In the Android world, one app store is king: the Google Play Store. This is the “official” place to download apps and games. However, there are some alternatives. f-droid It is one of the most interesting options that exist.
Just like getting Windows apps, you can get Android apps from a variety of sources. In fact, you don’t even need an app store . Play Store makes it much easier and safer to install apps. F-Droid aims to do the same thing, but for very different reasons.
All about it FOSS
F-Droid is a repository of android apps free and open source software (FOSS). It’s completely non-commercial, so it’s not technically an app “store.” You can donate to the developers, but none of the apps or games cost anything.
What makes open source software different is that its code is freely available for anyone to use. It is essentially like solving a mathematical equation and displaying your work. Everyone can see what you did and use it themselves.
It is important to note that there is a big difference between FOSS apps and apps that are simply free. Most open source software is monetarily free, but that’s not really what “free” means in free and open source software.
Free in this context refers to the freedom . FOSS developers are generally concerned with the ethics and morality of software use and distribution. That’s why F-Droid is the preferred app store in Privacy-focused Android ROMs like GrapheneOS .
Does not depend on Google
The big difference between F-Droid and Play Store is the lack of Google. It probably seems obvious, but it’s more than you think. It’s not just that you don’t have to use a Google-owned app store, F-Droid apps work just fine on devices without Google Play Services .
This is why F-Droid is commonly the preferred app store in custom ROMs like Lineage OS Y Graphene OS . They don’t come with Google Play services pre-installed and many apps rely on GPS to work properly. If you’re looking for more privacy and a security-enhanced smartphone experience, F-Droid lets you do just that.
Basically, if you want to use Android without all the privacy trade-offs that come with Google products, F-Droid is the app store for you. While it is possible to download FOSS apps from all over the web, F-Droid makes it much easier to find them.
Installing F-Droid is just like downloading any other Android app. go to fdroid website on your Android device and tap the “Download F-Droid” button to download the APK and install it.
The F-Droid app is set up like most other app stores. There’s a “Latest” tab for new apps, a “Categories” tab to browse by genre, “Nearby” lets you push apps to nearby devices, and “Updates” shows your apps that have updates available. There is also a search function.
You will notice that some apps are labeled with “Anti-Features”. These are features that may not be particularly welcome to privacy-conscious users. They can include things like ads, in-app purchases, location tracking, source code that is no longer available, and more.
To install an app, simply visit the app’s page and tap “Install.”
Once it finishes downloading, an Android system popup will ask you to confirm by tapping “Install”.
That’s all about it. The selection of apps is much smaller on F-Droid than on the Play Store, around 3,000 compared to around 3 million, but that’s to be expected. if you are looking for un-google your life a bit or just want to try out some apps that have better ethics, F-Droid is a great place to go.