Android personal use app list

Last updated : 15/3/2023

- Introduction -

Gallery | Simple Gallery (Pro)

Video | MPV for Android

Music | Simple Music

Camera | Default prebuilt | GrapheneOS Camera

Text editor | SimpleTextEditor (maxistar)

Notepad | Simple Notes

Document reader | Librera Reader (Pro)

Drawing | Simple Draw Pro

Calculator | Default prebuilt | OpenCalc

Calendar | Simple Calendar Pro

Clock | Default prebuilt

Keyboard | Simple Keyboard (rkkr)

Launcher | Nova Launcher

File Manager | Default prebuilt

Console emulators | AetherSX2 | PPSSPP

Root managers | Magisk

SD Maid

Firewall | AFWall+

Hosts manager / ad-blocker | AdAway

Kernel Manager | SmartPack | No Gravity App

Backup app | Neo Backup

App Manager | Warden

YouTube client / downloader | Newpipe

- What I don't use & will never use -
Kernel "optimizers" / "tweakers"
Patcher apps
Cloud storage
DRM media streamers / screamers

- Apps that I'm still conflicted about -
App Store | Browsers | WebView

- Other apps I might use, or no longer use -


This article is to list out the Android apps that I use. It's just as nutshelled as the ROM list, since it uses the same format.

All apps I've mentioned here will run without internet and/or Goolag Play dis-services, unless mentioned otherwise.

Here are the things I generally require out of the apps I use:

Some nice to have things:

For the past archive, here's the link.

No other mentions, as Simple Gallery (Pro) is pretty much the only gallery app worth using.

Simple Gallery (Pro)

Simple, open source & straightforward gallery app. Can exclude folders, hiding its media from curious eyes (but not the file manager and/or any other gallery apps you may have installed). Lacks subtitle support for videos though, so I end up pairing this with another video app.

As this is one of the Simple Mobile Tools apps, it features customizable themes which extends to the app icon (the app icon customization is for Pro variants) & is written in Kotlin. Unfortunately, they're hosted in GitHub.



Dishonorable mentions :

MPV Android

A port of MPV, for Android. While its file browser interface leaves much to be desired (I use Simple Gallery to browse the gallery anyway, so it can be ignored), it has the subtitle support Simple Gallery lacks. MPV also supports music playback, although its interface (both MPV & Android as a whole) is too ill-suited for it.



Theoretically, I could combine Music & Video if I were using VLC and/or MPV. However, I'm not a fan of such approach.

Dishonorable mentions :

Honorable mentions :

I am no longer looking for another music player app to replace AIMP, as Simple Music now fulfills my needs within tolerable limits. However, that page shall remain up for reference (and / or if I ever need to rediscover yet another music player I consider perfect).

Simple Music

SimpleMobileTools' music player. Interface is not as practical as AIMP, there's less options (no control over how headphone buttons interact with the music player, for example - although it's not necessarily a bad thing when it at least just works the way it's supposed to be); but at least it's open source (which is better than the closed-source AIMP). Used to have some issue where library resets when storage is removed, but 5.15.0 fixes it.



No dishonorable mentions (Except for AOSP Camera2 which has a terrible UI), since I don't use my cameras that much to the point of needing GCam in my daily life. However, I occasionally use GCam Go if it's prebuilt in the ROM.

Honorable mentions :

Default prebuilt

The default prebuilt camera varies between ROMs & I don't need to replace them for most of the time as I don't use them all that often. However, AOSP Camera2 that are sometimes prebuilt has the least pleasant UI IMO, which causes it to be replaced.

GrapheneOS Camera

A camera app based on Android CameraX library, made by GrapheneOS.


Text editor

I occasionally use this when I need to quickly create and/or edit a text file while not accessing my computer.

Honorable mentions :

SimpleTextEditor (maxistar)

Highly simple text editor, with support only for plaintext. Not as good as Simple Notes on keeping notes, and unfortunately F-Droid only (ignoring Goolag PS).



I generally use this to take quick notes that don't need to be permanently saved into a file.

Honorable mentions :

Simple Notes

SimpleMobileTools' notepad app. Good for keeping notes, not so much for dealing with text files.


Document reader

Librera Reader (Pro)

A feature-rich document reader that supports various formats, including PDF.




Simple Draw Pro

Simple Mobile Tools' drawing app. Simple & straightforward, though you may want to use some sort of stylus.



Honorable mentions :

Default prebuilt

Actually, the prebuilt calculator on every ROM is usable enough, save for the lack of theme customizations (depending on what's inbuilt - A12L stock calculator generally follows the system theme).


Pretty much prebuilt calculator with added theme customizations. Granted, I don't get to use this all that often since most ROMs I use have a prebuilt calculator, but it's somewhat nice that we can have a fallback calculator that's open source.



Dishonorable mentions :

Honorable mentions :

Simple Calendar Pro

Simple Mobile Tools' calendar app.



Honorable mentions :

Default prebuilt

The prebuilt clock app is usable enough, ignoring the lack of theme customizations. On Pie, Graphene-A12, and A10/A11 (with disabled dark theme); it looks like shit, with its all blue theme (it's not as bad in A10 & A11 with dark theme enabled, but still, it doesn't have theme customizations).


I prefer to disable any kind of swipe typing, autocorrect, autocapitalization, word suggestions, & all other BS cruft (including sound) built into a keyboard app. Vibration stays enabled (which is unfortunately irrelevant starting with A13 as it fuses keyboard vibrations with navbar vibrations) as I ended up getting a bit too used to it after trying it out in early 2020.

Dishonorable mentions :

Honorable mentions :

Simple Keyboard (rkkr)

Similar to OpenBoard, it's basically AOSP keyboard with more customizations. However, it's lighter than the former & packs in less offensive cruft than both OpenBoard & AOSP keyboard (no spellcheck, swipe typing, word prediction bar, emoji BS). Thanks to these factors, it's now my prebuilt keyboard replacement of choice.

This Simple Keyboard is not a part of SimpleMobileTools' app suite, despite the name (and SimpleMobileTools has their own keyboard app which I mentioned honorably).



No dishonorable mentions for now, aside from Nova requiring Prime unlocker for full features (and closed source) & Lawnchair denying icon pack installation when a "piracy tool" is installed.

I am currently looking for another launcher app to replace Nova.

Nova Launcher (Prime, 7.0.57)

The best launcher for me, with lots of customizations. It's unfortunately closed source, but that's what you get with permissive (read : cuck) licenses like Apache License - you may fork an open-source software & close-source it. Also, it has some sort of telemetry that can be disabled in Nova Settings > Advanced > Error & usage reporting (and/or disable internet access for Nova Launcher).

To get the Prime unlocker, you might want to collaborate with someone with a Goolag account & extract the APK from their devices. Just keep in mind that you will need a Goolag ID that "paid" for the Prime unlocker if you're running a GApps-infested ROM.

As for the Nova Launcher itself, I'll link the version I'm currently using to APKMirror.

File Manager

Default prebuilt

Prebuilt & available in the ROM from the get go. Enough for regular uses, but couldn't read anything else outside /storage (SD Maid handles everything else outside /storage & TWRP is sufficient for me when I want to tamper with system files). As of A11, the default file manager is unable to write to /Android/obb.

No links can be provided, as they're prebuilt in every ROMs.

Console emulators

Unless mentioned otherwise, BIOS files are required.

Dishonorable mentions :

Honorable mentions (as far as ones I haven't personally used yet) :

AetherSX2 (build 1.5-3668)

A PS2 emulator for Android, it made waves on the internet, removing most Android PS2 emulators (Play!, DamonPS2) out of relevance. However, since 4/1/2023, development (which is unfortunately still not open source) is stopped thanks to the developer losing his will to maintain the app (no thanks to him primarily releasing it in the Goolag Play Store (even though he did eventually provide a download site), which forced him to reveal his email, which predictably gets spammed by idiots, useds, & assholes alike; not to mention toxicity in both Discord & Reddit (which is pretty much a commodity in both), as well as impersonations).

14/3/2023 Update : Tahlreth returns just to sabotage AetherSX2 (by worsening performance & adding ads, at least for Play Store version) & deleting all older versions in the archive. At the same time, a Telegram user called MrPurple has started reverse-engineering AetherSX2. At the moment of writing, don't update AetherSX2 until further notice. I have removed all AetherSX2 links as I can no longer recommend it.


The only PSP emulator anyone should use. No BIOS files required.

Support for Scoped Storage is present since 1.12.


Root managers

This covers root solutions & root managing apps.

Mentions :


The de-facto root solution, with the added ability to hide root from apps.

Flaws I want to mention :


SD Maid

SD Maid is a category upon itself due to the things it do.

On first run, will search & ask for root permission before requesting storage & usage access.

List of root-dependent features I'm using :



Mentions :


A firewall client for Android using iptables. Requires root access.


Hosts manager / ad-blocker

Mentions :


Internet access is needed to update hosts file.

Since 5.1.0, AdAway has a setup wizard that allows you to pick between root / VPN, and persists until either mode is selected. AdAway may also automatically check for updates, which could be disabled in Preferences > Automatic updates.


Kernel Manager

Requires root access. I no longer use these, but these should be useful to those who need it.

Dishonorable mentions :


The sane choice for kernel managers. Fork of the now-discontinued Kernel Adiutor.

Advantages compared to common kernel managers such as Franco (FKM) & EX:

Flaws that I see & could be removed if you fork and/or self-compile SmartPack:


No Gravity App

The recommended kernel manager for No Gravity Kernel. Not included with the kernel, so it has to be installed separately, if required.

Advantages compared to common kernel managers such as Franco (FKM) & EX:

Flaws :


Backup App

Apps that backup your app data. Requires root access.

Mentions :

Neo Backup

A fork of the open-source and inactive OAndBackup, aimed at keeping it alive beyond 202x. After trying out release 7.0.0 (when it was OAndBackupX), I can conclude that it's currently shaping up to be my backup tool of choice, even if it has some imperfections (and I haven't fully committed to using it yet).

Formerly known as OAndBackupX, it was renamed to Neo Backup in 27/3/2022.


App Manager

Requires root access.

Honorable mentions :


My current personal app manager of choice. Not updated past 2020 & has an update checker that can't be disabled, but works just fine without internet access. In addition, its interface is clunkier than MyAndroidTools & its development seems abandoned.


YouTube client / downloader

Requires internet access. I can no longer recommend any YouTube clients (other than Invidious for Android, if it even exists) as they rely on Google not randomly breaking things with backend updates. This recent issue on NewPipe ( should explain as a decent example.

Dishonorable mentions :


An open source YouTube front-end that used to be decent, and still has some advantages compared to both official YouTube & YouTube Vanced, such as support for some platforms like Peertube & ability to download videos. However, starting with 0.20.x, it has gone too far to be an alternative to anything.

I no longer use NewPipe, but I will keep this section up for reference of NewPipe's sins.

Advantages compared to other YouTube clients (such as Goolag's official YouTube client & YouTube Vanced):

Flaws I can see:

All Newpipe links (other than the issues) removed, I can't recommend this app as a YouTube client alternative anymore (or any YouTube client for that matter). Besides, even if I could recommend Newpipe again (as either a YouTube OR PeerTube client), I still wouldn't since it's still relying on the big G (unless support for YouTube is removed and NewPipe becomes a PeerTube client for Android - although it requires completely changing NewPipe's public image).

What I don't use & will never use

Kernel "optimizers" / "tweakers"

The likes of FDE.AI, LSpeed, NFS Injector, MAGNETAR, & LKT. In short - questionable benefits (I dunno, 3 more FPS in the "latest" excessively bloated AAA game you're playing that you won't normally detect?) with loads of issues (random reboots, stuff randomly turning off, unfixable Redmi K20 "Pro" bricking after FDE.AI is installed, etc.).

KTweak is better in every regards compared to the crapshoots above (there's an actual thought & purpose for the tweaks, for example), but I can't justify installing this when I don't have any need for kernel optimizers / tweakers.

Patcher apps

The likes of Lucky Patcher & Uret Patcher. Here's a short list explaining why I don't bother with them (at least for myself).

Cloud Storage

Why should I bother relying on a storage controlled by someone else & can only be accessed via internet, when I have microSD & USB drive (maybe add in an external hard drive as well) ready to be drawn out at all times?

DRM media streamers (or screamers according to RMS)

The likes of Netflix & Spotify. Just as I don't want to rely on internet-only storage, I would also like my media to run on whatever combination of apps & platforms I have access to, not just an online-only, DRM-laden, snowflake dis-service.

Also, keep in mind the "DRM" word here refers to Digital Restriction Management (R for rights doesn't feel right despite being the default name), not Direct Rendering Manager.

Apps that I'm still conflicted about

App Store

These require internet access to work.

Dishonorable mentions :

Honorable mentions (not so bad, but still problematic) :


Let's be frank here; all browsers in Android suck, and do not match the level of quality provided by Pale Moon in the desktop. Until there is a browser that fits what I'm looking for, I will keep this section in the "conflicted" category; and by extension recommend readers to use a desktop browser (such as the aforementioned Pale Moon).

What I look for in a browser (alternatively, Luke Smith has a decent article here, which I mostly copied with some disagreeable parts changed):

Dishonorable mentions (don't use these, seriously) :

Mentions for the ones not yet used :

Honorable mentions (imperfect, but probably alright to use. Listed from worst to best) :


Currently, I'm stuck on prebuilt WebView. Here's some additional WebView apps that I used to use.

Other apps I might use, or no longer use

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