Paid features in opensource apps


I think the problem about the pro features is the currently Fdroid don’t have amount of option in some programs for the user can choose and more for basic apps, if all app starts with the model of purchased for basic things Fdroid will be a store with a lot of purchase apps where the user always need to purchase outside and where the user loses the control about you privacy and how to work that transaction, in debian, linux-mint, archlinux etc and also ubuntu is strange to find an application like email or something like that required a purchased pro-features, I think in the mobile world should be more like a desktop experience about the free/open software.

Gilab has a more different focus, like red-hat the are focused to the enterprise part, red-hat makes money whit the support for the companies, so that examples don’t require money for the final user to use some characteristics for example fedora doesn’t have a “pro” feautures.


It has, it’s called RHEL :slightly_frowning_face:


yes, but is for companies not for final user, but the “pro” RHEl is only about support don’t block/unblock any feature in the OS


Maybe we could add a new setting in the privacy category:

  • Include commercial versions
    (this denomination is not really correct but don’t find better)


most like, “Include purchase apps”, and yes, should be included as privacy settings due F-droid don’t have control over the transaction and normally is an external site that could be have with privacy concerns (cookies, no https, play store etc)


“Include apps with paid features”


after that commit things are getting clear. :slight_smile: Great!

Yes, but the mentioned app allows the user to pick up an already running server and start benefiting the service.
This calendar & contacts sync and storage app are not the same when the later allows the user to get served without pulling out bank card or crypto wallet. User might not have any of these.

Anti-feature might sound a strong, but some kind warning is needed.


The direction F-droid is going is increasingly disturbing. I’ve recently installed a bunch of apps and almost all of them had ads, “premium” locked features, or nag screens at startup. This goes against the Libre spirit of Free Software. The argument that it’s “open source” is null and void when the intention is blatantly obvious.

F-Droid is not a platform for Shareware and those who want to sell their products have a suitable home at the Google Play Store.


F-Droid client should be able to hide the anti-featured apps, there’s a switch for this.

Though desirable per-anti-feature filter not yet implemented, see


Oops. Think twice before making such statements.

Almost 3 000 000 000 people survive for less then 2$ per day. Just think about it.


Your words need to be backed up with links on f-droid!

Which apps?

I don’t know any open source ads libraries, so not sure what ads you’ve seen.

Premium or not, if it’s open source I see no issue with it, see the posts above.

Shareware with GPL source code? That’s not a thing…

Please add to the discussion, don’t just repeat statements that were already responded to.


And those 3 billion just love to not be payed for their work, right? C’mon, don’t just reduce this to the absurd, that’s a fallacy.


I think we are going back to the pricing point which I’ve already addressed in a previous comment. FLOSS is not about money, it’s about user freedom. If the server is open, I don’t think there’s a difference. Yes, it may be slightly annoying to have to run your own, and it has discouraged me from using some apps in the past, but it’s almost always about local vs remote storage rather than paid vs not paid.

As said above:

just to re-emphasise my previous point: I’m not against apps that require a server having some indicator to mark them as such. That’s why EteSync has included such wording from the very beginning. I’m just against marking it as an anti-feature (if the server is also floss) or discriminating based on a price-point (free vs $1 vs $10).

I think the wording in EteSync atm is probably fine:

In order to use this application you need to have an account with EteSync (paid hosting), or run your own instance (free and open source)

Though I think that if we are to start focusing our efforts on pushing agendas into f-droid that are not within it’s mission (i.e not related to FLOSS vs not FLOSS), we should start with privacy. Mark apps that are not end-to-end encrypted and etc. Because again, I think user freedoms are rights are much more important of a topic than apps that have an option to use paid hosting.


I’m speaking from that point of view. Mobile devices are extremely
valuable in people’s lives. You can see people around the world have
mobile phones even when the nearest GSM signal and power is a 10km walk


I completely agree with this. But how about not just marking negative things about apps? Along with anti-features we could emphasize some neutral and positive features too. Maybe with a traffic light system like:

:green_heart: positive features:

  • actively promotes free software
  • educates about free software

:white_circle: neutral features:

  • contains advertising
  • contains pay to unlock features

:red_circle: anti features:

  • promotes non free services
  • depends on other non free software


My 2c, apps with paid features should be clearly marked as such. With many apps users spend considerable time choosing the app, trying to setup and customize it and after all this work they find out that they are supposed to pay for a feature?


I understand the concern. Well it’s ok that they are trying to sell some features of the app, it still does not make the app closed source. They are obviously trying to make some money for their work. I don’t know, what features aren’t there in K9 that you are looking for? What’s there in Fair Mail that is not in K9? K9 does get constant updates and I personally find it very good. In Fair Mail they simply block access to certain features using their server, that is not an issue of software freedom. Perhaps it is an issue like an email provider using open source software, yet blocking users from using all features if they don’t pay.


Interesting idea, but impractical. I think it’s highly subjective whether something is a morally positive or neutral feature. As you can can see in this thread it’s even hard to find consensus about labeling paid features/services.


Perhaps (optionally) list all of above attributes, & (further optionally) allow us to set color/weightings/“anti-feature” status, w/ defaults to the above set by a poll?


As i wrote before, filter on per-anti-feature would be a good start to solve subjective opinions