Is the appstore safe to use

I just got my Samsung Galaxy S9+ with /e/ OS preinstalled.
Right to the beginning: I really like the idea and philosophy of open source software, but sometimes I lack some basic knowledge about software and how to ensure its integrity because I never programmed myself.

/e/ OS comes with the appstore Apps preinstalled. According to the FAQ the APKs are from CleanAPK.com.
Is this a safe source? As far as I understand it, an untrustworthy appstore is a huge risk. Maybe they modify the APK of famous apps to track user or install malware and we (the user) have no chance to prevent it or even know it.
Sure, the google play store could modify the apps as well, but if it becomes public it would be a disaster for google.
So how do I know that CleanAPK has no bad intensions or turns bad in the future? Is there a way to ensure the apps are the same the developers created or do I have to trust them?
Which appstore do you recommend as an alternative (not necessarily open source)

Bonusquestion: I want to use fDroid as well (because I trust them that they dont manipulate the apps, I guess?) but it is not available in the appstore. So I downloaded the APK directly from there website. But as far as I know, APKs dont get updates automaticly but I have to download always the newest version from their website. Is there a way to always get the newest version of fDroid without downloading it from the website?

greetings
jakob

I just trust them, I already trusted them with the ROM so I will trust them as well in that app store, and fdroid will be updated by itself no need to go back to web every time.

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I agree 100%. “/e/ store” is as clear as a App store can be, even show you which permissions and trackers the App’s use. Im using both, F-Droid and the preinstalled store, i do trust them both.

The only thing you need to install from the /e/ ‘Apps’ store is F-Droid. It is in the /e/ ‘Apps’ store - search for F-Droid. Install it from there, then install Aurora Store from F-Droid. F-Droid should be regularly updated by ‘Apps’.

Aurora Store gives you anonymous access to all the free apps in Google’s play store, and is useful for anything that is not in F-Droid. It’s much less buggy than /e/'s Apps at the moment too.

An alternative is to use NanoDroid to install both F-Droid and Aurora store (as system apps, so they can install updates automagically). Then you never need to near /e/'s Apps at all :slight_smile: If you want to that, let me know and I’ll pass on the NanoDroid setup file I use to do this.

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