I’m a relative noob to fdroid, but I’ve always been aware of it and used it to install some Foss must-have apps.
I’ve always wondered why the client updated every time I install it fresh. And I’ve always installed the updated client assuming it is pushed as a stable and most secure version.
Now I see the predicament.
And sympathise as you guys provide a marvellous and idealistic service, helping keep Foss alive in principle and in reality.
Can I suggest marking any rc candidates pushed on the client updater with the request that people report issues directly through an easy to see "report fdroid client bugs’ form; along with an opt out. The form should display a list of top ten (or so) known bugs that allows a user to tick “'this is my issue” which feeds somewhere that the devs can see priority issues; or click an “other issues” button which brings then to the support forums or gitlab; or better yet, presents a template similar to gitlabs issue tracker and it feeds to a private or open section of the support forum on a guest (maybe client id linked with permission) account -and have trusted forum users tag and collate each reported issue as known and merged, new, insufficient info, etc. Try to crowd source your bug collation.
Sorry if that idea doesn’t help. But I reckon you have a lot of good will out there given the nature of the fdroid project. Crowd sourcing might be a valuable resource that could help. You could also reach out to forums such as this, XDA, github, gitlab, sourceforge for volunteers for a temporary period to help. And based on complaints or assessed performance (in terms of appropriate tagging, etc and ask them back for a further period until you establish a trusted core of mods/fdroid associates and scale as needed from there.
Im just musing. But it would expand the community and maybe help you guys concentrate on the client and infrastructure.
Maybe it’s not practical… Just ideas…