FDroid as a replacement for Google Play. Is it possible and what will have to sacrifice?

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    Hello, Habr!

    Inspired by the Dark Side of Google Play post .
    Because Android is based on the Linux kernel, it would be strange to abandon the ideology of Linux, in particular from many repositories. But what surprised me is that not everyone, even IT-related people, knows about the alternative to Google Play.

    About six months ago, I basically refused Google services in favor of FDroid on one of the tablets. And I’ll tell the community about the results of the current experiment. About the reasons, about the pros, cons under the cut.

    Black and white

    For the first time, he began to look for alternatives to Google Play (GP) a year ago in connection with the NSA and Snowden scandal. Then I first came across FDroid . And even then, this repository covered almost all the needs: mail, browser, ssh client, etc. I also did not like the numerous ads in the applications.

    Of the pluses, I note the key:
    1. All applications are backed up by a link to the source code.
    2. Multiversionnost. For many applications, there is> 1 version of the distribution
    3. Optionally, applications indicate a link to their site (usually the same as the source) and a link to current tasks.
    4. The unchanging design and structure of the application.
    5. Ability to control repositories
    6. No GP Ads in Applications
    7. All applications are free.
    8. Application licenses are clearly indicated

    Of the minuses are quite obvious:
    1. Not all applications from the GP get into the standard repository
    2. There is no way to set the price for the application (only donation, only good)
    3. There are practically no games (is it a minus?)
    4. An open question with guarantees
    5. There is no instant integration of applications with a Google account
    6. There is no way to specify the installation directory
    7. The requested rights are displayed after preloading the entire application


    Now about the practical side of using FD and have you been able to completely abandon GP services?
    Browser, keyboard, mailer, cards. The most requested applications to start with. Everything was and is. There is no chrome in turnips, so kinship with Ognelis saved. But the metro map and film search were only in the GP and temporarily had to abandon them.
    In the future, I installed Jabber from a turnip, tried some more browsers, media players and was pleasantly surprised by the set of applications working with Tor.

    But there was still a need for single applications from the GP. Electric trains, metro, traffic jams, cinema, etc. Here I was saved by the ability to download apk distributions with GP in different ways. Crutch, but it works.

    Games on the tablet are of little interest to me. There is something in the turnip, but with the GP, of course, can not be compared and close.


    It is not possible to completely refuse GP services. Highly specialized and narrow-local applications get there only and the only opportunity is to pull them out.
    The version is “half-hearted": you can upgrade, but I was able to roll back only through uninstalling the application.

    In general, you can live if the games are not too interested. But if the tablet is gaming, then moving away from the GP is simply pointless.

    Why go away from GP at all and what does it give? In principle, I am leaving the GP precisely because of all the surveillance and the closed source code of the applications in it. Yes, in the OS written by Google you cannot completely escape from it, but you can reduce the number of holes through which information about yourself leaks. Well, I got rid of advertising = 3 To be honest, Google products are already frankly disappointing with an abundance of advertising.

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