The F-Droid Android client, aka fdroidclient, has been around for over 10 years. The code base needs modernization to make it a lot easier to maintain and to be more inline with what contributors are used to working on. This is made a lot more difficult if we have to support very old Android versions. Right now, I think we need to set the minSdkVersion to 22 (Android 5.1).
We like supporting all working devices, but we also have to be realistic about what we can accomplish given the level of contributions we currently have. The best outcome might be that someone contributes the work to support Java8 in SDK Versions older than 22, then we can keep
minSdkVersion at 14 (4.0). Another possibility is someone contributes work to make only the F-Droid Basic “build flavor” support back to 14, and the main flavor is bumped to 22. Or someone could make a fork to support older versions.
So there are a lot of things blocked until this happens:
- using libraries written in Kotlin
- using signatures better than SHA-1 on the F-Droid.apk
F-Droid v1.11 would stay working for a long time, so old devices can stay on v1.11 and have a working F-Droid. Someone could even maintain a stable branch off of 1.11 for old devices.
I would love to hear thoughts and feedback.
More info here: