iOS apps/software with Linux


The iPhone and iPad are great devices, but way too locked in for an ordinary Linux user. The following is my list of software that makes everyday usage good without having to use iTunes with your iPhone or iPad. I refer to iPhone below but everything is applicable to iPad as well.

Replacing the Music Player:


Since a few years ago I use Spotify most of the time for music listening.


Adding music to your default iPhone music app must be done with iTunes. However, there are other music players which can also handle more music formats. For example, I use Capriccio which also plays OGG and FLAC files. The best thing is that you can upload/edit the files via wifi using WebDAV -- just connect to it from Nautilus and drag and drop your files.

Replacing the Video Player: flex:player VLC for mobile

Adding videos to the video player requires iTunes just like for music. You can install the flex:player app and then easily put your videos in the app's Document folder (via cable, hence requires libimobiledevice). The app will automatically show all videos located in the folder. It will play many file formats if you pay for the app, and if you don't you must use MP4 (you can use the iPhone preset in HandBrake for example). I have not used flex:player in many years.

Nowadays I use VLC for playing videos that I have converted using Handbrake. It is convenient to manage (upload and delete) videos using a web interface. Download VLC from itunes.

Syncing photos and videos wireless

Today I use Nextcloud for storing my data in my local server. If you use it you may also upload your photos and videos automatically. Very convenient!

It may be faster to download your photos and videos with cable to Shotwell, but doing it wireless is so nice and easy. My favourite for doing so is with the Sync Photos to Storage app. You install software on your computer (Linux, Mac, Windows) as well as on your phone. After opening the app you just have to press one button to upload all photos and videos taken since last sync. It is really smooth!

Alternative to AirDrop

Instead of using AirDrop which only works for recent Apple devices, you can use Dukto (GPL software). Install Dukto on your computer as well as the app on your phone. Now you can send files (including your photos) between devices (not only Apple's) and computers if they are on the same network.

PDF reader (and general File Manager)

I read PDF magazines using Documents from Readdle, but it can handle a variety of formats including movies as well. You can get your documents on the phone from many cloud storages but also upload from your computer using WebDAV or FTP.

Last updated: June 2019.