As smartphones and tablets become increasingly popular with consumers, they're also becoming a common work tool for employees. A recent study by Dimensional Research found that 87 percent of enterprises allow employees to use personal devices for work. In addition, 80 percent of those companies allow employees to use personal smartphones for work.
In response to this growing "consumerization of IT" trend, the open source community is beginning to develop apps aimed at the mobile market. In particular, they've created a large number of open source development tools that can help enterprise IT departments create mobile apps. In addition, several mature open source apps now have features that enable mobile workers to use them from their smartphones or tablets.
For this list, we collected a wide variety of open source apps with mobile features. They're listed by category with the tools for developers and IT departments first. As always, if you have additional entries to add to the list, please note them in the comments section below.
Mobile Development Tools1) PhoneGap
Designed for enterprise application developers, Rhodes is a Ruby-based framework that enables developers to write applications once and turn them into native apps for each of the various platforms. Commercial support is available and the company behind the project (Rhomobile) offers a number of other related enterprise mobility solutions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X for the developer; creates apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone 7.
4) Appcelerator Titanium
This tool aims to make it faster, easier and cheaper for experienced ASP.Net, Java or PHP developers to create native form-oriented apps. Commercial support, training and other services are available. Operating System: OS Independent for the developer; creates apps for iOS and BlackBerry.
This jQuery plugin enables mobile Web development for the iPhone and Android devices. It's easy to install, customizable and offers theme support. Operating System: iOS, Android.
This HTML5 mobile app framework creates both Web and native apps for iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry and Chrome OS. It relies heavily on CSS3, and it works with PhoneGap. Operating System: iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Chrome OS.
8) Sencha Touch
9) MoSync SDK
With MoSync, you can build cross-platform mobile apps with familiar tools—C or C++ and the Eclipse IDE. Commercial support and training are also available. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian.
This Objective-C framework "aims to make interacting with RESTful web services simple, fast and fun." It uses an API and a object mapping system to help reduce the amount of code you need to write when creating apps for the iPhone or iPad. Operating System: iOS.
Mobile Device Management11) Funambol
Funambol includes a number of mobile-related tools in one package: a data synchronization service, a device management service, client connectors and a software development kit. The site also acts as a forge hosting multiple projects built with Funambol tools. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian.
App Management12) QuincyKit
QuincyKit collects information about app crashes and reports them to your server. It automatically generates reports about similar types of crashes and gives you the option of collecting user feedback. Operating System: OS X, iOS.
Content Management13) Joomla
This extremely popular content management system powers 2.7 percent of the Web. A number of extensions and apps are available at the link above to help you design sites for smartphones and tablets. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Another well-known open source content management platform, Drupal boasts more than 630,000 users. A number of modules, themes and other tools are available on the site to help you create Web content for mobile devices. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Chart Engine15) Chartdroid
Chartdroid offers developers a native chart engine for Android. It creates bar, donut, line, pie and scatter charts and graphs. Operating System: Android.
Blogging16) WordPress for Android, WordPress for iOS, WordPress for BlackBerry
The WordPress open source blogging platform now offers clients for the major mobile operating systems. Interfaces and features vary slightly by platform, but they all offer many of the same features as the desktop version. Operating System: Android, iOS, BlackBerry.
This popular open source alternative to Salesforce.com offers mobile versions that work on Android, iPhone, iPad and BlackBerry devices. Note that the native apps are only accessible with the paid versions of the application. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS, BlackBerry.
18) vtiger CRM
Designed for small businesses, vtiger CRM offers modules for managinging leads, quotes, invoices, support, knowledge base, inventory and more. It's also available in an SaaS version, and mobile apps are available through the App Store or the Android Market. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android.
In addition to CRM capabilities, openCRX also includes groupware features that can be accessed from Android and iOS devices or PCs. It's Web-based, so you can access it from any browser, and it also synchronizes with Microsoft Exchange servers. Operating System: OS Independent.
Zarafa is primarily and open source collaboration and e-mail server, but it also offers a mobile device management plug-in that allows companies to remote-wipe lost devices. It runs on a Linux server, but provides e-mail that can be accessed from any browser or from BlackBerry devices. Operating System: Linux.
This app adds to the functionality of Android's Global Address List lookup. It connects with your corporate Exchange server. Operating System: Android.
K-9 is based on the e-mail client in Android, but adds some missing features. Those features include push IMAP support, attachment saving, BCC to self, signatures, flagging and more. Operating System: Android.
EGroupware is a messaging, calendar, contact, and to do list management server that can be accessed via the Web or any of the popular e-mail clients (including Microsoft Outlook). It also synchronizes with most smartphones via the ActiveSync protocol. Operating System: OS Independent.
This Microsoft Exchange alternative offers a mobile Web client that makes it easy to access e-mail, calendar and schedule data from the Web browser on any mobile phone. The mobile Web client is available in both the free open source version and the paid commercial version. Operating System: OS Independent.
In addition to e-mail and calendar, this cloud-based groupware adds basic CRM, file sharing and project management features. It also syncs with mobile devices, and it's available in commercially supported and hosted versions, as well as the free open source version. Operating System: OS Independent.
26) Simple Groupware
This app combines groupware features with content management functionality. Because it's standards-based, it integrates with most mobile phones, as well as Outlook. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
In addition to ERP functionality, this app adds CRM, MRP, SCM, accounting, HR and PDM capabilities. It comes in a version for mobile phones, and it also available in commercially supported and SaaS versions. Operating System: Linux.
The openBravo ERP software now has a mobile version for Android, and a demo is available on openBravo's forge site. Downloaded more than 2 million times, openBravo calls itself "the world’s leading web-based Open Source ERP solution." Operating System: Android.
29) Open ERP
OpenERP's CRM module syncs with your iPhone or Android smartphone, as well as Outlook. The ERP software also includes modules for accounting, point of sale, project management, warehouse management, human resources, and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Opentaps, which calls itself "the most advanced Open Source ERP + CRM solution," offers optional modules which make it available on mobile devices. In addition to the open source version, it also comes in paid professional and cloud-based versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
File Transfer31) Connectbot
With this SSH client, you can connect securely to your corporate network to transfer files to your phone. Substantial documentation is available on the site. Operating System: Android.
This budgeting, accounting and expense tracking app also comes in an Android version. Its best for small businesses or home users. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Android.
Office Productivity33) Text Edit
This simple text editor lets you write, edit and save short documents on your Android phone. You can select the font size and type, change colors and e-mail the documents you create. Operating System: Android.
34) OI Notepad
In addition to creating, editing and sending notes, this note-taking application allows users to add tags, filter and sort notes. Open Intents, the organization behind this app, also offers several other open source Android apps from the same site. Operating System: Android.
With VuDroid, users can view PDF and DJVU documents from their Android devices. Features include zoom by slider drag, fast orientation change and more. Operating System: Android.
This is a simple text editor and file transfer program for iPad only. It's missing the fancy features that would make it a full word-processing program, as well as the text highlighting and completion features you would find in code editors, but it gets basic jobs done. Operating System: iPad.
37) OpenOffice Document Reader
With this app you can view (but not edit) documents created with OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Features include zoom, copy and spreadsheet support. Operating System: Android.
The Mac fork of OpenOffice also offers a viewer for iPhones and iPads. In addition, NeoOffice offers a paid service that will let you upload your documents to the cloud for viewing from mobile devices. Operating System: OS X, iOS.
39) Standup Timer
Keep your standup meetings short and sweet with this helpful timer. It displays both the amount of time elapsed and the time left before you need to wrap up your meeting. Operating System: Android.
Mobile App Repository40) F-Droid
F-Droid offers a catalog of dozens of open source apps for the Android platform. It you don't want to install them all, you can also download the individual apps separately. Operating System: Android.
Remote Access/VPN41) OpenVPN
Downloaded more than 3 million times, this popular open source SSL VPN solution makes it possible for remote workers to access your corporate network securely. It's also available with commercial support or as a cloud-based solution. A number of other client front-ends are also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
With TightVNC, employees can control their work computers while they are at home or traveling. It's lightweight and fast and conforms to RFB protocol specifications. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
This TightVNC fork allows you to view and interact with your computer from your Android phone. Obviously, it's tough to do a lot of work from your phone, but it is useful for short and simple tasks. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
UltraVNC provides similar functionality as TightVNC. Key features include file transfer, video driver, optional encryption plugins, text chat and multiple-monitor support. Operating System: Windows.
Short for "Android Privacy Guard," APG ports the OpenPGP encryption software for Android devices. Use it to encrypt, decrypt and sign files and e-mail. Operating System: Windows.
46) KeePassDroid, 7Pas, iKeePass, KeePass for BlackBerry
The open source password safe KeePass has been ported to all of the major mobile operating systems. It saves all of your passwords in an encrypted database so that you only have to remember one master password. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry.
47) Secrets for Android
Like KeePass, Secrets saves your passwords in a master database. However, this app also gives you the option of saving other secret information in the same secure database so that it can't be accessed if your phone is lost or stolen. Operating System: Android.
Astrid describes itself as a "social productivity" tool. Basically, it's a to-do list and reminder system that you can use individually or with groups. Operating System: Android.
This WiFi tethering app lets you turn your Android phone into a wireless router that will connect your other devices to the Internet. Note that this app requires root access. Operating System: Android.
50) Open Manager
Open manager is an open source file manager for Android smartphones and tablets. It allows you to cut, copy, paste, rename, delete, sort, zip and backup files and folders. Operating System: Android.