What's on my Phone (Fall 2023)

I decided to write about the stuff that I have running on my phone lately.

📆 18 Sep 2023 📕 1874 words ⏳ 6 min. 🏷️ android foss

Hey! What’s on my phone videos are the kind of thing I am always looking for on YouTube. I miss the times when Youtubers like Marques Brownlee would do videos talking about the apps they used, I enjoyed them quite a bit, although they got kinda repetitive. But I still decided to do my own blogpost about it.

Interestingly enough, most of the people doing these videos are female iPhone or Samsung owners who are usually kpop fans, they use tons of social media apps, camera filters, video editors. They’ll even mention the case they’re using, the stickers or pictures of their favorite idol they have on them and stuff like that which I honestly don’t care about. There’s nothing bad about any of this, it’s simply not interesting to me anymore.

Whatever, some of these already are in my uses page but others are not as important, but may be interesting to you. I’ll try to categorize the apps, but let’s start from the top.

Android ROM

I am currently using ArrowOS since its one of not so few official ROMs still supporting my device. It is a great rom with quite a lean set of features, more focused on performance than customization.

The apps

Most of my apps are indeed FOSS, but I still have some proprietary apps, I’ll make some keys to mark them a bit more, and also split them in categories. I am completely copying this from Dom Corriveau’s blogpost, which happened to have some great ideas when it comes to organizing this huge list, so there we go.


  • 🐧 = Availabe on F-Droid
  • 🔗 = Available on GitHub or website
  • 🤖 = Only on Google Play
  • 📱 = Stock app that comes with the device

Everyday Use

  • 🐧 Aegis Authenticator: 2FA manager with a nice interface and easy to backup.
  • 🐧 AntennaPod: Podcast app, keeps stats and its FOSS so I like it.
  • 🐧 Daily You: Take a picture per day and track how you feel, I didn’t think this would stick but I’ve been going for a week!
  • 🐧 K-9 Mail: E-mail client with constant updates, encryption, and everything I need.
  • 🐧 KeepassDX: Password manager.
  • 🐧 MJ-PDF: A pretty lightweight pdf reader that just works.
  • 🐧 Readrops: My FreshRSS client of choice, I also like FeedMe
  • 🐧 Signal: I really love chatting with the 3 contacts I have who use this.
  • 🐧 Solid Explorer: A fantastic file manager, what I like is that it shows folder storage size and has some other nice features.
  • 🐧 Tachiyomi: Best manga app, supports many sources and has tons of features and progress tracking support.
  • 🐧 Tusky: A Mastodon client that has been around forever.
  • 🐧 Vivaldi: My current browser, snappy and fast, but Chromium based.
  • 🤖 Facebook Lite: All of Mexico uses this, sadly.
  • 🤖 Spotify: I listen to music here, it is how it is, for now…
  • 🤖 WhatsApp: All of Mexico uses this, sadly.

App Stores

  • 🐧 Droid-ify: A modern and secure F-Droid client.
  • 🐧 Obtainium: Fetch updates for apps available from any git repo and other sources.
  • 🐧 FF Updater: Get updates for Firefox and other browsers, I get Vivaldi from here. Could probably just use Aurora Store.
  • 🐧 Aurora Store: Alternative to the Play Store, it can even download the apps you paid for.


Social media, videos and stuff that entertains me, and sometimes annoys me.

  • 🐧 Eternity for Lemmy: A fork of Infinity that uses its interface but has Lemmy as a backend
  • 🐧 Librera Reader: Reading books is something I don’t do as often nowadays, but this reader is great.
  • 🐧 Newpipe + Sponsorblock: A Youtube frontend alternative with a lighter interface and intergration with Sponsorblock.
  • 🔗 Aniyomi: Anime is fun, but I don’t watch it as often as I read manga.
  • 🤖 Bluesky: I use this from time to time, mostly to keep getting invite codes and giving them away to people on Mastodon.
  • 🤖 Mercado Libre: Basically latino Amazon with better interface, I like to scroll and see stuff I could buy.
  • 🤖 Threads: This has stayed on my phone somehow. It is kinda fun to scroll now that the Following tab exists.


The services I use to communicate with friends, family, work and internet strangers.

  • 🐧 Threema Libre: I really love talking to the three wonderful people I know who use this messaging app.
  • 🐧 Telegram FOSS: There are too many cool groups on Telegram, I also have like 3 people I haven’t really talked to in a while there.
  • 🤖 Discord: The communities here are also quite good, but I need to do some spring cleaning, too many servers.
  • 🐧 Mattermost: The app is still in Beta, I use it to access Fosstodon’s patreon and moderation chat rooms.
  • 🐧 Monocles Chat: The XMPP client I use nowadays, yet another fork of Conversations.
  • 🐧 Proton Mail: I still have Proton Mail for some use cases.
  • 🐧 SmallTalk: This Matrix client actually has a nice interface and is kinda responsive, but it’s still super bare bones.


These app interact with Linux or help me manage my android system how I want

  • 🐧 KDE Connect: I use this to easily transfer files between my phone and laptop. I also enjoy the clipboard sharing.
  • 🐧 Nextcloud: A nice client that auto uploads pictures from my Camera folder to my Nextcloud and other things.
  • 🐧 PlainApp: This is a fantastic program to access my phone data, contacts, media and anything you want by turning the phone into a simple web server, it comes with a great interface and TONS of features. It’s also an RSS reader, a ChatGPT client, phone screen mirroring and many other things.
  • 🐧 DAVx5: This lets me sync my calendars and contacts from my Nextcloud server to my phone
  • 🐧 OpenKeyChain: PGP support on my phone, I use it with K-9 Mail to encrypt emails to people.
  • 🐧 Syncthing: Sync folders between devices, absolutely wonderful.
  • 🐧 Tailscale: Private VPN, I use this to access my Raspberry Pi server (Nextcloud, FreshRSS, etc) without opening my ports or configuring my router.
  • 🐧 Termux: A terminal emulator for Android, very powerful stuff.


These apps need root access to work.

  • 🐧 AdAway: Black ads using the hosts file, you can also use it as a VPN ad blocker without root.
  • 🐧 Battery Charge Limit: The name says it all. I can limit the percentage the battery fills to, helps to expand its longevity.
  • 🐧 DataBackup: This lets me create backups of any app, including the data. Useful for offline games and pretty much anything where you can’t log-in to recover stuff.
  • 🐧 WiFi Password: View all my WiFi passwords with ease.
  • 🐧 Androidacy Magisk Modules: Magisk removed their Magisk Modules repo so this is a alternative provider for those.
  • 🐧 Magisk Manager: Makes it so I’m rooted, a must.


Whatever can access or create media and files.

  • 🐧 Simple Gallery: This is the gallery I’ve used for years now, super fast and customizable.
  • 🐧 Vinyl Music Player: A local music player which works alright.
  • 📱 Camera: The camera app is the same as any Xiaomi phone.
  • 🤖 Notebloc: A document scanner that is quite light once you get an ad blocker.


What I play sometimes, interactive entertainment.

  • 🐧 Lichess: Chess, online.
  • 🐧 Lemuroid: A great FOSS emulator and game organizer for multiple systems.
  • 🐧 Shattered Pixel Dungeon: A fantastic little rogue-like that is very fun. I’ve never gotten past the first three or so floors though.
  • 🐧 Super Retro Mega Wars: A bunch of little mini games inspired by Atari and other classics, built with Godot!
  • 🐧 Twisty Timer: A speedcubing timer, to track my times in 3x3 and other cubes.
  • 🤖 Among Us: I just play this sometimes with IRL friends.
  • 🤖 Brawl Stars: I also play this, a super simple yet fun online shooter with 3v3 and many other game modes.
  • 🤖 Marvel SNAP: A great card game with seemingly simple mechanics that has tons of possibilities.


I like to rice my phone almost as much as I rice my laptop.

  • 🐧 Arcticons Icon Pack: Beautiful line based icons, I’ve contributed a few.
  • 🐧 Delta Icon Pack: Beautiful minimal icon pack with pastel colors.
  • 🤖 Nova Launcher: The only launcher I can stay on, nothing else is enough for me.


Other stuff that is useful to me or needed by the system or hardware I use. Kinda general.

  • 🐧 ActivityWatch: Keep track of app and screen usage, very useful for my monthly summaries.
  • 🐧 Cake Wallet: A Monero wallet, I don’t really have a lot of it but I’ve gotten a couple donations.
  • 🐧 IconRequest: This app generates the information needed by icon packs to create requests.
  • 🐧 MicroG: A Play services alternative that allows Google apps to work somewhat. Also push notifications for WhatsApp and other apps.
  • 🐧 Shelter: Uses Android’s work profile to create a sandbox for apps, either to duplicate apps (like WhatsApp) or just keep them away from my other phone’s data (like Threads).
  • 🐧 Tuner: Tune my music instruments and stuff.
  • 🐧 UPM-FCM Distributor: Notification provider, a Unified Push distributor that works via Google’s FCM.
  • 🤖 Google Keyboard: I just need multilingual support and decent prediction, so I decided to use this.
  • 🤖 Headphones (for Sony): I use this for my earphones, it lets me change the EQ and other settings.
  • 🤖 Snapseed: A great editor that has everything I need! Super lightweight too.
  • 🤖 Timbre: A super simple media editor, cut , merge , convert, resize, split and other simple video and audio tools.
  • 🤖 Typing Hero: A great app that expands text out of short keywords, great to write a bunch of stuff with just a few key presses. Saves tons of time.
  • 🤖 Zepp Life: This is the app used by my Xiaomi Smartband, I don’t use it often.
  • 📱 Calculator: It does things with numbers.
  • 📱 Calendar: Set events, view the date and agenda.
  • 📱 Clock: Tells the time, set alarms.
  • 📱 Contacts: Manage phone numbers, addresses and people.
  • 📱 Phone: Make calls.
  • 📱 SIM Toolbox: Tools built into my SIM card or something.

Finishing thoughts

Alright I think this is pretty much it. I skipped some things like banking apps and such because nobody cares.

I get most of my apps from F-Droid, but remember to use the Droid-ify app client!
I get most of my apps from F-Droid, but remember to use the Droid-ify app client!

This is day 62 of #100DaysToOffload
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