Using F-Droid alongside Apps - known obstacles and how (not) to avoid them

There are a couple of reasons why I am using F-Droid: Some Apps you will find only there. Some apps are more FOSS, might provide more privacy and sometimes even more features compared to the apps from the Google Play Store (which are the same that Apps provides).

When it comes to stock apps it can become tricky. If you replace the weather app from the F-Droid Repo for example, you will have to enter your own API key. But other than that I didn’t have any problems. If needed, I now just install whichever version is newer or better.

F-Droid has some nice features: You will see a release history for every app and can install older versions. You can lock a specific App so it won’t be updated.
Apps on the other side doesn’t do that. You can only switch to manual and skip unwanted updates.

In one case one specific app wouldn’t update in Apps. It would download, then start the installer and never finish. A closer look revealed the reason: “PackageManager: Package signatures do not match previously installed version; ignoring!”
As this app was on top of the list it would also keep all the other apps from updating.

There is another thing. Apps provides the F-Droid app. And it wants to update to the newest version. Unfortunately at the time of writing this is an alpha version, I don’t want to use that. F-Droid on the other side needs a flag to be set to install non-stable versions.

To make the most of it boils down to this for me:

  • I use F-Droid whenever possible.
  • Updating in Apps is a manual process where I have to skip apps.
  • I need to know or make a list where I maintain which app.
  • I am using a Backup-App (root needed) that can save data belonging to an app so in case of a reinstall I don’t lose everything. (Credentials are lost in any case though.)

When it comes to Apps I do have a feature request:
Please make it possible to flag single apps so that updates for that app will be ignored.