Simple Mobile Tools sold to ZipoApps

Thanks to a heads-up in the /e/OS forum … to whom it may concern:

The complete Simple Mobile Tools suite of Apps was sold by the developer to the company ZipoApps, apparently known for turning popular free Apps into adware, offering to get rid of the ads for a paid subscription.

It seems there will be a fork staying Open Source, but to avoid the supposedly coming adware model, users of Simple Mobile Tools App versions installed from the Google Play Store would have to actively switch to the forked Apps once these are there.

Simple Mobile Tools App versions installed from F-Droid (most of these search results) would most likely stay on the latest F-Droid version, simply not being updated anymore, at least as long as no Play Store related store App managing updates for the same Apps (Play Store, Aurora Store, App Lounge) interferes.


Just notifying @Kerryman – see AnotherElk’s first post above.

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Thanks for the heads-up!

That’s unfortunate, given I had bought several apps of the “Simple…” lineup. Serves me right… :face_with_diagonal_mouth:
Guess I won’t let them update anymore till I find a substitute. Heck, just what I needed… :angry:

Thanks for the news, I’ll keep an eye out then.

It’s a pity that more users, who make regular use of freely offered apps and services, don’t show their appreciation a bit more. My own feeling is that if you find an app (or other service) useful, then it’s a good idea to make a contribution, however modest. How else can we hope to keep things out of the hands of people we don’t approve of?

Yes, annoying indeed, but I think you were doing the right thing. It’s just that not enough people do.


Unfortunately I’m afraid that whatever you do, most developers eventually will yield to “an offer you can’t refuse”. Internet is full of those stories.
Keep in mind that those companies only buy up successful apps/programs. Turning rarely used programs into spam/spyware doesn’t pay. I’m afraid it’s not lack of income which makes the developers sell out, it’s either simple greed, or having got tired of maintaining that program. After all they know who they sell to.

Whatever the reasons, I know I won’t buy apps from that developer anymore. “Fool me once…” and all that. :angry:
I don’t mind the money I lost, but I do very much mind the time wasted finding them, and now to find some replacement.


Biiiig thx for this heads-up! Most important info! Thankfully I had initially installed all my Simple Mobile Tools apps from F-Droid.


The most hilarious part is that his blog is full of things that are completely contrary to selling out to a terrible company.

Yes, my point. “Money talks”, and it talks louder than anything else… :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

Call me cynical, but I have a very hard time trusting any marketing spiel about them being the Good Guys, caring for [$cause] and spending their spare time saving baby seals… That’s what they claim, they might even push the self-delusion to the point of actually believing part of it, but as soon as they hear the sweet ring of money, they’ll rush to sell their mother…
“Citation needed”? Just read the IT news for a dozen years.

As much as I long to be proven wrong, an “ethical company” is just one which hadn’t yet the opportunity to sell out, much like a “virgin” is just somebody who hadn’t yet the opportunity to “do it”… :angry:

I also am a big fan of Simple Mobile Tools for a long time. I have replaced all the necessary Google apps (phone, sms, contacts, gallery, notes) with their Simple variants from F-Droid. Good news is that the F-Droid versions are going to stay, but I guess that without updates those apps may become unusable as soon as Android 14 comes to FP5…:face_with_diagonal_mouth:

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There’s a fork of every single SMT product in the making by one of the contributors, presumably those apps will be updated for Android 14.

Judging by the current speed of updates for the Fairphones, the fork will have plenty of time to grow before a replacement is necessary.

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Sure, but I’m more worried about the security aspect than the A14 compatibility: Chances are the current version is already A14 compatible. But some of those apps replace core elements of the phone (dialer, address book), which better not have any glaring holes.

Yeah that is true. I hope every day that GrapheneOS will fork a project and create some security focused apps that can be installed by everyone.

It will likely happen some day, but the question is whether or not it will be before I sell this phone and buy a better one.

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it looks like forks are already being worked on by a new group: Fossify · GitHub


Same here. I will replace all apps from this “guy” as soon as possible.
Please let us share information about alternatives here.


How do normal users that dont use github download the forked version, will it be available in the play store?

I’d be surprised. I guess the forks might make it onto F-Droid, if that counts as “normal” …

Just another illustration of the growing “Digital Divide”. We’ll get to the stage where “innumeracy” will be the modern equivalent of illiteracy a century ago, but much more subtle and dangerous, since many won’t even realise that they are affected.

Thanks to noodlejetski for the info …


I agree, most people wont even be aware that the app has changed ownership and maybe changed its approach to its core selling point. It will be great if a forked version works for people but that will be a tiny subset if it just stays on github and even if it goes on fdroid as most people dont get their apps from their.

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Today I discovered on F-Droid the apparently new appearance of Simple Mobile Tools.
The gallery, in particular, is now called Fossify Gallery. After installation, the app appears in the usual view, the color has changed from orange to green. In the app settings, the familiar options. The programmer’s website is still under construction. Other apps are also available from Fossify, but I’ll wait and see.

Heute habe ich auf F-Droid den anscheinend neuen Auftritt von Simple Mobile Tools entdeckt.
Vor allem die Galerie, nennt sich nun Fossify Galerie. Nach der installation zeigt sich die App in gewohnter ansicht, die Farbe hat sich von Orange in Grün gewandelt. In den Einstellungen der App die bekannten Optionen. Die Webseite des Programmierer befindet sich noch im Aufbau. Andere Apps gibt es auch von Fossify, da warte ich aber ab.


That’s a fork, the same code is used but it’s developed by another developer.

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OK, but Please translate fork. Is it good is it bad, what does fork mean to you and us? Thanks