Opening a binary file such as an Apk is one of the first programming tasks that should be attempted by a beginner in Android. If a file cannot be opened it becomes difficult to debug and analyze the contents of the file in order to extract useful pieces of information.
As an app developer, your primary goal is to release a successful and competitive app. Aside from appealing to the public, you also want a boost in your income from it. In order to do that, you first have to make money from your apps by placing advertisements in it or selling it. However, free apps with no advertisements can be more profitable as they are more popular. Also, some users may decide to not buy your app while others might not like the idea of having advertisements in the app. That is why you need to resort on open source code apk.
Telegram is one of the mostly used encrypted instant messaging service available for Android and iOS. Learn from the Telegram code — how an instant messaging app with super security works.
NewPipe is somewhat a lightweight version of YouTube that unlocks a heap of otherwise restricted features. The app comes with a simple UI but is packed with some powerful features — background player, picture-in-picture mode, download support for offline playback and on top, it’s a completely free open-source Android app with no-ads. The main plus point of this app is its “extended privacy” — NewPipe protects user privacy since no proprietary Google APIs is there in the code and only send information which are required to get video and channel details.
- Google Play: Not Available
- Source code: GitHub
Let’s start this article with one of my favorites and best-designed open-source Android apps. SoundSpice is an offline music player app that conforms to modern design language. The app’s UI is both functional and useful. It’s also a light-weight app that makes it excellent even for older Android devices. The app is 100% free to use and even brings modern UI features such as dark mode. One of my favorite features of this app is the real-time lyrics look-up. It allows me to quickly get song lyrics with a tap. If you are not using online music streaming services and still listen to your offline music collection, you should try this app.
A real open source alternative to Microsoft Office
Operating system: Windows, macOS, LinuxTODAY’S BEST DEALSVISIT SITE
REASONS TO BUY
+Full set of office apps+Supports Microsoft files+Lots of templates
REASONS TO AVOID
With support for documents, spreadsheets, databases, presentations, diagrams, and mathematical formulae, LibreOffice is essentially a free version of the world’s most popular office productivity suite, Microsoft 365.
Some would actually argue that LibreOffice is the more fully-featured of the two, thanks to its dedicated developer community which is adding new tools and tricks all the time. For example, in the latest update, LibreOffice added a QR code generator tool so you can quickly create mobile-friendly links.
An alternative well-known open source office tool is Open Office, which offers many similar features to LibreOffice. The reason that LibreOffice has taken the top spot today is that it is much better at preserving Microsoft file formats. In other words, your formatting won’t get screwed up if you need to modify a document originally written in Microsoft Word.
The only downside to this awesome free office software is that editing documents collaboratively online is a bit tricky. Recently, an online editing option has been added but it still requires some technical know-how to implement.
Another beautiful and useful open-source Android application that I install instantly on a new Android device is QKSMS. It’s a third-party texting client for normal messages. My favorite feature of this app is the ability to customize the look and feel of the app. The app supports dual and multi-SIM devices so you have no problems there. It also supports normal MMS protocol allowing you to share media files like photos and audio files. One outstanding feature of this app is the ability to create group messages. Overall, I quite like this app and always prefer it over the built-in messaging app.
If you are looking for a privacy-friendly open-source email app for your Android device, look no farther than FairEmail. It brings all the modern email features including support for unlimited accounts and unlimited email addresses, unified inbox, conversation threading, two-way synchronization, and more. It’s also very small (>12MB) and is very light on resources. Finally, I love that it supports the material design language and dark mode. Gone are the days when open-source email clients were ugly and hard-to-use. FairEmail brings a modern email experience to your Android device.
VLC Media Player
An open source media player than can play virtually anything
Operating system: Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSTODAY’S BEST DEALSVISIT SITE
REASONS TO BUY
+Runs well on old hardware+Plays virtually any media file+Optimizes playback
REASONS TO AVOID
-Complex menu system
VLC (or VideoLAN Client) media player is a lightweight application created by an open source development group known as the VideoLAN project. This video and media player has been leading the industry for years in terms of popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. You can use VLC media player to open audio and video files in just about any format without having to hunt down extra codecs.
VLC also works for streaming media such as podcasts and online radio stations. But perhaps the greatest VLC media player feature is playback control. You can change almost everything about how your media is displayed from hardware optimization to adding subtitle files from third-party sources.
Like some of the other amazing open source offerings mentioned here, VLC is constantly being upgraded with new goodies and features to explore. The latest updates to the free video player have included the ability to stream to other devices (like Chromecasts) and 360-degree video support for VR headsets.
It’s 2020 and you should be using a password manager to generate, use, and store secure passwords across all your accounts. But if for skeptical of third-party password managers that use their propriety code, you should check out Keepass2. Keepass2 is an open-source password manager for our Android device. It stores all your passwords in a securely encrypted vault. It supports biometric authentication so you won’t have to enter your master password every time you log in. And it lets you synchronize your vault using the cloud or your server (Dropbox, Google Drive, SFTP, WebDAV, and many more). If you don’t trust online storage solutions, you can always keep your password offline. It’s the open-source Android app that every user should use.
A2DP Volume, also known as Android Bluetooth Volume Manager, is used to store data about your volume preferences per individual Bluetooth device so that you do not have to manually adjust the volume every time a new device is connected. You can also use an option to read incoming notifications or set a timer to delay this if you don’t want the notifications to be read out loud when you’re using your smartphone. Additionally, the app also offers you the feature to capture the GPS location every time a Bluetooth device is disconnected and the developer insists that you can use it as a car locator if you have a Bluetooth enabled stereo system. This is one of the lesser known open source Android apps that I use on a daily basis.
Picking issues to work on and making contributions
Projects may list the work that needs to be done in task, bug, and issue trackers. For example, Angular uses Github’s project management feature to outline and assign tasks and track their progress. If a project has one, get access to it.
As a rule of thumb, start with the easiest and smallest contributions first that take the least amount of work to build up your confidence and credibility before trying harder contributions. Writing documentation and fixing typos is a good place to begin. Look for issues that are tagged for beginners with the tags mentioned earlier.
After you pick a task you think you can finish, do your research. Read documentation, code, and discussions related to the task to get a better understanding of what to do. If you’re stuck on something even after you’ve researched it, reach out to the community and ask for help, clarification, or mentorship. However, make sure that you discuss issues related to the task publicly so that the rest of the community can benefit from what you learn. For example, discuss an issue publicly on Github versus in a private direct message on Slack. Once you feel like you have enough context on a task and know how to go about it, write some code and submit a PR. Github has a great checklist about what to check for before you contribute to a project so your effort is not wasted.
These days almost all of the Android apps are open source.In my tutorial I’m going to explain how you can create an apk file from your source code and submit it to Google Play.