Apps you want on the L5

What would such an app do?

Is this a reference to Advanced Mobile Location (AML)? If so, I would expect that eventually, if not at Day 1, AML will be built-in (since it will become a legal requirement in Europe).


texting 911 “help - am drunk - fell in a ditch - dunno’ where i am”

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+1 for ProtonMail :grinning:

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Callers would be able to send emergency text message to 911 instead of calling over voice during shooting or in hostage situation or someone suffering health issue, perhaps stroke or heart attack. It would also be for people with hearing or voice lost. Sprint has 911 app but only can be installed thru Google Play or Apple Store. I’m unsure if it’s possible to contact 911 thru SMS texting message in some cities but most places, if not all, do require an app.

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I apologize for the brainstorming like quality.

  1. A virtual full QWERTY keyboard with Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Super, Home / Pos1, End, Page Fwd, Page Bck, Insert, Del, cursor keys and Function key F1 to F12. This is essential. I use Home and End all the time to jump to the beginning or end of lines or whole texts. Ctrl is essential to do quick copy and paste. Also when dealing with console SSH to server and running “screen” sessions you need Ctrl to detach from that session. On Android I use Hacker’s Keyboard. It solves the Home, End with a second view and also in a quicker way with Ctrl and cursor keys.
  2. A tuner for musical instruments (especially guitars). Example android app: Cythara
  3. Real Firefox
  4. Tor and TorBrowser
  5. DeltaChat
  6. Aria2 as download manager and maybe a nice GUI for it. On Desktop I use CLI. On Android I use Aria2Android and Aria2App
  7. Remote controller for android TVs (via Bluetoth). Example App: “Android TV”
  8. Barcode Scanner for Scanning Barcodes, QR Codes and things like this.
  9. Timewarrior
  10. Calandar Widget (Android App)
  11. DB Navigator (Android App) Navigation for German Railway and open transportation
  12. Delta Chat
  13. A math / calculator app which can handle variables / parameters, functions inclusive plotter
  14. Chess game maybe with online matches
  15. Earmouse (Android App) trains your ear to recognize musical notes
  16. App for learning musical notation
  17. Anki (tab based learning software, multiplatform)
  18. My bank has an app. I only use the function to find the nearest hole in the wall.
  19. A good filemanager with sftp support. On Android I use Ghost Commander.
  20. An Image viewer. On Android there are those Gallery apps. I don’t like that they search through my storage.
  21. XML Feed reader which can display images and maybe embedded videos. Can pass the page to the real browser. Needs flexible filtering. Ideally configurable filters.
  22. A password manager like KeePassX with autotype. I dream of not only autotyping to other applications like the browser. I dream of autotyping via usb to the desktop PC by emulating a hardware keyboard. That way you get rid of the need or sync your password database between desktop and mobile phone. A backup is enough. Autotype via Bluetooth is not safe but would be handy when you use your Librem 5 to autotype your login credentials into you legacy android device. KeePassXC maybe be also interessting.
  23. translation software like
  24. SIP Phone like Linphone
  25. Document reader for PDF, Mobi, Epub etc.
  26. Archive manager for ZIP, 7zip, RAR, Tar etc.
  27. Distance measuring via camera. There are apps that do that by comparison of a well known thing in the picture together with a thing of unknown size.
  28. Naviation like OSMAnd~
  29. Networking tools like Wifi Scanner and Network Scanner like nmap.
  30. Image Sanitizer like Scrambled Exif (Android App) which removes metadata from images before sharing them.
  31. Text to Speach like “Type And Speak” android app.
  32. VLC Player
  33. TV Streaming apps like Zattoo TV or Zapp (German TV)

OK, so a bit different from AML but with some overlap in functionality.

(With AML, when you voice call “911”, the phone automatically also texts or otherwise data contacts "“911"” on your behalf, with your location as best determined by the phone, so even if you pass out before saying anything or choose to say nothing, you will have advised “911” where you are and they may make their own inferences about your situation and how they should respond.)

The disadvantage of the “Sprint 911 app” is that it would have to be engineered hundreds of times throughout the world, for different telcos and countries.

The advantage of AML is that it is standardised. A phone only needs to know, per country, the appropriate emergency numbers that trigger AML and the destination and mechanism to contact automatically with your location. It is also automatic so that even if you are in a bad way (stroke / heart attack / etc.), it will get triggered and sent.

The disadvantage of AML is that it doesn’t provide any situational information other than your location.


seems like VLC is quite the popular one :smile: i had a mobile VLC on my Lumia a few years ago and it was an energy hog.

Purism already has the “Fragments” torrent app on the store maybe it could next see that VLC is there as these two seem to be no.1 for many home PCs.

The one app that I absolutely need on my phone is:
Whatsapp - I know many will hammer me for this, but regardless if I like the app or not, it’s a must in everyday life, it has effectively replaced phone calls for everything from scheduling doctor appointments, contacting customer support, but also keeping in touch with the family and friends. Unfortunately it does not have a web alternative (it’s web client requires you to scan a barcode from the smartphone app).
Around here not having Whatsapp is the equivalent of going to live in a cabin by the mountains, alone.

I think everything else can either be accessed via browser, or is not of immediate urgency and can thus be accessed via laptop later.

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On the day they announced that 15 billion dollar acquisition by Facebook, I immediately uninstalled it and never looked back. Apparently, my suspicion was right. They didn’t cash out an that money for nothing. Can’t have intrusive apps on my phone, managed by one of the worst Corps to date. Defeats the purpose of using a phone like L5.
But, I get it. Most people have to compromise where needed.


responsible doctors doing appointments through this “sort” of “apps” should AT LEAST offer their clients the possibility of “getting-in-touch” through at least one free-software app if they won’t drop wa. it’s not much to ask. if you use EVIL software to do business AT LEAST don’t “collateral” anybody else into doing the same.


@Jooka I empathize with your pain. Our world seems to be, “The First With The Most Wins Everything.” And in recent times the model took cues from abusive relationships; kind at first in public until you are locked in, then rapacious, jealous and demanding in private.

But about that quote above, the inverse is… Having it is like being separated from everything and everybody where you can only communicate through an untrusted third party who thinks of you and everybody they are keeping separate as digital farm animals, and everything you say or hear as milk to be sold to the highest bidder.

Can’t you start your own communications revolt where you are? Signal maybe? Or how about getting an account on a Nextcloud somewhere? Their Talk app has text, file sharing, voice, and video all over an encrypted line. Nextcloud lets you do groups and they don’t need to have an account to use it with you.

@Tatatirci Like when Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace? I was gone before they signed the paperwork.


I never use the apps of the snoopers. And I live in an “isolated cabin” and enjoy it. However, we have a local NAS inside our local fiber network with some “cloud” services. It is isolated from all the snooples on the net.

Interestingly, I just watched Sky News (UK) and an investigation showed sharp rise in abuse using social media targeting children. The legislation must be changed and the apps (and companies) must be brought under strict control. That is long overdue as we have seen these tendencies for many years now - but legislation is quite slow.

I tried out Nextcloud but it was not yet so very developed (but I do not know about the most recent version).
As has been mentioned many times here - using Whatsapp on Librem 5 is like buying a new shiny car and directly driving it into a big mudhole. Why not use a Samsung or iPhone instead ? Installing Whatsapp or other apps like that is destroying the privacy that L5 is designed for.

But of course it is good for us if people buy L5 even if they waste their money in some sense. However, a L5 with Whatsapp is not worse than a Samsung although the privacy is gone.

In general I have nothing against social media per se, but it should be removed from the snoopers.


That depends. It could potentially be better - not for the poor Whatsapp victim, but for those who are in contact with the victim and have their details on the victim’s address book. I don’t know how the phone’s various APIs will work, but if the contacts database has some kind of request source checking and an extra field for each separate program saying whether it’s allowed to have this contact, it might in theory be possible to only allow Whatsapp to know the details of those who are already using it. For instance, when you start the program, you could get a message saying “whatsapp wants your entire address book: bulk allow, bulk deny (return an empty list), or go through each contact and say yes or no”.

This is my main issue with everything owned by Farcebook. Not that it devours the information of those who step into its jaws, but the fact that their software will ship the entire contact list back to HQ, regardless of whether those others on that list consented to having their information sent away.

I discovered that my sister runs several pieces of facebook software on her phone, which REALLY pissed me off - because I now know that Farcebook has my details, I need a new SIM card and number (which she is not getting). That right there is the problem. Unless you pay close attention to what each piece of software does, you’re going to screw not only yourself but those around you.

A phone which lets you control which piece of software can have which piece of data - from the very start - would have prevented this.


The Leitstelle Tirol is already implementing AML in a day to day real-world situations. Here is short video introduction, German language only:

Further info here:


Same. Hopefully someone will make a keyboard layout for the virtual keyboard that does this. I might, if I eventually get time, but someone else will probably get to it first.

Nmap is literally a CLI application, so wouldn’t it work fine, since the Librem 5 has a CLI? Archive managers also have CLI versions.

As for image and PDF viewers, I think some existing ones support Wayland, which seems to work a lot better than X11 in the Librem 5 compositor.

I second the motion as to sync for file, calendar, and contacts for Nextcloud. A Nextcloud Talk app would also be very cool, since I use that feature a lot on my current Android devices.

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@merupp - Actually apart from keeping in touch with my family group chats, I feel like I could ditch whatsapp.
SMS is not an option, neither are any of the other chat apps (signal, telegram, etc) for the simple fact that none of the people I care about will switch to them.
For many of my aunts whatsapp is the internet.
Over time a new app will come in and dominate, hopefully that one is not as freaky about control as whatsapp is.

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The question is: How much can be done using normal Linux programs instead of “apps” ? Right now I am a bit confused and I think we must get the L5 and start testing it before we can get a clear answer. Probably there will be more and more light weight versions of Linux programs suitable for a phone (with less than 6" display).
I would very much prefer to use the same programs (or light versions of them) as I use on my Linux desktops.

But also in the future I will much prefer using Firefox, vlc and such programs on a desktop with a big screen - including social media connections. I will never prefer sitting in a corner with a small screen, a lousy display keyboard and no mouse - Linux phone or not. When I travel I am forced to use a small lousy phone but that is pure emergency :-). And in that case usual Linux programs is what I prefer.

Banking apps are perhaps the most important on a phone in addition to calls and SMS.


It seems to me that the mistake was to install Whatsapp in the first place. If you hadn’t, then you could have used precisely the same principle the other way around. (The principle of not being willing to install/switch to a particular method of communication at the behest of others.) You still could, I suppose, but your position is weakened if you have to retract your previous stance.

I was not aware of this, and, if true, it makes me feel quite angry, because it would mean that Facebook has gathered not just my phone number (and name?) but also has the ability model a partial social network of people I have a connection with, having never once gained my consent to do so. To be honest, I can’t quite believe it’s true. Surely it’s in violation of the GDPR to harvest the personally-identifying phone numbers of third parties?

My understanding is that Librem 5 “apps” will all be “normal Linux programs”. The only thing stopping us from using “normal” programs is that they might not be designed in a manner that makes them good to use on a phone; fiddly user interface widgets, overly-large windows, poor energy efficiency, poor integration with Phosh (the Librem 5’s graphical shell). In addition, some closed-source Linux programs are not made available for ARM processors, and so will not work.


My sources are, and, linked to from

Yes, it’s definitely violating the law. Nobody that matters (or anyone at all?) has been punished for it. They probably never will be.