Simple Mobile Tool/Google Play Store

TL;DR

  • Simple Mobile Tools has been sold to Israeli app publisher ZipoApps.
  • Users are worried that the acquisition will lead to advertisements on Simple apps and that they’ll no longer remain open source.
  • The Google Play Store pages for Simple apps are already marked with the “Contains ads” warning.

Simple Mobile Tools, a popular group of open-source Android apps without ads and unnecessary permissions, has been acquired by ZipoApps. The latter is an Israel-based developer specializing in purchasing mobile apps and monetizing them with ads and paid subscriptions.

As a result of the acquisition, Simple’s suite of apps, including a Voice Recorder, Calendar, File Manager, Music Player, Contacts app, and more, could soon see significant changes.

Users worry the ZipoApps acquisition would result in the addition of advertisements and data tracking methods on Simple apps. The Google Play Store pages for Simple apps are already marked with the “Contains ads” warning. Moreover, the open-source nature of the apps could come to an end after the acquisition is completed. So if you’ve installed Simple apps from the Google Play Store, you might be in for some unpleasant changes in the future.

What can you do?

It looks like the forked versions of the apps will stay open-source, but to avoid the upcoming changes made by ZipoApps, users of Simple Mobile Tools apps installed from the Play Store will have to sideload and switch to the forked versions.

A Reddit user also suggested that the versions of the apps on F-Droid would probably not be updated and left as is, meaning they would not be affected by changes made to the Play Store versions of the app. So as long as you don’t update your apps from Google’s official app store, you can avoid the changes.

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