Wednesday, November 28, 2012

64 Open Source Tools for the Mobile Workforce

Many within the open source community have recently bemoaned the lack of open source apps for mobile devices. However, their contention that open source has ignored the ongoing transition to a post-PC world isn't entirely accurate.
While it's true that the number open source mobile apps haven't kept pace with the exponential growth of mobile apps in general, open source developers are slowly but steadily adding to the library of open source apps for smartphones and tablets.
In addition, many apps that aren't open source themselves have been created using open source development tools. Arguably, some of the best mobile development tools out there are available under open source licenses, and this category continues to grow quickly.
Also, many existing open source projects have updated their feature set to add mobile capabilities and access from mobile devices.
Thanks to all of this progress, we were been able to extend our list of open source tools for the mobile workforce from the 50 projects we featured last year to 64 this year. The section on mobile development tools alone doubled as many notable projects are growing in popularity.
As always, if you'd like to recommend other open source mobility tools to our list, feel free to note them in the comments section below.

Mobile Development Tools

1. PhoneGap
Used by more than 400,000 developers, PhoneGap boasts that it's the "the only free open source framework that supports 7 mobile platforms": iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Palm WebOS, Bada and Symbian. With it, developers can build cross-platform mobile apps using HTML, CSS and Javascript. Operating System: Windows, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, others.
2. Rhodes
Ruby-based Rhodes allows developers to write code once and turn it into native mobile applications for multiple platforms. An enterprise version with a commercial license and support is available for a fee. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone.
3. ZK
Downloaded more than 1.5 million times, ZK calls itself the "leading enterprise Java Web framework." It's known for allowing developers to build Web apps in Java alone--without knowing Ajax or JavaScript--and it can also be used to build mobile apps. Operating System: OS Independent.
4. Appcelerator Titanium
Appcelerator claims that Titanium is "the first mobile platform to combine the flexibility of open source development technologies with the power of cloud services." It supports the development of iOS, Android and mobile Web apps using JavaScript. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android.
5. IPFaces
Designed to make it easier for experienced Web developers build mobile apps, IPFaces excels at the creation of form-heavy mobile applications. Enterprise support and other professional services are available. Operating System: OS Independent for the developer; creates apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, others.
6. JQuery Mobile
This HTML 5-based framework offers a simple drag-and-drop interface for creating cross-platform mobile Web applications and websites. Notable features include a theme roller and a download builder. Operating System: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, others.
7. JQTouch
Want to do Web development from your iOS or Android device? JQTouch makes it possible. Notable features include easy setup, native WebKit animations, callback events, flexible themes, swipe detection and more. Operating System: iOS, Android.
8. Jo
Jo describes itself as a "simple app framework for HTML5." It allows you to build native-like apps in JavaScript and CSS. Operating System: iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Chrome OS.
9. Sencha Touch
Another JavaScript-based HTML5 framework, Sencha Touch is used by more than 500,000 mobile developers, including more than half of the Fortune 100 and 8 of the world's top 10 financial institutions. In addition to the free open source license, Sencha also offers a free commercial license and paid support. Operating System: OS Independent.
10. Qt
Used for both mobile and desktop development, Qt is a cross-platform application and UI framework that supports both C++ and a JavaScript-like language called QML. Commercially licensed versions are available from Digia. Operating System: Windows, OS X, Linux.
11. MoSync SDK
This cross-platform software development kit allows you write mobile apps in C/C++ or HTML5/JavaScript--or a combination of both. Developers can use it alongside MoSync Reload, an open source development tool that makes it easy to see how apps will look on various mobile platforms. Operating System: Windows, OS X, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian.
12. Restkit
Restkit aims to simplify the process of building apps that interact with RESTful Web services. Features include a simple HTTP request/response system, integration with Apple’s Core Data framework, database seeding, object mapping system, pluggable parsing layer and more. Operating System: iOS.
13. Molly
This rapid development framework has a goal of making the creation of mobile portals as quick and painless as possible. Developed by Oxford University, it's a good option for other universities that also use the Sakai Virtual Learning Environment. Operating System: Linux.
14. OpenMEAP
An enterprise-class HTML5 mobile application development platform, OpenMEAP boasts top-notch end-to-end security. It enables rapid application development and supports multiple mobile OSes. Operating System: Android, iOS, BlackBerry.
15. Kurogo
Created by Modo Labs, Kurogo is a mobile-optimized middleware platform that was based on the MIT Mobile Framework. It makes is easy to create portals, mobile websites and apps that aggregate data and content from multiple sources. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS.
16. Mobl
Based on HTML5 and JavaScript, mobl is a programming language designed specifically for creating mobile apps. It's statically typed and comes with an Eclipse-based IDE. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
17. AML
This XML-based language aim to makes it possible to build cross-platform, data-driven applications that run natively. However, currently it only supports Android. Operating System: Android.
18. AllJoyn
AllJoyn allows developers to create applications with OS-agnostic, proximity-based device-to-device communications. The company behind the project is currently running a contest where they plan to give away $170,000 in cash and prizes for great apps built with AllJoyn's framework. Operating System: Windows, OS X, iOS, Android.

19. Moai
Describing itself as "the mobile platform for pro game developers," Moai offers both an SDK for game development and cloud-based services like leaderboards, achievements, etc. In addition to the free open source version, it's also available in a number of fee-based versions, with prices depending on usage. Operating System: Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, Chrome.
20. QuickConnectFamily Hybrid
Boasting that it can speed mobile development by up to ten times, this app claims to be the "first full framework for JavaScript, CSS, and HTML development of installable, application store ready apps." It's highly modular and includes a built-in library for SQLite database calls. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android.

Device Syncing

21. Funambol
The open source Funambol software is a client-server solution for syncing contacts, calendars, tasks and notes. The company also offers commercial, cloud-based syncing solutions for mobile operators and personal use. Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Symbian.

Enterprise Mobile Management

22. OpenMobster
OpenMobster offers an open source mobile backed-as-a-service for enterprises and includes capabilities like syncing, HTML5 hybrid app development tools(based on PhoneGap) and push notifications. Fee-based consulting and integration services are also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
23. Knappsack
This mobile application management platform offers tools for securely uploading, managing and sharing apps among a group of users. The open source version is free, and the company also offers both free and paid hosted versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android.
24. ForgeRock
ForgeRock offers a platform of mobile identity management solutions for enterprises. The tools are also available on a subscription basis, which adds support and real-time access to software updates. Operating System: Linux.


25. MobileCartly
This open source mobile shopping cart boasts PayPal integration, advanced management features, real-time statistics and "no programming skills required." It's also available as a WordPress plugin. Operating System: OS Independent.

Mobile Ad Server

26. mAdserve
The self-proclaimed "world's most powerful open source ad server," mAdserve offers tools for managing ad campaigns across 30 different ad networks. Premium services are also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android.

Mobile App Management

27. QuincyKit
This helpful kit collects and reports crash data and user feedback on your mobile apps. It's also available as a hosted service from HockeyApp. Operating System: OS X, iOS.

Mobile App Repository

28. F-Droid
This collection makes it easy to download and stay up to date with dozens of open source apps for Android. It provides details about all of the versions of the apps that are available and allows you to choose which apps you use. Operating System: Android.

Mobile Blogging

29. WordPress for Android, WordPress for iOS, WordPress for BlackBerry, World Press for Windows Phone
Update your blog from your smartphone or tablet with one of WordPress's mobile clients. Versions for Nokia phones and WebOS are also available. Operating System: Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Windows Phone.

Mobile Content Management

30. Joomla
Downloaded more than 35 million times, Joomla is the content management system for around 2.7 percent of the Web. The project offers a number of extensions that can help you optimize your site for mobile viewing or manage your site from your smartphone or tablet. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
31. Drupal
The link above offers a guide for those who want to use Drupal for mobile app and website development. The project is also currently working on a mobile initiative to expand the capabilities of this popular content management system in its next major release. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
32. Plone
One of the most popular open source projects of any kind, Plone is another widely used content management system. It has a reputation for excellent security features and can be used to create mobile Websites. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

Mobile CRM

33. SugarCRM
An open source alternative to, SugarCRM counts Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Men's Wearhouse and other well-known brands among its users. The open source community version includes a mobile web interface, and the paid cloud-based versions come with native apps for Andriod, iOS and BlackBerry. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, iOS, BlackBerry.
34. vtiger CRM
Downloaded more than 2.8 million times, this CRM suite for small businesses can be accessed from any device at any time. Commercial versions are also available, and paid native mobile clients can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android.
35. openCRX
OpenCRX combines Web-based customer relationship management capabilities with groupware that will sync with smartphones and tablets. Track your sales and accounts from any browser. Operating System: OS Independent.

Mobile Groupware

36. Zarafa
The self-proclaimed "best open source email and collaboration software," Zarafa is an alternative to Microsoft Exchange that can sync with mobile devices. In addition, it has a mobile device management plug-in that includes remote wipe capabilities. Paid support and hosted versions are also available. Operating System: Linux.
37. K-9
Based on the original Android email client, K-9 is designed to "make it easy to chew through large volumes of email." Key features include push IMAP support, attachment saving, BCC to self, signatures, message flagging, multiple identities and more. Operating System: Android.

38. EGroupware
This open source groupware solution offers Web-based calendar, mail, project management and basic CRM that can be synced with most mobile devices via ActiveSync. Host the open source version yourself or use the fee-based cloud version. Operating System: OS Independent.
39. Zimbra
One of the most popular open source alternatives to Microsoft Exchange, Zimbra's mobile capabilities include groupware access via the mobile Web, syncing capabilities through ActiveSync, mobile administration and securities, and native support for iOS and BlackBerry. Operating System: OS Independent.
40. Group-Office
Another Web-based open source groupware and collaboration suite, Group-Office can sync with mobile devices running Android, iOS, BlackBerry and most other mobile operating systems. Paid support and a hosted option are also available. Operating System: OS Independent.
41. Simple Groupware
This project takes a standards-based approach to groupware, allowing for easy syncing with smartphones and tablets, as well as interoperability with Microsoft Outlook. The project developers claim you can deploy Simple Groupware and get up and running in less than ten minutes. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

Mobile ERP

42. ERP5
This full-featured ERP solution offers template skins that allow workers to access the suite from mobile devices. In addition to the open source version, the software is also available in a paid hosted version or a locally hosted version with paid support. Operating System: Linux.
43. mBravo
Web-based OpenBravo ERP can be accessed from any browser--including those on modern smartphones and tablets. The project also has an extensive plug-in library which includes the mBravo mobile client (see link above). In addition to the free community edition, numerous paid versions and services are available. Operating System: Android.
44. Open ERP
A combination ERP and CRM app, Open ERP offers modules for accounting, point of sale, warehouse management, human resources, purchasing and much more. It syncs with iOS and Android devices, and paid online and enterprise versions are also available. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
45. opentaps
This self-proclaimed "most advanced Open Source ERP + CRM solution" offers optional modules which add mobility features. Professional subscriptions are for sale, and the project also offers pre-configured images for using opentaps on Amazon Web Services' cloud. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

Mobile File Transfer

46. Connectbot
Need to transfer files to an Android device? This SSH client will allow to move your files securely. Operating System: Android.

Mobile Office Productivity

47. OI Notepad
This note-taking app allows users to create, edit and share notes with other users. It also has an extension that allows users to add audio to the text. Operating System: Android.
48. Edhita
Edhita is a simple text editor for iPad only. It doesn't have advanced word processing capabilities or the highlighting features you would see in a good code editor, but it does a solid job of text editing. Operating System: iPad.
49. OpenOffice Document Reader
This helpful app lets you view and read OpenOffice and LibreOffice documents from Android devices. It doesn't have editing capabilities, but does support spreadsheets. Operating System: Android.
50. NeoOffice Mobile
NeoOffice is a version of OpenOffice optimized for Macs. This version allows you to access and share files on iPhone and iPads as well. Operating System: OS X, iOS.

Mobile Operating Systems

51. Android
Currently the most popular mobile operating system available, Google's Android is an open source project. Numerous manufacturers, including Samsung, LG, HTC and Motorola, offer Android-based smartphones and tablets.
52. Firefox OS
Made by Mozilla, the group behind the Firefox browser, the Firefox OS promises to incorporate new Web standards and "free mobile platforms from the encumbrances of the rules and restrictions of existing proprietary platforms." The operating system isn't available on any handsets yet, but Mozilla has released an emulator that lets you try out the OS from a Web browser.
53. Tizen
Governed by the Linux Foundation, this project aims to develop a mobile operating system that relies primarily on HTML5 technology. The code is currently an alpha release.

Mobile Security Tools

54. ASEF
Short for "Android Security Evaluation Framework," ASEF analyzes Android apps from a security standpoint. It can test multiple apps at once to determine if they include malware or aggressive adware or if they are using excessive amounts of bandwidth. Operating System: Android.
55. The Guardian Project
This project has developed multiple security-focused Android apps, including Orbot (a version of Tor for secure mobile Web browsing), Orweb (an enhanced browser that supports proxies), Gibberbot (private, secure IM), OscuraCam (private, secure camera app) and Ostel (encrypted phone calls). Operating System: Android.
56. Csipsimple
Csipsimple offers secure calling and SIP features for Android devices. Video calling features are currently under development. Operating System: Android.
57. Droidwall
As you might guess from the name, Droidwall is a firewall for Android devices. It's based on IPtables and can also help you improve your battery life. Note that this app requires root access. Operating System: Android.
58. APG
APG (a.k.a. Android Privacy Guard) is an implementation of the OpenGPG encryption standard for Android. It's a work in progress, but already it allows users to encrypt, decrypt and sign messages, as well as to manage keys. Operating System: Windows.
59. KeePassDroid, 7Pas (KeePass for Windows Phone 7), iKeePass, KeePass for BlackBerry
A perennial favorite among open source fans, KeePass is a password safe that allows users to utilize different passwords for every website or service they access, while only remembering a single master password. Versions are now available for every major mobile operating system--and some of the minor ones as well. You can find a complete list of mobile versions at Operating System: Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry.
60. Secrets for Android
Similar to KeePass, Secrets for Android also stores all your passwords in an encrypted password safe behind a master password. However, this app also lets you store other "secrets" in encrypted notes. Operating System: Android.

Mobile Testing

61. Akamai Mobitest
Want to know how quickly your website will load on an iPhone 4 in Cambridge, Mass.? This testing tool lets you check website performance on various smartphones in different locations. You can use it for free directly from the website or download the source code and run it from your own server. Operating System: OS Independent.

Mobile Utilities

62. Barnacle
Barnacle allows you to use your Android device as a WiFi hotspot, so that you can connect your PCs to the Internet via your wireless data connection. Note that this app requires root access. Operating System: Android.
63. Open Manager
This project offers an alternative file manager for Android that makes it easy to cut, copy, paste, delete, rename, backup and zip files, as well as to install apps that don't come from Google Play. It comes in both smartphone and tablet versions. Operating System: Android.

Remote Access

64. Android-VNC-Viewer
This VNC client allows you to use an Android device to connect to a VNC server. It allows you to view another system screen remotely. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

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