Proton has announced that the ProtonVPN app is now available through the alternative Android app store, F-Droid. If you’ve ever attempted to de-Google your phone, you may be familiar with F-Droid as it serves as a Play Store replacement but offers only Free and Open Source (FOSS) software.
Proton puts a heavy focus on privacy and many of its customers have likely taken the decision to de-Google their Android devices to prevent Google from tracking their activity. F-Droid can help Proton reach these users more effectively and even gain new customers. As it stands right now, only ProtonVPN is available on F-Droid, Proton didn’t say whether or not ProtonMail would also be coming to F-Droid.
Aside from privacy-conscious users with the technical skills required to de-Google their Android devices, the Play Store also remains inaccessible in several countries around the world. By offering its app through F-Droid, Proton can help people access the open web using ProtonVPN. One particularly interesting application of F-Droid was reported on back in 2017. In Cuba, where connectivity is expensive, shops have set up local F-Droid repositories where locals can download apps without even connecting to the internet.
According to Proton, offering its apps on F-Droid gives customers greater peace of mind. It highlighted the fact that F-Droid builds the apps itself from the source code provided, this helps to ensure that Proton hasn’t sneakily added any code into the binaries which could be used as a backdoor. If you want to check out ProtonVPN on F-Droid, you can find more information on the app’s listing.