbox alternative and DAVx^5 to sync my calendar and contacts to my Nextcloud server without Google’s involvement. DAVx^5 kinda gets out of the way and I don’t need to open it ever, but included it here for completeness
- Email – default android email client
- Web browser – GNU Ice cat mobile
- File browsing – I’ve recently switched to Material Files after Amaze had become abandonware. I tried to use the default system file browser, honestly I tried. But it wasn’t showing folders properly, wouldn’t copy/paste well at all. I hated it but tbh I hate Google even more for making it abandonware.
- Security – I’m a tecchie so carry around encryption keys in OpenKeychain and passwords in Password Store
- Messaging – Signal
- Notes – Markor
- Wellbeing – Loop Habits Tracker to track habits like exercise, diet, etc. and Red Moon to make my phone less harsh on my eyes
- Maps – OSMand+
- Misc – I use Newpipe for YouTube videos although the context of my phone this is usually to use its audio download feature to nab a music track. I also, weirdly, have Loyalty card keychain installed. I only have a Co-op membership card myself (co-ops ftw), but carry around my friends’ cards on this to nab them the points for things.
And that’s it really. Other than the clock / calculator which I use sometimes and my sadly proprietary banking app. No social apps. I also installed a minimalist greyscale icon set and have a greyscale wallpaper. Occasionally Telegram makes an appearance on my phone for specific times when I need to contact someone who uses it, but mostly I use Telegram on my laptop.