Simple Mobile Tools, a popular collection of open-source Android apps known for their lack of ads and unnecessary permissions, has been acquired by ZipoApps, an Israeli app developer with a penchant for monetizing acquired apps through ads and paid subscriptions. This acquisition has sparked concerns among users about the potential for ads and data tracking to be introduced into the Simple apps, as well as the future of the apps’ open-source nature.

Acquisition by ZipoApps Raises Concerns About Ads

The Google Play Store pages for Simple apps now bear the “Contains ads” warning, indicating that ads will likely be integrated into the apps in the near future. Additionally, the open-source status of the apps is uncertain following the acquisition, raising concerns that ZipoApps may restrict access to the apps’ source code or discontinue development altogether.

To avoid the impending changes, users of Simple Mobile Tools apps installed from the Google Play Store are advised to switch to forked versions of the apps. Forked versions are maintained independently from the original codebase, ensuring that they remain open-source and free of ads.

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Alternatively, users can explore alternative open-source apps that offer similar functionality to Simple Mobile Tools. Several options are available on F-Droid, an app repository that exclusively distributes open-source apps.

Users Can Avoid Changes

To avoid the impending changes, users of Simple Mobile Tools apps installed from the Google Play Store are advised to switch to forked versions of the apps. Forked versions are maintained independently from the original codebase, ensuring that they remain open-source and free of ads.

Alternatively, users can explore alternative open-source apps that offer similar functionality to Simple Mobile Tools. Several options are available on F-Droid, an app repository that exclusively distributes open-source apps.

Conclusion:

The acquisition of Simple Mobile Tools by ZipoApps highlights the challenges faced by open-source developers in maintaining their projects without compromising their principles. As more open-source apps gain popularity, they become attractive targets for acquisition by companies seeking to monetize them.

Users who value open-source software and privacy are encouraged to support the development of independent open-source apps and consider switching to forked versions or alternative apps if their preferred apps are acquired by companies with different monetization strategies.