F-Droid for iOS

Will there ever be an F-Droid App for iOS?

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I don’t think iOS has great support for sideloading apps, so any such project would inherently always be at the mercy of apple.

I highly doubt anyone involved here has any interest in developing for the iOS platform but we’re certainly not trying to stop someone else from taking the f-droid model and trying something like it on iOS.


Is it correct that all the iOS alternatives to the App store are basically dependent on safari or webkit?
So, it is not possible to make something like F-Droid for iOS whithout infringing Apple rules?

As I understand the problem, it’s not so much that there are dependencies on Apple’s software as it is that iOS’s ability to install unapproved apps is about the same as the worst-case for Android: No apps that aren’t from Apple’s App Store can be installed without “jailbreaking” (roughly equivalent to rooting Android, but I don’t know the technical specifics), which is something that Apple makes a focused effort to prevent. I believe the Apple EULA for iOS expressly forbids jailbreaking, and they also put out a lot of FUD about it being bad for security, performance, and overall experience.

A bit of an up-and-coming issue these days is platform vendors (namely Google and Apple) taking increasingly heavy cuts of developers’ revenue when they distribute their apps through the official stores. Fortnite’s company is already sidestepping Google Play and distributing its Android app on its own website to avoid having Google take a big cut of their revenue - they would love to do this on iOS too, but the last I heard, that wasn’t happening because of Apple’s tough lockout on non-App Store apps. I suspect that, as a result of this, Apple (and maybe even Google) will start to take a harsher stance on non-Store apps as the pressure rises for developers to try to leave the central stores and market their apps independently.

Something vaguely F-Droid like for iOS has existed for a while - Cydia. It’s open-source, but I don’t think all of the software it distributes is, and much of it isn’t free (lowercase f, as in requires payment) either. I’ve never used it before and don’t own an iOS device, so I don’t know anything more about it beyond that.

Following Cydia’s example, it may be possible to set up a version of F-Droid for iOS, but its barriers to entry would be a lot higher than they are for Android, and it’s possible that Apple will soon try to kill off jailbreaking entirely with their increasingly tough stance against third-party modification of all types, so it surely wouldn’t be as successful as it is on Android. It would also be more or less directly competing against Cydia, which would be another sizable issue. All in all, it seems like a project that would have a huge amount of work required and not be very rewarding.


I didn’t know about the Fortnite scenario.
Maybe on the Apple phones they decided to use the App store because the alternative stores aren’t that big, and they couldn’t distribute the app by themselves as Apple terms says.

From what I know there are alternatives to the official App Store on iOS, but they are all dependent on Safari.
They appear to me as web apps instead of being indepent apps (like F-Droid on Android).

Some examples are Tweakbox, Mojo Installer, which you can install without jailbreak.

I’ve used YouTube++ from TweakBox without having a jailbroken iPhone in the past, I did go in the settings and allowed TweakBox to work, same process more or less as Android.

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What’s the name of the iOS app?

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