Let’s analyze in depth F-Droid, the repository of free and open source software applications for your Android terminal.
Currently the best alternative to the Google Play Store as an Android app store is F-Droid, A platform on which all the apps you will find are from free software and / or open source and in which you can add additional repositories. In the following lines we will explain what are your best applications and our opinion after using it for some time.
What is F-Ddroid? One of the best alternatives to Google Play
F-Droid is an Android application repository where any user can download applications and use them on your terminal without relying on Google services, Because all the content that is published in this app store has GPL 3.0 license.
This means that the code for these applications is free and open, Allowing anyone to consult or modify without any limitation. In fact, in the file of each application we will be able to access, to majors of the history of versions of the same and the permissions that grant him, to his source code and to the incidences have reported him to his creator.
One of the main advantages of F-Droid is that all its content is free, Although we have the option to perform donations to app developers specifically so that they can continue to improve it.
How to install F-Droid and add repositories
In order to install F-Droid on our Android phone we just need to follow the steps below:
A repository is an application store that is hosted on a server so that they can be easily installed and updated, that is, it is the source from which we installed an app.
F-Droid is an app store that allows us to customize these repositories, and even add the ones we like best as long as they are compatible with it. to be able to configure and customize the repositories from which the apps will be installed, We only need to perform the following actions:
- Open the application and click on the configuration option at the bottom right.
- Once inside, we will have to select the option repositories and mark those we want.
- To add some compatible repositories, We just have to press a the + sign located at the top right and enter the web address of the same.
Within this alternative app store we will find all kinds of apps, except for official customers of social media and games, As they both need Google services to work. Keep in mind that some of these apps will also be found in the Play Store, meanwhile others are exclusive to F-Droid.
Focusing on their exclusive applications, we must emphasize that they all offer us a plus of privacy and security and after trying a few, these are the best apps you can find on F-Droid:
- fair Mail: An alternate mail client that will allow us to link any email account from any provider and that focuses on privacy, keeping us safe from crawling by Google or Microsoft.
- AnySoftKeyboard: An alternative keyboard to the well-known open source Gboard and SwiftKey and has all the features needed for our day to day as support for different languages, Typing words, gestures, Emojis keyboard, virtual keys and dictionary word editor.
- AntennaPod: A complete podcast manager that will allow us to listen to our favorite shows, download episodes automatically, Organize our playlist and adjust the playback speed for each podcast. Another advantage of this application is that we can export both settings and subscriptions to import on another device.
- OsmAnd +: An interesting alternative to Google Maps that is based on data provided by Google Maps OpenStreetMap and that allows us to use it both as a GPS navigator and download the maps in our terminal for when we do not have an internet connection.
- DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser: One of the most popular web browsers as far as privacy is concerned, since blocks both cookies and crawlers and that it even allows us to use its own search engine.
- NewPipe: A YouTube client through which we can view all content on this platform without going through Google’s servers, Add all our subscriptions to this platform and some features of the Premium version as downloading videos to our terminal and playing in the background.
F-Droid Opinions: Is it safe?
The question you’re asking yourself right now is whether F-Droid is so secure and reliable with the Google app store, the answer is yes, and we can even claim that it’s safer than the Play Store itself.
The key to this security is that this store consists of free or open source applications and its own characteristics explain its reliability:
- security: The source code of these applications is available to everyone, so we can see that is what he wants to do and find out if there is any kind of malicious intent.
- privacy: These applications are aimed at protecting the private data of users, who they will not be sold or do business with them.
- Quality: There is a false feeling that free applications are of worse quality, but this is not the case. They may not be as beautiful aesthetically, but they count with the same functions, or even more, than proprietary applications.
- Free: All applications on F-Droid are free and they have no in-app purchases or subscriptions. Some developers accept donations, but many of them just want to publicize its creation and that it can be useful to users.
This means that the apps we can find in this alternative store are more secure than those in the Play Store because they are audited by a large number of users who use them daily. In this sense, F-Droid gives us the ability to report any errors we find in an application, like the Google app store, directly to the developer, although in this case, communication is more fluid because we have the option to include the bug report on the project’s own website on GitHub.
Related topics: Applications, Google Play