How to install apps in sailfish (x)? - Guide for noobs like me

How to install apps in sailfish (x)? - Guide for noobs/beginners like me.

(Before following this you should check the comment section for likely problems caused by bad instructions)

I got sailfish installed today and found out that getting started is really hard. If you are totally lost in this likely new environment you may benefit from the manual (yes there is manual, but according to other posts on sailfish forums it is old, but the basics still apply): https://jolla.com/guide/en/index.html

The operating system is only one part of great smartphone experience, but usable applications provide the reasons to use any electronic device, so how can you get the best apps for your sailfish device? Of course there is the Jolla Store, but it has limited amount of apps. Another option for sailfish x is the android app support, but finding safe apk files may be a task. Here is a short list of sources where I have found android app apks:

  1. Official sailfish android store
  2. F-droid
  3. Amazon appstore
  4. Apkmirror
  5. Aptoide (I have got malicious apps from aptoide, so be careful)

I have experienced plenty of crashes with android apps, so even though it is not officially recommended I think native applications from openrepos are very needed addition even though installing third party apps is somewhat discouraged for security reasons.

Note that you must remove all third party repositories before updating sailfish system!

One and very easy way to install apps from openrepos is to install Storeman https://openrepos.net/content/osetr/storeman , the rpm files are (for my logic) in reverse order so the latest version is on the bottom of the list. You can use terminal for handling repositories, but there are no man pages by default, docs for manual editing can be found here: [(as a new user I can’t attach any more links so it will hopefully be in the first reply)]. Storeman will handle repositories for you, so manual management shouldn’t be necessary. When you find an application you want to install just pull down the storeman context menu to first add the repo and then installation option should appear there.

I hope this helps someone, this information is sourced by trial and error, so please read possible comments on this post to prevent any major damage

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Here is the manual for handling repositories in terminal: https://sailfishos.org/wiki/Sailfish_OS_Cheat_Sheet#Package_Handling

This is no longer necessary with a current storeman and repositories from openrepos? The last time I found this warning was for Sailfish 1.1.9. The old “WareHouse” app is now “Storeman”. All other repositories should better be deactivated. Otherwise we would have a lot to do :wink:

The only thing I’ve been doing since Sailfish 2 is to deactivate the patches with patchmanager. Some patches are incompatible with a new version and need an update, so you have to be patient for a few days before they are released.

This information is without guarantee :sunglasses:

https://together.jolla.com/question/107685/release-notes-119-eineheminlampi/

And now to the usual drill before attempting to upgrade your devices,

-If your device is running software version lower than 1.0.4.20 and have WareHouse app installed (i.e you are using OpenRepos), disable all openrepo repositories before attempting to upgrade your device.

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Get Aurora Store from F-Droid. It allows access to all non-paid Google Play Store apps.
Also, if you are using an XA2 or Xperia 10, enable signature spoofing (Settings -> Android support -> Disable verification…), and install MicroG as in https://microg.org/ - just add the repository to F-Droid as explained in the download page and add the required packages.

The various ways of installing apps on a device with SailfishOS are described in detail in chapter 4 of the Guide: Installing Sailfish X on Xperias at TJC.

The whole Guide: Installing Sailfish X on Xperias aims at documenting every step from buying an Xperia to a fully functional and complete SailfishOS installation including apps.

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So for the average laymen and for the sake of posterity what is the recommended Store?

If it’s not Aptoide, is it Aurora Store via F Droid?

I ask as I’m concerned if there are malicious apps in Aptoide, which is shown prominently in the tutorial as “Store” when you start the Sailfish X ROM the first time after flashing / factory reset. Additionally, if you open the Jolla App Store, Aptoide is listed as a top app - Called Simply “Store” and Aptoide is listed as the publisher.

I got round to flashing Sailfish X yesterday on my Xperia 10 as well :sweat_smile: and only found this forum late last night.

Yes, definitely use Aurora Store whenever possible. It is just an interface to Google Play Store. You might prefer to install apps from the Amazon Appstore if available there, since they are Google-free versions.

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Yes.

@jameson, the Amazon App Store app is also an data collection tool (for Amazon).

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Thanks, exactly what I needed, but was unable to find!

If you are looking for apps that work with Aliendalvik, only use F-Droid.

Aptoide is dubious (?), as is the Play Store via Aurora and Amazon. Amazon offers google-free apps, but tracks its own data collections via Amazon servers. Only Google is exchanged for Amazon. If privacy is important to you, don’t use these 3 options.

F-Droid only offers ad-free and tracker-free apps. This is the first choice if you love your privacy.

There are popular titles from the Play Store via Aurora, but most of the current apps don’t work because they need google services. Some users then install MicroG and then get all the disadvantages of Google through the back door. If you want that, you have less technical problems with a pure Android phone.

My 5 cents

@4carlos @jameson @olf thanks all, I’ve downloaded the apps I needed or will need to use at a later date via Aurora store. Whatsapp was directly downloaded from whatsapp.com/android. Only thing that appears to be broken is the chat back up and restore functionality. Unfortunately you can’t even navigate to the back up directory like you could do on WM10.

@4carlos The issue most of us will come across is that solely relying F droid is not really a viable for most folks due to lack of third party alternatives for mainstreams apps either due to API limitations, clamp downs in the guise of security or in some cases due to malicious apps using exploits.

Solely relying on browsers is not really viable alternative at present especially with slow, crappy network connections (also timeouts are getting shorter).

Take Deliveroo for example (if you’re not familiar what it is - Deliveroo is a promiment delivery service in the UK), the damn site takes ages to render properly on any mobile browser be it chrome, safari or edge on a Wifi connection with an isp connection of 80 Megabit down and 20 Megabit Up.

Not to mention, many mobile websites are terribly designed by people who don’t understand ergonomics and hot zones. Take the silly named hamburger menu and it’s placement for instance. But I’m going off topic here.

Ideally, we’d have tracker free alternative apps to mainstreams apps with API calls allowed and such services using above board analytics - in such as reality F Droid or similiar would be the best go to solution. But sadly, such is not the case lol.

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I prefer a good mobile website than a special single app für this. Why should we have for every website a special app, this is crap. And when your network laggs, this app would have the same problem.

???

ls /home/nemo/android_storage/WhatsApp/
Backups Databases Media

Right, F-Droid doesn’t offer mainstream apps and I think that’s OK. In the last few years you could see that mainstream apps are all programmed with advertising and trackers. Some have even mutated into malware. My philosophy is that I don’t want to feed Google or any other provider with my data. The Playstore is the largest distributor of sniffing software that I know. Even apps that I would pay for track me. Some time ago, the payment was there to switch off advertising. Today users are victims and providers of data, not customers. Security and privacy is a joke when Google, Apple, Amazon & Co talk about them. They distribute mainstream spyware.

That’s why I don’t need such apps and limit myself to user-friendly apps that respect me. Still, I don’t miss anything and as I said before, SFOS was a conscious decision for me. For every thing 1 app is good for commerce, but not for me.

One last word about the bad websites. This is nudging and should move you to download the apps. They offer significantly more opportunities to get to know us. Today this is called user experience, I call it data theft. It’s not really a problem to develop a fast mobile website in 2020, right? Apps would be unnecessary.

Sorry for OT

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