The purpose of the /e/ installer is to offer users the opportunity to access the largest possible choice of Android apps, with additional features to provide more information about privacy (and possibly other information in the future such as energy score etc.)
Assumption for the rest of this message: /e/ is not meant to geeks or people who can tweak their smartphone.
So what are our options?
1- no app installer: no way (users would need to authorized installation of third party apps, install Yalp/Aurora/F-droid etc. == geeks)
2- have F-droid only: too limited in term of number of applications. And yes, some people want or need to use apps that are very bad in term of privacy (including me as an example: I have to use Whatsapp, among a number of IM clients, for business purposes).
3- have Yalp/Aurora: can’t distribute, these are illegal software regarding Google Play Store TOS, and doesn’t offer apps from F-droid.
4- have Aptoide store: no guarantee at all about apps quality (it seems some APKs are even modified by users to add ads etc.), and doesn’t offer F-Droid apps
Therefore, we need something new that:
- provides as many mainstream Android apps as possible, with a privacy score, and in the future some filters to trigger the way apps are sorted, so that users can choose in good knowledge of things. (/e/ is about freedom of choice, that’s a core project value since I started the project).
- provides F-droid apps as well
- provides PWA apps
All of this in a consistent manner, that can be used straightforware by anyone.
That’s the /e/ Apps installer.
If you find equivalent software somewhere else, please warn me.