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F-Droid: the definitive un-Play Store

Most Android devices (at least not those made by Huawei) come equipped with the Google Play Store. Of course, there are some notable outliers such as: the Amazon Fire tablet, somewhat locked into Amazon’s parallel app ecosystem, but an exception that proves the rule. Although other device vendors and carriers have historically provided their own app stores, there are also carrier/network independent distribution systems for Android apps. Meet F-Droid, a free and open source alternative to commercial app stores.

There are two main benefits of using F-Droid. The entire app catalog is completely non-commercial (so you can donate to the developer, but no forced purchases) and very importantly, F-Droid is customizable. Optionally, an Android ROM without Google Play Services (eg Ancestry OS) or, depending on the design, you can see it in a security-oriented ROM like this: Graphene os. However, the learning curve is short because F-Droid is designed as an Android app store for both advanced users and security-conscious types, not for beginners.

new (left) and categories (rights) The section shows downloadable apps at a glance.

Like the Play Store, F-Droid not only automatically updates downloaded apps (rooted devices) through the catalog, but also allows users to download updates for their projects over Wi-Fi only. Don’t use too much data by choosing to load. Is. The interface is reminiscent of a typical App Store and defaults to the “What’s New” screen. Basically it works like the Play Store except everything is free. F-Droid also provides a toggle switch in its settings to allow apps that require ‘anti-features’, including aspects of Android that don’t normally protect privacy, such as unwanted Tracking locations and super cookies. Thankfully, F-Droid turns this behavior off by default.

To install F-Droid on your device, click in your browser, then select the “Download F-Droid” link on the home page. Or you can scan the QR code on the home page. Import APK directly. Once installed, F-Droid does some initial administrative work and then starts fetching new ones from the repository to populate the list of apps. Similar to the behavior of modern Linux distributions, F-Droid can also allow additional third-party storage if the user needs it. This feature is particularly important. This is because some projects or packages (e.g. the web browser Bromite) do not go to the standard F-Droid repositories, so there are developers who generally prefer to have more direct control over their distribution backends. In the F-Droid settings panel, select “Storage” under My Apps.

It’s worth noting that for added security, all connections made to the network by F-Droid are handled via HTTPS. Thor It can also be used for added privacy. The Orbot app is installed on the device. The Orbot Guardian project is available through the F-Droid repository.

update (left) and storage management (Rights)…

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