We have been here for a few days reviewing some alternatives to Google services. In this case we will see options where to get applications for our mobile device.
When Steve Jobs announced that Apple devices would use an app store as the installation medium, many of us thought it was a good idea. After all, he was an old acquaintance of linuxers, the package manager albeit with a bit of marketing. The idea was adopted by Google for Android and with much less success by Microsoft and Ubuntu (in the latter case it would end up abandoning it definitively in favor of that abomination known as the GNOME Software Center)
A decade later, the official app stores failed to deliver on their promises. Not only do they fail to protect the user from viruses and malware, but also accusations are raining down against Apple, Google and Amazon (it has its own store for Android) for privileging their own products and demanding abusive commissions from developers.
Fortunately, In the case of Android, we can choose to download very good open source applications from other stores. This is important to be clear about. You will not find WhatsApp here, not Spotify or any cracked version of paid applications. They are perfectly legal applications uploaded by their developers.
Alternatives to Google Play
Probably, of the alternatives to Google Play it is the store best known of all. We can divide it into two services. On the one hand, the application repository itself where you can see, search and even download applications and, on the other, an application that after installing it on the mobile takes care of the download process, installation and upgrade. If you download the application manually, you must activate the option to install packages manually in the device's developer options.
Regarding the packages, F-Droid distinguishes between two types; source and binary. In the first case it is because it was built and signed by F-Droid from the source code that you can find in the web version.
This type corresponds to the majority of applications.
In the case of binaries, they are built by the developer and obtained directly from him.
To ensure the security of distributed software, it is built in a virtual machine environment nor connected to the Internet and that is deleted once used.
This store Of applications uses the F-Droid repositories so the applications are the same. What changes is the more careful presentation and a more similar arrangement to Google Play.
It also shows us related applications and in order of popularity.
Alternatives for downloading proprietary apps
En this case speak of an open source application that allows you to download any free program from Google Play without having to download additional Google libraries. This is very useful if your phone uses a version of Android that is not supported by Google.
You cannot download new paid applications, although if you decide to use your account, you will be able to download the ones you already had.
In case you do not want to use your account, you can operate anonymously.
Of course, it is inevitable that Google accesses certain data. They are:
- List of downloaded applications to check for updates. It is still possible to hide some.
- Searches and downloads performed during the current decision
- The IP address of the device.
In the case of anonymous logins, Aurora Store generates an access token to Google Play and it is one of your IP that is registered
With regard to the Aurora Store itself, the IP address is only recorded when due to abnormal use it is necessary to block or restrict access.
Of course, there are many more alternatives to Google Play, not to mention direct download from the developers' website. However, I preferred to dedicate the article to those that either dedicate themselves to open source or instead privilege user privacy.