Obtainium (Android App Downloader)

Obtainium is an Android app, found on Github that downloads and installs applications direct from the Github/lab/source page.

Advantages over RSS method:

  • Faster to setup than RSS method for those that don’t use RSS feeds
  • Less steps involved than the RSS method to install
  • sends push notifications when updates are available.
  • tells you the version of the app you’re running
  • can bulk import from your starred github/gitlab pages
  • Non technical users that aren’t comfortable with installing APKs can have it all done for them.

General Limitations:

  • App installs are assumed to have succeeded; failures and cancelled installs cannot be detected.
  • Auto (unattended) updates are unsupported due to a lack of any capable Flutter plugin.
  • For some sources, data is gathered using Web scraping and can easily break due to changes in website design. In such cases, more reliable methods may be unavailable.
  • Cannot install apps from source that require compiling or are contained within an archive (e.g. .ZIP)

I recommend adding prior to the ‘Manually with RSS Notifications’ section of the Android page here.

The “Verifying APK Fingerprints” section is also still relevant to this method.

I do like this app, however I’m not sure it’s a better solution than what we currently recommend without this feature being added:

We may still consider adding it because some of the other benefits you mentioned are pretty nice, however this one is definitely possible with RSS feeds already.


The new plugin mentioned above has a dealbreaker - see #46. Switching back to the old one; this issue is blocked for now…

It seems that this won’t be happening for now. In light of that, I think it’s best to hold off until this happens, because the other benefits are dubious compared to a normal RSS reader.

It is still in beta afaik so it can’t be recommend for the masses. Generally the updates work really well.
It does install updates now without any user prompts after downloading the APK which is neat.

Not really sure why this is required. Aurora also does not have this and neither did Neo Store. The app notifies the user pretty well that it has to trigger download. This is at this point the only required interaction. Still would wait until it is out of beta.

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Why I think that Obtainium is better than the RSS method and should be recommended in Privacy Guides

  1. RSS feeds only notify you about the update, and then you need to go and download the app. Meanwhile, you only need to confirm installation with Obtainium.
  2. Setup is faster and more user-friendly because Obtainium has a search feature. Plus, it has a lot of options for importing and exporting.
  3. It shows you the icon, the version, where you installed the app from, and the date of the last update. If you press on that date, it will show you a changelog.
  4. You can bookmark, categorize, and filter your apps.
  5. Obtainium has a lot of supported sources. (It even supports F-Droid third party repositories, so you don’t need a client such as Neo Store.)
  6. Recommending this app on privacy guides might bring more users and potential contributors, which would make development faster, and someone might even make a Flutter plugin for unattended updates.
  7. This app is made for obtaining apps; that’s why it’s called Obtainium. Which means that it will get better at this, unlike RSS feeds.
  8. It’s planned to add apk verification, which is a big advantage of RSS feeds.
  9. If you don’t already use an RSS feed, it doesn’t make sense to use an RSS feed over Obtainium.

Hm, we’ll think about the other things, but I’ll point out that we don’t make recommendations based on what we hope the app will eventually look like. Otherwise we would recommend, for example, Accrescent, which we currently do not do.


Another thing is that I just checked all of the recommended RSS feeds in Privacy Guides, and only Feeder is an app that can be downloaded on Android, and you can only get it from the Google Play Store or Aurora Store, which is not ideal if you don’t already have Google Play Store or Aurora Store or if you don’t want to use them at all. Meanwhile, Obtainium updates itself.

Feeder is an app that can be downloaded on Android, and you can only get it from the Google Play Store or Aurora Store

You can use F-Droid tho. Though maybe not recommended by PG

I approve this post. More awareness of obtainium = more chances to get an official release faster from more potential contributors.

You can use F-Droid tho. Though maybe not recommended by PG.

You can still use obtainium even though it is not in the recommended tools! That comment feels like you are trying to say obtainium is broken…it’s not! Nobody and nothing will prevent you from using obtainium. unlike f-droid… which is officially non-recommended in privacyguides due to security issues.

I was replying to Lukas.
I’ll edit my previous post

makes sense now LOL, my bad

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I don’t think that I will use F-Droid unless magically everything is fixed up. Here is why.

  1. Because of their issues that are being pointed out
  2. Because of their stance on these issues
  3. Because of their fanbase, they are attacking people for pointing all of this out.
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all hail obtainium!

You could also use the neo-store. Unless you think that it has the same problem.

It only mitigates the problems of the F-Droid client, but there are a lot of other problems too.


you should 110% give obtainium a go! it works exactly like f-droid (and neo store), but 1000x safer!! 99% of the apps in the f-droid repo are obtainable and updatable with obtainium… theres exceptions like osmand­~­ which can only be obainted from the f-droid repo. the basic version of osmand can be obtained without f-droid though…

I think the major problem with the f-droid repo is the method in which they sign the apps… It’s not the developpers themselves that signs them… while obtainium fetches apps directly from the dev’s source!

i think its unbelieveable how nobody thought about obtainium earlier!!

I think you’re convincing me but:

What about the neo-store giving repositories from the devs? Isn’t that similar?
Also I would like if PG recommended it first.

If that question and the second thing gets sorted out then I would definitely consider using Obtainium!

You can actually get apps from these repositories via Obtainium too.


There isn’t any reason why they wouldn’t recommend using Obtainium. But there are a lot of reasons why they recommend against using F-Droid.

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