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open source


Here's what's changing as Google hands off Science Journal to Arduino

Like the world at large, schooling is a bit of a mess right now in these pandemic times. For students at home, that means missing out on precious laboratory time. Science Journal was a Google app that let amateur scientists use the sensors on their phones to perform simple, yet valuable experiments. We say "was" because open-source microcontroller designer Arduino has acquired the app and we have just learned from Google when a big transition will take place.

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Ireland opens up its coronavirus contact tracing app for other governments to use

After publishing the source code of its COVID-19 tracing app, Ireland's Health Service has now additionally donated the code to the Linux Foundation. To make it available to other governments with as little modifications as possible, the company behind the application, NearForm, has built a white-label solution called "COVID Green."

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

We've taken a look at open source alternatives to Gmail and Google Calendar, but those are digital lifestyle staples that don't require a whole lot of smarts to work. What about something more complex and data driven, like mapping? Believe it or not, there are open source alternatives to Google Maps out there.

I won't make you wait for the big "but" here, though: none of these solutions offer the same feature set you get with Google Maps. As sad as it is, Google's advanced traffic detection and point-of-interest data are only possible when you have an install base counting in the billions.

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

While you may have already checked out our list free and open source Gmail alternatives, you may not even be aware free and open source alternatives to the likes of Google Calendar are out there. If you want to keep your schedule private — or simply don't want anything to do with Google — there are some totally decent options available for Android that you should check out. Here are some of our favorites.

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The best free and open-source alternatives to Gmail on Android

There are a lot of reasons you might want to use an open source alternative to an app like Gmail. Privacy, security, and supporting open source development top the list, but the simple fact is that an app like Gmail, at the end of the day, needs to generate revenue for Google in order for the service to worth providing. It also has to serve a hugely diverse user base with tons of needs and expectations about email you may not have, where a simpler, more stripped down email experience would do just as well. Here are a few Gmail alternatives for Android that are totally free and open source.

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Going Google-less: How to install a custom Android ROM with no Google apps or services

Understandably, some people want to live their digital lives with as little Google as possible, and are willing to go to fairly extensive efforts to get the advertising juggernaut off all of their various devices. On Android, this can prove difficult: almost no smartphone on sale right ships Google-free, and of those that do, there are serious feature gaps to consider, among other things. Enter microG, a way to reduce your reliance on Google's apps, advertising, and tracking by using a de-Googled custom ROM. We'll show you what you need, how to get it set up, and what you need to know about using it.

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

Cloud file storage is a big business, and frequently involves trusting hoards of your data with corporations so large that even hundreds of gigabytes of your personal data constitute a mathematical rounding error if they were to go missing. There are ways to get around the death grip services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive have on the cloud storage market, though, including some great free and open-source ones we'll round up in this list.

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Krita, a desktop-class digital painting application, arrives on Android and Chrome OS

Krita is a free and open-source graphics editor for desktop platforms, and while it was originally developed as a competitor to GIMP, it was later retooled into a digital painting program. An Android port has been in the works for a while, and it's now available on the Play Store as an Early Access build.

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

While not every app has a great free and open source alternative (thanks, Google Maps), to-do lists don't fall into such a category. If you've been using Google Keep and want to find a service less beholden to our data-hoarding overlords, you're in luck. Even cloud sync is possible without buying into Google or another major corporation's note-taking platform, believe it or not. And really, do you need millions of data points and industry-leading artificial intelligence to make a glorified text editor bulleted lists? (The answer is "no.")

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ProtonMail for Android goes open-source, passes security audit

ProtonMail is an encrypted email service, with native applications available for Android and iOS. While the service has been working on new features, its development team has also been releasing the source code for various software components. Now the Android app for ProtonMail is open-source, allowing anyone to look through the code and review its security.

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