Simple Mobile Tools is the developer behind a suite of open source Android apps that live up to their name, with simple, ad-free user interfaces and features. Simple Voice Recorder has long been my go to recommendation for anyone looking for a no-nonsense way to record voice memos on an Android phone, and the developer also offers useful calendar, music player, notes, file manager, and gallery apps, among others.

Now the creator of Simple Mobile Tools has confirmed that the company has been acquired by ZipoApps, which could bring significant changes to future versions of these apps. Some existing users are not happy.

Simple Mobile Tools

One of the most likely changes? Expect new versions of the apps to feature ads and data trackers. Most other Android apps from ZipoApps also include ads and/or in-app purchases. , and the Google Play Store listings for some apps like Simple SMS Messenger already show a “Contains ads” message.”

So if you’ve installed any apps from the Simple Mobile Apps suite from the Play Store, don’t be surprised if future updates bring new “features” that you may not be all that happy about.

It’s also likely that updated versions of the apps will no longer be open source. But since all builds of the apps up until now are still available under an open source license, that leaves users with a few options:

Anyone looking at that last option may want to check out Fossify, which is a new fork of SimpleMobileTools created by Naveen Singh, a long-time contributor to Simple Mobile Tools.

What this means for anyone who bought the company’s Simple Phone-branded smartphone, which launched last year, remains to be seen.

via /r/SimpleMobileTools

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  1. DivestOS put out this warning last month:
    “Simple [Mobile Tools] Gallery has been replaced with Fossify Gallery due to the sale of SMT. Furthermore it was found that SMT Gallery depended on a proprietary Google VR SDK library, which is removed in the Fossify fork.”

  2. I couldn’t wait for the SimpleMobileTools series to begin with the opening of the lawsuit as the first episode.

  3. Thanks for the news. Already replaced the apps with equivalents.

    I actually donated to the project but it’s his project to do with what he pleases, I’m just sad to see the apps go this path. I was very pleased with Simple Messenger for my SMS. Glad there are forks, hope they thrive.

  4. So long as we are on the subject of Android and FOSS… whatever happened to Mozilla Thunderbird for Firefox? Is it eternally stuck as the K-9 mail app? it
    Concerning Simple Mobile… well, maybe it was simply too good of a software suite for continued development to last by just one group… However, they all seem to be basic apps that Android lacks but should have included in the OS (even Windows 7 had many of these covered with Notepad, etc). Instead Android insists on using Google Cloud apps in place of private on-device apps.
    But seriously… I don’t trust any Android phone to NOT have an automatically mirrored counterpart of your entire phone’s drive somewhere in the cloud on some agency or corporate database server even if only for general OS security purposes. Prove me wrong if you can. Until then I remain unconvinced that Android is not spyware.

    1. You meant the Android version and not the Windows, Mac or Linux version?
      Yes it is still K-9 in Android.

  5. Well, I sure wouldn’t buy the phone now.
    As you can see on their home page, Linux Mint is currently sponsored by Simple Mobile Tools.
    I wonder how that’s going to play out.