F-Droid just discovered a useful hack on the Play Store

Android has accepted alternative app shops since its beginnings, although they have not always been treated equally with the Play Store. Google has been trying to improve support, and an API that allows for unattended, hands-free upgrades is a significant breakthrough introduced in Android 12. One and a half years later, one of the most prominent open-source software distributors has finally introduced support for the API.

The app shop in question is F-Droid, which provides a centralized collection of free and open-source Android software. The shop itself is also open source. In contrast to pre-installed alternatives to Google Play, such as the Galaxy Store on Samsung phones, F-Droid lacks the essential rights out of the box to allow program installation and upgrading in the background without explicitly asking for permission. With the unattended updates API, this is changing.

Version 1.19 of F-Droid finally supports the API introduced in Android 12, as discovered by Mishaal Rahman on X. This allows updates to be installed completely in the background, with no user intervention necessary. Naturally, this only works for apps that were installed using F-Droid. With this development, F-Droid can become an even more viable option for the Play Store and other pre-installed apps for the users who want to depend over open source Android apps.

Previously, F-Droid had to rely on a helper app with root access to install updates in the background without bothering the user, known as the F-Droid Privileged Extension. This is no longer essential, as the app now uses the unattended updates API.

F-Droid underlines in its blog post that it wants to guarantee that the user experience is as stable as possible, which is why version 1.19 is not currently identified as the advised version. It may still have issues; thus the project is proceeding slowly with the deployment. If you’re daring enough and already have F-Droid on your phone, you must activate beta updates to receive it right away. You may also get it from the F-Droid website.

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