Some time ago we added download links to some apps that were published on Accrescent. Accrescent aims to be an app repository not dependent on Google credentials which developers can publish their software in.

It differs from F-Droid in that developers build their apps and sign them with their own keys. It has support for split APKs. Accrescent is currently alpha in that it is missing some of the user facing frills such as descriptions. It does however work fine for updating the small number of supported apps. Unattended updates work as intended.

Accrescent also offers a developer console to developers invited to the program which can encourage best practices to developers who want to have their app listed. As the service reaches maturity we can expect more apps to be listed. You can read more about the features here:

Future roadmap is available here:

We likely won’t add this to our Android article, yet but can list an Accrescent download link for things which are supported provides a convenient way to keep those apps up to date.

I have to test this out first, but honestly now that it is being adopted by multiple developers/apps we recommend, I probably do just want to add it to the Android article itself.

Hi there. Just to make that clear upfront, I’m an Accrescent community moderator, but not a developer (Accrescent or otherwise) or project member beyond moderation (which I do for multiple communities/projects). I just wanted to make that clear so that any potential bias can be noted.

I’m personally very hopeful about Accrescent’s future. I currently use it to obtain apps that I use that are on there (admittedly, that’s only a few since Accrescent currently doesn’t allow public submissions, but is rather on a whitelist basis).

That said, to be consisent with Privacy Guides’ policy on these things, I would hold off from listing it as a store itself on the Android page for now. After all, it is in alpha and Privacy Guides doesn’t tend to recommend alpha software in the vast majority of cases.

What @dngray said above is correct in that downloading, installing and keeping apps updated has pretty much worked flawlessly for me, but it’s still missing a lot of things that people will expect from an app stores, especially when it comes to (obviously) selection of apps as well as app details (screenshots, descriptions, changelogs, links etc.)

The project’s public roadmap can be found here:

For the project to be considered to be in beta, at least all of the items in the beta column need to be finished.

Currently, the focus is on re-writing the developer console for app submissions/reviews in Kotlin, as well as making it easier for developers to automatically update their apps instead of having to use the developer console every update, but UI and user-facing features are definitely coming, as noted in the roadmap above.

For those reasons, and because I think people tend to try a thing once and form an opinion on it based on that instead of checking up on progress, I wouldn’t list it just yet.

It’s one thing for someone to see Accrescent recommended alongside Aurora Store, for example, where the insinuation is for it to be someone’s source of obtaining apps, and another thing for someone who is looking at other apps/projects to see Accrescent as a download option. That way, they’d be going into Accrescent to obtain said app, not to download it in hopes of finding apps they can use there, if that makes sense.

Therefore, my proposed solution for the time being if Accrescent is to be considered is for it to be added as a download option where it applies (as is currently the case for ExifEraser and Molly and if a recent PR is accepted, IVPN) but not added as a generic source to obtain apps until it’s at least in beta, and app submissions are public, which I expect to result in a radical increase in options in the store.

I would much rather see Obtainium listed in the Android page for the time being, which can be used as a generic option to obtain apps from a variety of sources and manage them with relative ease, rather than Accrescent where it’s currently just a house to a few select apps whose developers have been whitelisted.

Happy to hear others’ thoughts.

In my opinion it is too bare bones and stills lacking some features. Also, the apps seems to be there for testing purposes mostly. I think it should be revisited when the Beta phase starts.

I agree as per my post above on the bare bones part - it’s currently function over “frills” (which I put into quotes because an app description and screenshots are a very basic thing to expect from an app store, not so much a luxury.)

That said, it is not true that the apps that are in Accrescent right now are for testing purposes. Granted, the entire point behind using the whitelist approach is to let developers in slowly so if issues do pop-up, they’ll affect the least amount of developers and can be ironed out with minimum impact, but there aren’t really any issues with downloading and installing apps from Accrescent right now, and the apps listed are production releases submitted by their respective developers.

When Accrescent was in pre-alpha, it did have an app listing that was there for testing purposes (the lead developer of Accrescent had made their own build of KeePassDX for testing) which you weren’t meant to download and use beyond testing, but that is no longer the case. Someone who uses an app that is on Accrescent is perfectly fine to obtain it from there - I do!


Yeah too bare bones atm. I would be quite frustrated as sb new to privacy and I tried this out only to find a handful of apps listed.

Whats the strategy (if one exists) to convince an organization like Proton to add their apps? I feel like that would convince individual developers to join in. Or would Proton only be interested when there is a significant adoption by the FOSS community?

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I think this is a good idea.

To be clear, I’m not representing Accrescent - this is just my opinion on the matter.

I don’t think that Accrescent necessarily needs to target the biggest players off the bat. As I mentioned in my post above, it is currently in Alpha and a lot key things are missing, both from a developer and end-user perspective.

In my opinion, in order for this app to provide value to end-users so that they can start using it as one of their primary sources of obtaining apps, it, well, needs to have more apps.

So how do you get more apps in? You do it by making the experience for developers as easy and useful as possible to publish, update and provide their app to their users. You make updates automatic, you (perhaps down the line) provide things like download stats (even a simple count is better than something like F-Droid) and you make updates instant provided that they don’t add something that warrants an app review (such as adding a dangerous permission on an update).

If you make it easier for developers, you get more apps in the store, which makes it a useful option for people who would rather not use the Play Store for their own reasons, or who want to obtain apps that they won’t find on the Play Store (or even apps that they can find on Play Store but which won’t have all of the same functionality on their Play Store version).

If you get developers in, which gets you more users, which makes more developers want to be listed there to expose the app to said users… I don’t think it takes long for some of the bigger names to embrace it as well. Hell, IVPN isn’t a small name, and they’ve adopted Accrescent while it’s still in Alpha with a developer whitelist. In a long while when Accrescent is stable and has all of the things I mentioned above, including an increased userbase, why would someone like Proton or Mullvad not want to have their apps there as well?


And to improve a bit the development, don’t forget that it’s possible to make a donation on github : Sponsor @lberrymage on GitHub Sponsors · GitHub :wink:

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Hi! Full disclosure: for those who don’t know me, I’m the Accrescent developer, so take that as you will.

Given that Accrescent currently 1) lacks many features users expect in an app store (descriptions, links, changelogs, etc.) and 2) limits developer registration to a whitelist, I think recommending it generally would be premature. I think most people who use it now (including developers who publish to it) are aware of its shortcomings and have chosen to use it in spite of them, whereas those who haven’t heard of Accrescent before and only know of it as “another app store” have higher expectations and so would be disappointed and/or surprised at the lack of features and options in comparison to other app stores.

I also understand PG doesn’t tend to recommend alpha software. Admittedly “alpha” is a somewhat arbitrary distinction, but I think it’s fair to say Accrescent doesn’t yet have the standard feature set expected of an app store.


Its not about recommending Accrescent in its alpha state anyways, its just about going to a app recommendation, opening up this:

And then saying “oh look, I could also download it with Accrescent! The app store that I already have!”

That is indeed fine at this stage, I would say. Either when people already have Accrescent and want to get an app that’s on there where Privacy Guides can serve as a hint towards that with the Downloads button, or for when people want to obtain an app such as IVPN and are looking for where they can obtain it from. If someone doesn’t want to use Play Store for their own reasons, they can download Accrescent for that app, and discover what else is on it in the process.

But @jonah mentioned recommending Accrescent itself in the Android page, which is what I think is premature at this stage.


I fully agree with both @matchboxbananasynergy and @lberrymage. It’s nice to know its available there. Yet the store is not really filled yet so probably not many will use it for now. The idea is really something to apploud and I really hope it becomes a success.

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