Home / Applications / The best free and open-source alternatives to Google Keep on Android

The best free and open-source alternatives to Google Keep on Android

Whereas it may be troublesome to change away from feature-packed merchandise like Gmail and Google Maps, there are fortunately loads of opponents to Google Hold. In any case, you do not want hundreds of thousands of knowledge factors and industry-leading synthetic intelligence to make a note-taking app. On this submit, we’ll be trying out some free and open-source alternate options to Google Hold, a few of which even have cloud sync.

Why does open-source matter?

Free and open-source software program (FOSS) has a number of benefits, however to most individuals, the primary profit is privateness. All of the code is out within the open, so anybody with programming data can undergo it and see precisely what an app is doing. Proprietary apps can typically really feel like black packing containers, the place you do not actually know what is going on on behind the scenes. That is hardly ever the case with FOSS.

I say ‘nearly,’ as a result of there’s technically nothing stopping open-source apps from spying on you, however that conduct is extraordinarily uncommon. If a developer is doing one thing they are not presupposed to be, like spying on customers or bundling malware, they in all probability would not announce it to the world.

Many individuals merely want open-source apps out of precept, in the identical means that some individuals want procuring at locally-owned shops as an alternative of Walmart or Goal. These apps are sometimes created by people or small teams of their spare time, versus giant corporations with revenue generated from promoting or enterprise capital.

Nextcloud Notes

We mentioned NextCloud in a earlier open-source app roundup. It is a server software that permits you to arrange your individual cloud storage, and with the assistance of some plugins, you possibly can basically have your individual suite of Google service alternate options. Working example: when you arrange a NextCloud occasion and set up the free Notes extension, you get a self-hosted clone of Google Hold that you could entry from the online.

There’s additionally an app for Android that may sync with NextCloud Notes — the aptly-named NextCloud Notes. It is developed by Stefan Niedermann, a German net developer, and covers nearly every part you would need in a notice software. You possibly can sync with a number of NextCloud accounts, create/edit/delete/share notes, use Markdown formatting, and search the contents of notes. There’s additionally a darkish mode.

Whereas the supply code is open, the compiled app on the Play Retailer prices $2.49. Builders need to eat, too.

Nextcloud Notes
Nextcloud Notes

Commonplace Notes

Commonplace Notes might be the very best open-source different to Google Hold when you’re on the lookout for one thing easy with cross-device assist. There are functions for all main desktop and cellular platforms (plus an internet shopper), notes are end-to-end encrypted, and there’s no restrict on the variety of units you possibly can sync. There’s not a lot to complain about, actually.

All the app’s purchasers are open-source, and code is even out there for the server-side part, so internet hosting your individual server is feasible. Whereas Commonplace Notes is free, there may be a paid tier that provides limitless file attachments, sync with exterior cloud providers, full notice historical past, extra formatting choices, and different good options.

Standard Notes
Standard Notes
Commonplace Notes

Easy Notes

Should you simply need a dead-simple notepad with no fancy extras, Easy Notes may be for you. It is a part of a wider Easy Cellular Instruments suite of open-source cellular apps, all developed by Slovakian-based Tibor Kaputa. We already highlighted Easy Calendar in our roundup of Google Calendar alternate options, and Easy Notes deserves point out too.

Easy Notes is organized a bit in a different way than most different notice apps; you swipe left and proper to change between notes, although an inventory view remains to be out there by tapping the folder icon. It is extraordinarily fundamental, with no sync capabilities or formatting choices. There’s one neat function that Hold would not have, although — you possibly can add any notice to the house display as a widget.

Easy Notes is offered at no cost on the Play Retailer, however as of November 2019, solely the Professional model is being up to date (which prices $1.19). The one main function distinction proper now could be that you could create checklist notes within the Professional model.

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