Even though Android itself is mostly made up of “organic,” open-source programming code, most of the apps in the Android Market are closed-source — meaning other programmers can’t build on the code and help with it. So while there are a good handful of open-source Android apps in the Android Market, including Flickr and WordPress apps, there still aren’t that many comparatively.
Here are some Android apps that I wish open-source programmers would write!
Cloud notetaking Android app
Who it’s for: Anyone who needs to remember things
I take lots of notes on my laptop at home, using Tomboy Notes — one of the best notetaking apps ever. (For Mac users, I suggest Notational Velocity.) Unfortunately, I don’t have access to those notes on the go, on my Android phone. Maybe someone could help with Tomdroid?
To-do list Android app
Who it’s for: Anyone who got frustrated with Astrid
There’s already an open-source to-do and reminder app in the Android Market, called Astrid. Unfortunately, its developers have a habit of removingfeatures that were already in the app, and then stalling you with a ten-second reminder screen until you “update” to the latest version that removed a feature you like. A straight-up Astrid clone wouldn’t catch on, but somebody needs to make an open-source alternative, maybe using some of its code.
Secure Android IMing app
Who it’s for: People who care about privacy
While Orbot allows Android users to make all their web browsing, email and instant messaging secure, users of recent Android phones have to root them — a complicated technical procedure — to use it. Plus, it seems to work best with Beem, an IMing app that doesn’t work with any of the major IMing services except Google Talk. That last part might be unavoidable, but either way, a convenient secure IMing app for Android would be great … and open-source code would mean that you know it’s secure, because you (or someone else who can tell) can see exactly what it does.
Android web browser app
Who it’s for: People who like Firefox
This one’s already underway; Mozilla is making an Android version of Firefox, their popular open-source browser. It’s even going to support extensions like Firefox Sync, letting you keep the same bookmarks between your desktop PC or Mac and your phone. Android’s built-in web browser is nice, but Firefox is a legend, and this is one Android app that they really need to make.
Android Dreamwidth app
Who it’s for: People who use Dreamwidth
Okay, this one’s wishful thinking from me. I use Dreamwidth, a social networking / blogging site that’s a “fork” of the open-source LiveJournal code, and I’d really like a way to post to it from my phone. Although it looks like someone’s working on this too, and it’ll apparently work with LiveJournal also!
What Android apps do you think they need to make? Scroll down and leave a note in the comments. I’m trying to learn how to program for Android, and I wouldn’t mind reading suggestions!
Whatever open-source Android apps you use, I hope you have fun with them!