Android Version Statistics on F-Droid?

I know that Google publishes market share information. I wonder. Would that be possible with F-Droid?

I ask this for these reasons:

  1. It might be that F-Droid statistics differ from the official market share statistics.
  2. I would like to be informed for which audience I develop an app for.

Is there any way F-Droid could help create statistics?

I suppose, by default, no data about the operating system is gathered. One also does not need to gather it for all connections. If we gather it for 1% of the connections to F-Droid, this could tell something.

I can say with some confidence that it is unlikely that F-Droid will enable analytics by default for even a small subset of users; however, it could probably do it for users who explicitly request it, and this is already implemented in a minimal way and enabled when you check “Send version and UUID to servers” under “Expert mode” options.

Still, I believe that main exists as a tool for whitelabel builds, and currently, F-Droid doesn’t even publish statistics about data that don’t have to be obtained by analytics, like the amount of times a given application is downloaded. This simply means that I wouldn’t hold my breath.

I would keep in mind that, even if this sort of statistics were enabled for a self-selected subset of users, that might not be representative of all F-Droid users, because by having users enable statistics collection explicitly, you might introduce sampling bias… so this may be less useful than it seems, anyway, unless one did blanket analytics collection.

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We’ve had a looong discussion about that topic, feel free to read about it there:

Especially see this post by @hans:

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For the record, I’m not opposed to analytics. It just needs to be done in a privacy-preserving way. For example, someone could enable this on an fdroid repo or f-droid.org mirror and generate some stats: https://guardianproject.info/2017/06/08/tracking-usage-without-tracking-people/

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