Announcing new libraries: F-Droid Update Channels

In order to complete the F-Droid distribution ecosystem, we are introducing F-Droid Update Channels. It is a suite of libraries for apps to find updates, no matter from where it was originally downloaded. In many parts of the world, it is very common to get Android APKs outside of the app stores where the developers upload them.

  • third party app stores scrape other app stores for APKs
  • APKs are bluetoothed, directly, downloaded, etc
  • users share APKs via services like Aptoide

In order to ensure that your app always can find updates, we are introducing two specific libraries:

“Get F-Droid” aka org.fdroid.getfdroid

Checks whether F-Droid is installed. If not, it will help the user to download and install F-Droid in a secure way. F-Droid then provides the update channel for all apps available in F-Droid.

“App Updater” aka org.fdroid.appupdater

Keeps the app current by checking the hard-coded app repository set up by the developer. This is similar to the popular “App Updater” library, but handles everything securely using F-Droid signed metadata. The fdroidserver tools handle the creation and maintenance of the app repository.

Compatible with Google Play Terms of Service

Both of these libraries also check whether Google Play is installed, if so, will disable itself. This allows apps to include this library in APKs that are uploaded to Google Play since it will not violate the Google Play Terms of Service.