This is the premiere app repository for apps that are open source and free from privacy-eroding code. On here are many awesome alternatives to many of the apps you will be used to from Google’s version of Android. From note apps and pdf viewers, to navigation, VPN apps and browsers, this is the first place to look for any functionality you need your device to be able to handle for you.
The F-Droid store can be found on their website: https://f-droid.org/
2. Aurora Store
If what you’re looking for can’t be found on F-Droid, Aurora Store is the next step. Downloaded and installed from F-Droid, this is a Google Play spoofer (kinda like a fake ID), which essentially allows you to access the entire library of free apps on Google Play with an anonymous throwaway account. It provides reports on apps that you look at, detailing any trackers that are embedded in the code of each app. It’s recommended that you stay away from any apps containing trackers, instead using a browser if you really need access to the service. This is the safest way to get the apps you need that aren’t open source and available on F-Droid. I used this to install the Brave browser, Signal, one of the best messaging apps available, and my favourite navigation app.
3. Magic Earth
This is my favourite navigation app. One of the major concerns I had when changing to a De-Googled phone, was navigation. I wasn’t sure there would be anything that is as good as Google Maps. That’s where Magic Earth comes in. This has all the features I could possibly want from a navigation app; it has great turn-by-turn navigation, public transport, and it has downloadable offline maps. To top it off, they don’t collect your data for profit. This is available on the Aurora Store, and is by far the best navigation app I’ve used so far.
4. Scrambled Exif
When you take a photo on your phone, a bunch of data is attached to the image, such as the time, date, and location coordinates; this is called metadata (data about data, in this case a photo). Scrambled Exif is a great little app that allows you to share images through it, removing all the metadata in the process, stopping your private information attached to photos being exposed. This is found on F-Droid.
This awesome app found on F-Droid, is a lightweight YouTube frontend; meaning it goes through YouTube and takes just the information it needs to be able to present it to you. It has no ads, and comes with features such as downloading videos, and listening to videos in the background. You can even subscribe to your favourite channels to get notifications on new videos, all without making an account. It doesn’t use any Google services, making it one of the most private ways to browse YouTube.
Honourable Mentions: Notaly & Loop Habit Tracker
Notaly is a classic note app that works in much the same way as Google Keep Notes, except with the benefit of not storing anything in the cloud, so there is no risk of the app harvesting your thoughts for profit. Loop Habit Tracker is a cool little app that allows you to keep track of your habits over time, with graphs, streaks and calendar readouts. You just set up the habits you want to keep, and mark them off as you work through them throughout each day.
And that’s our list for the top apps for De-Googled Phones! Personally, once I have F-Droid, Aurora Store, and Magic Earth, my device is capable of doing everything I really need it to do. From there, I know I can download anything else I want to set my device up the way I like. Some Operating Systems like /e/ and CalyxOS come with some of these apps preinstalled, which can save a bit of time on the initial setup. Don’t have a De-Googled phone yet? Click Here.