If you’re interested in running free and open-source Android applications, you would most likely know F-Droid.
It is a good alternative to Google Play for users as it has a catolog of apps. But the main feature of F-Droid is that it is an app source that contains nothing but open-source Android apps.
All the apps, which are published in F-Droid, should be open-source; it means that there should not be any closed source component. All the developers working on F-Droid are facing problems due to the Google’s recent requirements for them to shift to PlayBilling Library v3. Without the PlayBilling Library, all the developers now need to publish apps on both Google Play and F-Droid while building separate versions of their apps.
Why Is It Happening?
This is because after the new version 2.0.3, Google has stopped uploading the source code for its PlayBilling Library. Before this, there are four versions, which use closed sources.
Since apps could use the older PlayBilling Library v2, this has not been a problem till now. But now, Google requires those developers who will publish their apps on Google Play to move to v3 but closed source iswhere the problems are starting.
For Play Store purchases, there is no free software. In order to make payments and purchases, all thee developers need to use Google’s libraries.
Since the Gradle allows product flavors with different source code sets, developers didn’t face any problem while building a version of their app with Google Play’s PlayBilling Library and a version of their app without the PlayBilling Library for F-Droid.
But this will be quite a problematic situation for the users while downloading any app from F-Droid because they’ll not be able to use Google Play for purchases. If you don’t use Google Play billing services, then this may not be a problem for you.
All the apps, which will be affected by this change, will surelybe available on Google Play Store, but only if you use F-Droid as an alternative app provider.