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
making your that your app can always find updates, no matter where
someone got it from.

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. F-Droid then provides the update

“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”
libraries, but is secure do to the F-Droid signed metadata. The
fdroidserver tools handle the creation and maintenance of the app

Both of these libraries also check whether Google Play is installed,
if so, will disable. 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.