Direct Download APK?

I currently use GrapheneOS without any google apps, after switching away from iOS because of Apples recent move toward reckless privacy practices. I consider a googled phone MUCH more privacy invasive than iOS, but /e/ or grapheneOS to be much better than either.

I was able to mostly switch to open source software, or the few closed source apps I use made their apk available directly. I was very surprised to find 1password only deploying via the play store, even though it has been requested before with mediocre responses here.

For technical users, a direct download of the apk with sha256 sum to verify is the absolute best solution, and frankly the play store is unacceptable. I have been using 1password for years and have had no problems on any other device including linux, so it's a mystery why android is kept shut.

I don't want to register my device with the play store either, as I've removed google completely from my life including google accounts. I don't want to be logged in anywhere and I'm sure many people are feeling the same after the last creepy moves by google and apple.

I am dreading looking for an open source password manager just because of lack of android support. Is there any move toward providing an apk?

1Password Version: Not Provided
Extension Version: Not Provided
OS Version: Not Provided


  • mverdemverde

    Team Member

    Thanks for sharing your question with us @monomadic! I'm sorry to read that you've found our previous responses to be less than satisfying, but hopefully I can provide some more context with this reply.

    You are correct that we currently only distribute 1Password for Android through the Google Play Store. The reason for this up until now is that the vast majority of Android devices ship with the Google Play Store and Google Play Services installed. Since this is also where almost all of our customers are, this is where we have focused our efforts.

    In recent years though, there does seem to be a trend towards unbundling of Google Play Services from a number of alternative Android distributions. And for at least one manufacturer, Google Play Services can no longer be bundled with their devices. The result is that an increasing number of our customers are using devices that don't have Google Play on them.

    While making an APK available for direct download would certainly allow us to serve customers on those devices, it doesn't come without its own share of challenges. We currently utilize Google Play in-app payments to set up 1Password subscriptions, so we need an alternative payment flow that works well for mobile. It's especially critical to keep security apps up-to-date, so we need a mechanism for detecting, fetching, and applying updates with as little friction as possible. Some optional features such as QR code scanning and FIDO2 security key support currently rely on Google Play Services, and need to be implemented using different technology stacks in order to provide feature parity between the Google Play version and a directly distributed version.

    None of these issues is insurmountable, but they all come with increased development cost. Having versions of the app that are implemented differently also increases the number of things that can possibly go wrong, which means that we need to invest more time and effort into testing as well. With that in mind, I can say that this is something that we're looking into, but I would also caution that it's not something that we expect to be able to offer in the near future. That's not necessarily the answer you were looking for, but I hope it provides more context than you had previously. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

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