The 10 Coolest Open-Source Apps Of 2013

Open Mobile Apps

For some people, downloading and installing an app simply delivers a baseline of functionality on which to build. This article is for them; the open-source developers for whom the mobile device market opened up a whole new universe of deployment potential. Here are 10 cool mobile-device apps for open-source developers to build upon.

Cheddar For iOS

Productivity experts agree that a to-do list is the key to getting things done. Cheddar for iOS works on any device with iOS 5.0 or later. Cheddar's many user reviews hail it as one of the best of its kind, but also complain about its pricing policy. Cheddar is free for the first two to-do lists, but after that it costs $20 a year.

AppSlate For iOS

AppSlate for iOS is a drag-and-drop development for easily building apps that run within the included runtime. Prebuilt components include toggle and touch buttons, text fields, counters, sliders, tables, Boolean operators, communications links and connections to social networks. The 99-cent environment and the apps it creates work with iPad and iPhone.

TomDroid For Android

TomDroid for Android is a note-taking app that automatically syncs with cloud-based back-end systems. Still in early stages of development, Tomdroid is a port of the popular Tomboy app for Mac, Linux and Windows that employs a wiki-like interface for note taking and preservation. The Android version offers limited functionality, but its strong start makes it a cool app.

VLC Player For Android, iOS

Arguably the best media player for Mac and Windows also is available for Android and for iOS. It's the VLC Media Player, of course, and it can open and play virtually any file format -- including AVI, FLV, MP4, MP3, MKV, WMV, JPG, MPEG, MPG, RMVB, M4V, MOV, 3GP, TS, VOB -- without conversion or other annoying delays. It also plays DVDs and CDs, and VLC happens to be completely free and open-source. Anyone still using something else on Mac, Linux, Windows or any platform should download VLC and try it. A version for Windows Phone is in the works.

Dozuki Guides

For the Mr. Fix-It at home or at the office, Dozuki Guides can help. This free app for Android and for iOS delivers how-to guides from iFixit and other sources with step-by-step instructions, training manuals, and other help right where it's required. It also includes pictures, tools needed for the job and an off-line download function. And when no repair guide exists for a particular job, the tool makes it easy to create your own.

Master Password For iOS

These days, identity thefts are as frequent as traffic jams. But who can be bothered making strong passwords for the dozens of servers and websites used in a typical month? That's where Master Password for iOS comes in. Using just a name and URL, this free open-source tool creates complex, unique and unguessable passwords for each site visited. When accessing the site again, simply re-enter the URL and the password appears on the iPhone or iPad, with or without an Internet connection. Lost the device? No problem. Just reinstall the app on a new device and enter the original user info. All passwords will be there. For those who prefer creating their own passwords, the app stores them with AES encryption (but syncing is required).

RedPhone For Android

If you want to be sure that no one's listening in or intercepting your messages, it's time to pick up the red phone. RedPhone for Android uses the phone's normal dialer and contacts to place calls as usual. If the person on the other end also has RedPhone, the app offers the caller an option to switch to a "secure line" and then jumps to Wi-Fi or the carrier's data plan. RedPhone is free, open source and available for Android only; an iOS version is in the works.

Ringdroid For Android

For those who want just the right ringtone, Ringdroid for Android might be just the thing. This free and open app includes a wave editor with zoom for precise creation of personalized ringtones, alarms and notification sounds from existing audio files or from new ones created on the device. Assign specific ringtones to individual contacts or assign contacts to a particular song or sound right from the media player.

Mover For iOS

Ever need to move files from one iPhone to another? Mover for iOS makes it as easy as flicking a finger. With this free app installed on both sides, simply drag items to share onto the Mover table, connect to other device(s) via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and flick files to the other device. A recent update removes the requirement to recompress some files and preserves metadata during the move.

Tweedie For iOS

If finding an open-source Twitter client is the goal, Tweedie for iOS might be a good choice. The free app receives all tweets in a long continuous stream and permits the user to filter them by whatever is most helpful. Filters include hashtag, user handle, URL media type and category, with further sorting by most recent. The github-hosted Tweedie project is written in HTML5.