POLL: Should e-apps store incl. 'unsafe' apps?

Hi together,

From my site of view, a tracker-free ‘ungoogled’ OS should not have a store that offers apps that don’t care about privacy, have trackers, and collect data like crazy. In my opinion this contradicts the credo of e-OS.
I don’t want to patronize a user. Anyone can install Whatsapp and Co if he wants, but then please from the aurora store where insecure apps are offered.

What do you think?

I am looking forward to your comments

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Interesting topic. Raises a few questions.

  • How do we judge ‘clean’ apps? Based on number of trackers…
  • Who does the judging /e/ team members or users
    All comment and suggestion are welcome.
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sure. If an app incl. proprietary trackers it’s unsafe, because it’s collecting user data. And that is unwanted in e:OS

Easy, ClassyShark. It’s checking the trackers.
No tracker -> apps store.
trackers -> no apps store

But not Exodus, because exodus is only checken play store apps.

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Hi,
I do not agree with this point of view. When Google and Co decide to impose a system full of trackers and ads, they leave no choice to the final users even they communicate that they do. Until now, the /e/ philosophy left the choice to the final users how they use the system. For non-geek people, it is hard to change their habits overnight. It will come progressively. It’s not bad thing that they’re already hearing about it. It’s good that they find their applications that they are used to daily use.

Personally, before to switch to /e/ a year ago, I use Android OS and to prevent trackers and ads I use Blokada to block them. In some months of using Blokada, It blocks about One million bad domains (trackers, inapp ads, stats…). Now, under /e/ OS, I notice that Blokada has blocked 33K bad domains only in some months. I guess that this difference comes from those apps that you won’t to be installed on /e/. I am aware of this fact and I take my precautions.

Freedom and awareness is a good motto in this case.

The selected applications do not meet the needs of the all users.

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I don’t hink that it really block all trackers connections. If it would so easy with one app, why is e created. If blokata is able to block all trackers Evryone could use standard Android and blokata and no data will left the phone.

I don’t understand the purpose of having an /e/ Apps store. We already have F-droid for clean apps and Aurora for commercial apps.

What is the purpose of the /e/ Apps store?

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I’m 100% on your site. use f-droid as default store and everything is fine. For play store apps everyone is able to install aurora from f-droid

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by the way everything of e.foundation is designed for privacy, OS, e.drive, mail only the app store is not. That is inconsistent nevertheless

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I don’t always understand @harvey186 immediately, but in terms of privacy and data protection I’m 100% compliant with his opinion.

Security and privacy should be 100% related to the whole /e/ ecosystem. That won’t be easy to realize. But with an own /e/ App Store and around 60.000 Apps this will not be manageable.

Therefore “less is more” - and it can succeed. This is the only way to create a unique selling proposition in the global market and to significantly expand the /e/ user community.

Positive press releases are needed - and not “As before, /e/ looks promising, it isn’t Google-free by now.”

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:joy::+1:

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Firstly things like exodus or classy shark only look for tracker URLs in the app. They do not and cannot find direct tracking. For example exodus shows chrome has no trackers. So identifying “safe” apps is not as easy as using these scanning programs. There should be a way for appropriately aware people (not machines) to curate the app list and assign a privacy rating

Secondly I think all apps should be available in the /e/ store, for the simple reason that if /e/ is to attract users from the general population the full range of apps must be available. However I think a search for an app should list results in order of safety (so “safe” apps come first). It should also be clear which category the app is in. For example a green background for “safe” apps, yellow for “some concerns” and red for “you really should avoid this app”. There would need to be a fourth background colour for apps which have not yet been reviewed.

As for the need of an app store, definitely, for 2 reasons. Firstly /e/ should be secured so that the “install apps from unknown sources” can be left in the “no” position. This is for security. Secondly general users want to click the app store icon and get an app, they don’t want to first look in f-droid, then if nothing suitable look in aurora. This will quickly devolve into just look in aurora, which is not where users should be looking.

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I liked this suggestion. A color code to easily identify Apps. Let keep the suggestions flowing.

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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.

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OK, now I get it. There’s a plan.

But there’s a lot of work to do. Today, /e/ 's app store is the third place where I look for apps, after F-droid and Aurora, or after Aurora and F-droid, depending on what I’m looking for.

Yes, a big plan which needs years to realize.

Already took side for /e/ installer (if taking side is even required at all) in this thread, would like to reiterate here :slight_smile:.

Exactly. /e/ will struggle to reach critical mass without the option to add popular, mainstream Android apps. Keep focusing on the bigger goals ahead of you. We appreciate the work you’re doing. Thanks Gael.

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The last thing we should be doing is policing what the user can and cannot install. I believe our role is to provide a clean environment (read ROM) to start with. Provide users enough info on what is bad in each app and then leave it at that. I would not want anyone to tell me what I can and cannot install on my phone. Similarly i expect most users also would be wise enough to make their own decisions. W/e/ telling users this is all you can run on /e/ is similar to a stock ROM from a vendor packed with bloatware most of which we never use.
Just my personal view on the subject. There will always be two sides to any argument.

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Personal opinion:

  • Inform the user thanks to Privacy Ranking (done on /e/ app store)
  • Let the user decide.
  • Fix bugs and limitations to make sure /e/ works properly (we are not yet there and very little seems be done by the dev team to fix bugs identified months ago).

Currently /e/ has limitations and bugs which prevent me to run some apps I would need (and for which I am aware they are not 100% purist open source), and that is a real burden for day to day life.

If /e/ intends to be usable for mass market and not only Linux activists, then it is important it runs well (no more bugs) and let the user take control of their experience…and yes… some of us are still connected to friends via Whatsapp and other, will takes time before Signal becomes the standard and openstreet maps comes close to Google map.

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I think most people are don’t understand what I mean. Sure, everyone should install what he want. But e-OS is a privacy oriented OS and all around e.foundation will it also be. So why is the apps store against this rule ?
People which are decide to use a googlefree OS are not the mainstream. SO the argument for mass market doesn’t count. There will be no Android clone for mass market in the future.

Once again: ALL products of e.foundation are standing for privacy. why is the apps store an increase. That’s the question ?

And when mum und dad are buying a e-phone the are thinking they will get a trackerfree prhone and that the apps the can download are also trackerfree. They rely on it, because they’re not geeks/nerds.