GitHub offers to launch a catalog of mobile applications

At the end of January, Google for no apparent reason removed the Element (formerly Riot) app from the Play Store, a decentralized messenger that runs on a federated server system. Matrix… Some of the users complained that in some channel on some Matrix server he saw obscene content – and Google simply took and removed the program. As some commentators say, this is analogous to banning a browser for opening an indecent website, or banning an email client for accepting an indecent email. To Google’s credit, she acknowledged the mistake: the VP personally apologized to the Element developers, and the app returned to the place

But we see what happens to others. For example, Pavel Durov was forced to remove a number of Russian telegram channels under pressure from Apple… According to Paul, without meeting this requirement Apple blocked the release of an emergency Telegram update for iOS

But quite recently, all the major Internet companies have announced a boycott of the small application Parler. Not only was he kicked out of all directories, he was even denied hosting on Amazon!

These events point to an increase in censorship by internet giants that control platforms for distributing mobile apps. A logical thought suggests itself: why not launch a free catalog of mobile applications? For example, based on GitHub.

Free messengers like Element / Matrix, Parler and Telegram can be easily published in it, without fear of censorship from the platform owner, because recently Microsoft seems to be more humane towards developers than Google and Apple. This idea expressed developer Rohan Deshmukh on her blog, and her many supported


Decentralizing servers and encrypting traffic is also an effective anti-censorship tool. Comparison of Matrix and Telegram functionality

GitHub App Store

Potential benefits of GitHub for hosting mobile apps:

  1. The source code of millions of applications is already there. APK integration should be trivial to implement.
  2. Unlike Google, GitHub really listens to users’ opinions.
  3. They performed well in battle for youtube-dl
  4. Here you can finally make a decent catalog of desktop applications.
  5. Users can discuss issues directly with developers, rather than write comments on the application pages – it is very inconvenient to maintain a conversation and track issues there, compared to GitHub.

The idea is controversial, but interesting. On GitHub, you can make a universal directory for all major platforms, as well as allow publishing of closed source applications. Honestly, why not? It’s hard to imagine who is better suited for this role than GitHub.

However, it is far from the fact that Microsoft will allow complete freedom on its hosting. This is the same law-abiding American company as Google and Apple.

But GitHub has so far performed well after receiving DMCA requests to remove free software. GitHub helped developers restore forks of the youtube-dl repository, and successfully resisted the removal of Popcorn Time repositories in May 2020.


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