Reviews by Team: F-droid reviews

Reviews for apps on f-droid

4 stars
Powerful offline navigation app is as good as the map of your area

This is a great app. It might not be as polished and have as much of that just-works-ness as something like Google Maps, but consider that the map is stored locally on your phone. You’re not telling Google or some other giant tech company where you’re going. It’s also very flexible. You can add “favorite places” like bookmarks, tell it to remember your parking space, and even add Wikipedia annotations to landmarks.

Along with privacy comes the fact that there is bound to be room for improvement - and you have control over that. If something is missing or incorrect on the map, don’t throw up your hands and switch back to Waze or whatever you were using before. Remember that OpenStreetMap is edited by volunteers, kind of like Wikipedia. All you have to do is go to openstreetmap.org and start improving the map. Any changes you submit to OSM will soon be available as an update to the maps installed locally on your phone. If you see a mistake in Google maps, all you can do is submit a request for someone else to consider fixing it.

Pros: Privacy, flexibility, ability to edit maps, offline navigation

cons: maps take up a lot of storage. My maps take up a total of 1.24GB. UI might be confusing to some because of all the options and some general rough edges. Calculating a route might take a moment longer since the calculation is done by your phone’s CPU and not a remote server.


5 stars
The best YT client there is

NewPipe is a easy to use YouTube client that also supports other sources like SoundCloud oder FramaTube (both beta). It automatically blocks ads and has a built-in subscription feature, where you can also group channels e.g. to a catagory “LetsPlays”. You don’t need (and can’t use) a google account - so commenting and likes are not available.

I highly recommend using it, after I subscribed to some channels it became my daily YT client


5 stars
Finally, an open source weather app that looks good

I finally stopped searching for a weather app after finding Geometric Weather - not only this has a magnificient UI full of useful details, it also rocks some spicy widgets!

Works a hundred times better than the proprietary shit on the play store too so I mean, win win situation.


2 stars
Useful under certain conditions

From the projects homepage, “A free-as-in-freedom re-implementation of Google’s proprietary Android user space apps and libraries.”

Requirements

You’ll need a ROM with signature spoofing enabled natively or using a patcher like nanodroid-patcher. Magisk is optional but will help pass safetynet. Installation using nanodroid and Magisk is fairly easy.

GMSCore/UnifiedNlp

This is app implements play services and location services. The location services piece allows you to choose your location provider with options to use local or online databases. This saves you from sending your location to google several times a day when NOT using GPS and more when you are. I didn’t run many apps from the google store but in general had few issues even with apps that were supposed to use google services. Although, one app I needed could not get location and the log showed the same error as a bug report from over a year ago.

GsfProxy

This worked well when setup correctly but required that apps be installed after microg or the apps wouldn’t register correctly. GCM still sends data to google as an intermediary, the code running on your device is FOSS to limit your exposure to google. Some apps will probably miss funcationality since all of the messaging apis aren’t implemented. There’s no database telling you what will or won’t work, you have to find out for yourself.

Safetynet

This is a service provided by google to check that your phone has not been modified or applications won’t allow you to use them. Passing safetynet is a constant cat and mouse game with google changing setting so one day you’ll pass and then you won’t. Magisk should help by hiding your modifications but issues still seem to crop up based on the open issues.

Long Term Update

After a year plus of usage, I had a generally positive experience but, had to switch back after needing to use an unsupported app and unifiedNlp stopped working correctly.

Verdict

A much needed app to put google at arms length on your phone. Usage is not for the faint of heart. You’ll want to limit your apps that use google services for the best experience. You’ll also have to be a part time sys admin with backups and updates of the device for when somethings goes wrong.


5 stars
FOSS, Extensible web browser

Fennec is a build of Firefox’s source available through f droid. This allows installing Firefox without having to use the google play store.

Fennec comes with most, if not all, the features of Firefox. The F Droid page says " It’s focused on removing any proprietary bits found in official Mozilla’s builds." I haven’t noticed any missing features though. You can add extensions like u block origin.

Speed seems on par with other browsers.


5 stars
Full featured local location backend

Deja Vu stores the locations of wifi APs and cell towers on your phone. This allows for greater accuracy than using gps alone and allows you to do it without pinging google may times a day like stock android phones with location services turned on do.

This app requires MicroG’s UnifiedNlp to work which requires a ROM with signature spoofing enabled. The easiest way to get this is to use a custom ROM like Lineage with Microg or use NanoDroid with a custom ROM.

Important app for retaining functionality while degoogling your android phone.


4 stars
Really fun!  ja

This is a simple, straightforward game, and a clone of a certain popular Android game. It provides quite a bit of fun and works as a nice break for when you need to keep yourself awake during a boring task, like studying.

The levels are randomly generated so the game always feels fresh. It can be frustratingly hard to get past the initial stages, though.


4 stars
Blocks tracking from browser and apps

Opensource ad blocker for Android that filters all outbound requests for ads and tracking using any combination of premade lists, whitelist and blacklist. You can also switch dns providers by selecting from a list or adding one. UI is simple and effective.

Blokada works by using Android’s vpn feature to route all outbound requests through it. This allows it to filter all requests that come from the device.

Long Term Update

After 6 months of usage, the only issue that came up is occasional issues with program staying alive. The app silently died so I didn’t notice for a while. Turning on the Keep alive option under advanced settings seems to fix the issue. This puts up an always on notification to keep Blokada alive. This means you’ll have 2 notifications up almost all the time for this app.

Verdict

This is a must have app for Android


4 stars
Fast Android Web Browser

Fast browser that uses built-in android web kit.
Pros:

  • Fast
  • Simple
  • FOSS
  • No tracking

Cons:

  • built-in ad blocker is OK at best
  • no support for addons


4 stars
Surprisingly fun, but needs work

This game, recently released on F-Droid, is the adaptation of the beloved SuperTuxKart that has been available for a long time for PC users. This racing game mimics the popular SuperMarioKart and works very well, with many different game modes, including Singleplayer, Multiplayer and Campaign mode.

However, as of version 0.9.3, it’s clear that the adaptation from PC to mobile still isn’t great. Buttons are way too small and thin to correctly tap on them on a touchscreen, and the game occasionally asks users to press keys such as the “Fire” key, which is never explained and doesn’t even appear in the keyboard shortcuts config area. It’s not an amazing PC-to-Android port, but it is very fun and probably considerably above average, comparing with other F-Droid games. Absolutely recommended!