It was announced earlier this year, that Android had surpassed Windows as the most widely used operating system. While the Linux kernel that Android is based on is open source, very few Android applications are. And those that are, can be hard to find. F-Droid fixes that problem.
Started six years ago, F-Droid is a collection of free and open-source apps. This includes an app store that you can download to your Android device to easily access the apps. There are currently 2,553 apps available.
This seems pretty small compared to the Google Play or even Amazon Appstore. However, you can be sure that these apps will much higher quality than most of the ones that you find on Google Play.
F-Droid offers a wide range of apps, including browsers, file managers. games, media players, comic readers. (A word of warning: Don’t expect too high-quality graphics games on F-Droid. The games are made by people in their free time and don’t have huge budgets.) There are also a couple of apps that allow you to run Debian on your phone.
They also have apps from the security conscience Guardian Project, including communication apps that use the Tor network. Each app has it’s own wiki page on the F-Droid site. including basic information, changelog, and repo link.
Is It Secure?
As with any third-party app store, the question is “can it be trusted?” Google has had problems in the past with people uploading apps full of malware. The team behind F-Droid removes this problem by compiling each app themselves. This ensures that the app will run as do what the developers says it will before it is added to F-Droid.
The team behind F-Droid is not letting the grass grow under their feet. They are currently working on an update to the F-Droid app that will give it a more modern look and will include the ability to update apps in bulk, instead of one at a time.
How You Can Contribute
If you find the F-Droid project helpful or interesting and would like to contribute, there are several ways you can go about doing that. You can make a donation via PayPal or Bitcoin. You can report problems; submit an app; translate; or help build the app.