Done installing GrapheneOS. What apps are must-haves?

published Jan 11, 2022, last modified Feb 01, 2022

A summary of the applications I install on my phone right after imaging GrapheneOS on it.

Tip: this document will later grow into a setup and configuration guide.

The first thing I install is F-Droid.  Most of the rest of the apps are installed using it.

After installing F-Droid, remember to remove the "install software" permission from the app you used to install F-Droid.

Then I lead with:

  • Binary Eye: scans QR codes.
  • Syncthing-Fork: I use it, among other things, to synchronize app backups (like Signal's) from my file server back to my phone.  I like the Syncthing-Fork fork better than the main release because the UI is more useful and it seems sync is more reliable.
  • Aurora Store: useful to install Signal.
  • Signal: only available through the Aurora Store.  With the backup on my phone ready to be restored — thanks to Syncthing — I can restore my years-long Signal history.
  • Etar: because I need a calendar.
  • Vanilla Music: because I need music.  The music comes from my file server into the phone via Syncthing as well.
  • NewPipe: to use YouTube and other tube sites.  Add this app's own F-Droid repository to F-Droid — they release fixes much faster on that repository.
  • Simpletask: the best GTD to-do list app I have used so far.  I sync its todo.txt file using Syncthing.
  • VLC: who doesn't want to watch all kinds of videos?
  • Element: so I can use the Matrix chat network where many of my friends and groups are.
  • Markor: very versatile and fast "rich" text, to-do list, and wiki editor for your phone.  Its data can be synced using Syncthing.
  • Infinity: great-looking Reddit client.
  • Firefox Focus: excellent to browse one-off sites without worry that you'll be tracked — sessions are erased after browsing, and it has evolving fingerprint resistance.  I use the FFUpdater app from F-Droid to install it and keep it up-to-date.

Other apps you may be interested in:

  • Telegram: available in the F-Droid store — and without the censorship imposed by the Google Play Store monopoly.
  • WhatsApp: available through Aurora Store.