F-Droid is a community-maintained software repository for Android, similar to the Google Play store. The main repository, hosted by the project, contains only free and open source apps. Applications can be browsed, downloaded and installed from the F-Droid website or client app without the need to register for an account. “Anti-Features” such as advertising, user tracking, or dependence on nonfree software are flagged in app descriptions
Why should you consider F-droid
Free - All apps are free. Donations are appreciated though
Ads in android app are implemented by with either Google or 3rd party provided SDK. F-Driod cannot compile those apps. So no Ads.
- No tracking
Picture speaks thousand words. On the left is one the popular app from Play Store and on the right is another popular app from F-Driod.
- Opt-in analytics/error reporting
Most of app don’t have either of the above and for the ones which do, it is not enabled by default. App either requests on first run or when It crashes. Also they are very transparent on what is being collected. The key here is choice, which is missing from Play Store apps.
- User respecting
- Safer than apps from Play Store
When developer/group submits app on Play Store, they submit the compiled apk.App submission process for F-Droid is different. source code is submitted, which then is review by experts to check if there is some malicious code. F-Droid servers compile code and generate apk. In the sense, Apps on F-droid are much safer than Apps on Play Store.
Apps from F-driod only request permission it absolutely needs. Unlike Apps from Play Store, Where a calculate app requests permissions like your location, Contact, Messages, Call logs, Camera ,Micro Phone and I am like ahh., How did it make it though review process?
📱 > In browser of your choice Go to F-Driod > Click ‘Download F-Droid’ , Ignore warnings if any and save apk > Click on downloaded file , allow for unknown sources if requested
Next step, Explore!!
Where to go from here?
The app count in F-Driod is increasing everyday. One gentleman have done a fine job in aggregating list of repos you can add to F-droid. New repo can be added by
⚙️ > My Apps > Repositories > +
F-Driod is my goto app store when I am looking for an app. Since I don’t have Google Play Store installed. I basically found a replacement for all applications. Only F-droid apps I have on my phone fall under any one of these category Banking, Food delivery, Shopping and Games.