Fossdroid – A Gray Android
With the Dark Android Project, my mission has been to make the most secure, anonymous, and private device as possible, while not having to get too nuts-and-bolts with your Android device and configuring software. It’s a fine line to walk that appeals to some, but there are others that have little interest in taking things “that far”. They don’t mind using a vanilla Google-version of Android, and they don’t mind using the Google Play Store. And that’s all up to personal preference. A lot of what I talk about with the Dark Android Project can easily get used in that kind of setup, and people can treat Dark Android like a buffet (and please do so, by all means).
While at some point in the future I may do a post that describes the best setup if you still want to use the Play Store or Google’s Android in general, there are sites that actually do this work very well, and so I want to highlight the best of the bunch in that regard. Fossdroid is a website that I was already highlighting on the main Dark Android Project page, but just in case you didn’t see it, I’m talking about it in this post.
Fossdroid is a database of alternatives to apps made by Silicon Valley’s “big boys”, and they are all “free and open-source software” (thus, the “FOSS” in Fossdroid). It’s a regularly updated collection, much like I do with Dark Android, but again, it’s for those that want to largely stick with the Play Store. Perhaps you could think of it as a “Gray Android” (as compared to a “Dark Android”) They also point out my favorite app store/repository, F-Droid, thankfully, but some of their recommendations aren’t really available in F-Droid (think Firefox, which doesn’t have the latest version in the repository). Regardless, it is the best website for what it does, and it does fill a very different role from the Dark Android Project, so I’m glad it exists for its niche.
And who knows? Maybe people will get so desirous of open-source software on Android because of sites like Fossdroid, that even if they’re not up for Dark Android now…we can be here for them in the future when they are.