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.
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:
- Download the latest versions available from F-Droid, a repository for open source Android apps.
- Grab the last pre-acquisition releases available from the project’s GitHub pages and sideload them onto your Android device.
- Look for alternative apps.
- Find a new set of tools based on a fork of the open source versions of Simple Mobile Tools (or create your own fork).