Dear companies,

please don't make having access to Google's or Apple's app stores to use your products a requirement.

This locks so many of us out because we either don't have a compatible device or the device doesn't have the software to access these services (like google play services).

1️⃣ /2️⃣

You're losing customers that way as they turn to products that don't require these kind of apps.

A public website accessible via any web browser makes not only us but also you independent from Apple's and Google's duopoly.

(Boosts appreciated, let's not get forced more and more into proprietary app stores)

2️⃣ /2️⃣

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@agx I'm not a big fan of web apps, but apps should always be available as an apk separate from the store IMO

Appealing to sociopathic entities who follow the interests of owners above all is pointless. Best case is a temporary shift while the positive PR is judged financially preferable.

If we want to fix these corporations we have to bypass them, which means delivering better products and services, and helping people move.

Some try to improve regulation, tackle the monopolies etc, which is good, but will be far more effective if we also have better alternatives.

@happyborg @agx Bypassing only works so far, at some point large corporations backed by overly rich & morally void people will buy themselves laws and regulations that suit them and make the lives of open alternatives and small companies indefinitely harder. We're very deep in the shit right now regarding overwhelming power of a financial aristocracy that's also seated in Silicon Valley.
If better alternatives are to win, it has to be accompanied by an anti-right, anti-conservative movement.

I get your point but:
1. it's probably too late
2. I don't think it's as bad as that. Autonomous decentralized systems may be too robust for such threats, and may in fact be needed by those people and entities as much as everyone else, while at the same time leveling the playing field as applications and services move to the more secure, robust systems that protect from hacking, ransomware etc

Either way, while I do avocate politically I think my work helping the tech is key.

I kind of agree w/ @happyborg, but that somewhat assumes corps are not influenced by feedback that reflects trends. If we are really a tiny group, then indeed we are too negligible to have influence. But we shouldn’t assume they are on the ball with metrics either. They’re probably not paying attention.

I don’t even need an alternative. E.g. there is no bank with a banking app that frees me surveillance capitalist dogshit. So I just go without. I was able to do banking before smartphones & I will continue. I have no reason to convert to a pushover. So far it’s possible to avoid app-only banks.

I personally would have written the open letter this way, addressed to the people--

Dear digital rights advocates,

If you are grabbing apps from #Apple or #Google Playstore, stop. You are disservicing the digital rights movement by feeding the baddies. Have some discipline and self respect.


@digitalRightsNinja @happyborg @Natanox I see even tech savvy people having problems avoiding proprietary app stores and operating systems. And then there's countries where apps are basically the primary payment system.

Many folks are that deep into the problem that they don't even recognize it as one. So even reflection on what's going on will hopefully get us further 😃

Yes, and we need fewer pushovers in the world. My local banks have already crossed a line whereby I’ve started experimenting with living virtually unbanked. That is, I insist on cash, to the extent that I’ve been dragged into court over it.

We could never reach a point where even less than ~90% of the population are pushovers, but if we could get ~10% of the population to be aware and fighting back, we could make strides.
@happyborg @Natanox

@digitalRightsNinja @agx @happyborg You can't expect people to fight back if they're busy fighting for survival. Our system is so deeply flawed we do not even enable people to make informed decisions, as every decision is made with at least one necessity attached to it. The obly way to escape this is being rich enough to literally afford more time for yourself, which of course is made increasingly hard.

So yeah… don't blame the people. Blame the system.

What purpose does blame serve? Two purposes:

① To work out where change can happen; and
② To shame those part of the problem as a deterrant to others who would be part of the problem.

Blaming the system is as good as blaming an inanimate object. The shareholders are profitting from separating fools from their money. It does no good to shout at the shareholders as they laugh all the way to the bank after exercising their lawful right to exploit capitalism.

Who empowers them? The people. Every single user who visits Playstore is part of the problem. You can blame the system but it’s a useless dead-end to stop there. Gets you nowhere. You have to blame the actors who feed the system you blame.

Consumers have an ethical duty to vote with their feet and refuse to feed bad actors. Good quote from Alice Walker:

“Activism is my rent for living on the planet”

We have a duty to not be part of the problem.

W.r.t people fighting for survival, that’s factored in. They have a higher moral duty to survive, to feed themselves & their kids and that gets priority. For those not fighting for survival, like middle class people in developed countries, the moral duty to vote with their feet is on them.

@agx @happyborg

Consider the parallel with the #climate problem. There is a huge group of car drivers saying “don’t blame me, blame the system”, as they contribute substantially to GHG on a daily basis.

Then there are commuters who get off their asses, take responsibility for their own actions, and cycle. This group makes sure they are not part of the problem with immediate effect.

Both groups can equally bad mouth the system. The difference is the 1st group won’t commit to putting their money where their mouth is until the system changes to force them to stop driving (which may never happen).

@agx @happyborg

@happyborg @Natanox As the problem is pretty big already I think we need to advance on all levels: tech, public awareness, politics and regulations as likely not all of them will be successful 😃


Or we just want to avoid both of these esurient monopolies...

@agx Dear Guido,

this segment of the market is small enough that the cost of supporting it are higher than the additional revenues it might bring. Plus, the potential costs can be calculated more easily than the potential revenues, economies of scale, yadayada.

In short, we get the short end of the stick. Deal with it.


@EU_Commission please do something, we are EU citizens and are forced to use software controlled by US companies (at least for banking and transport, soon for digital identity ...)

Maybe you trust them, but people should have the choice not to ...

@fdlamotte @EU_Commission It would certainly help if the EU would push into the same direction. Maybe @fsfe can help here?

@agx I use this on my kindle. Depending on your device some may not function due to display, audio in/out requirements etc. VLC Feedly, a number of google apps, firefox and other apks work fine. If a playstore-paid subscription and or login is required maybe not. Install their app and have fun. Sorry about all the ads if you don't pay for a subscription, but it DOES work There's also It offers versions for older android installs as well

@heretical_i Most of the apps are unusable without google play services. Android users are jumping through hoops to get either these or microG running on their Android variant and it scares the hell out of people while everyone can use a web browser.

And then there's people (like me) that run neither Android nor iOS on their phones or folks that don't have a smartphone.

It shouldn't be hit or miss like that for users to avoid the duopoly.

But thanks for mentioning it!

@agx I have few probs with a beat up kindle fire. The subscription ones won't run without playstore and the ones that use Google to login can often ve circumvented. Tk nake my paid-monthly-at-playstore Feedly allow access I simply contacted support and made arrangements to pay directly. My paid-for audio editing app won't work b/c no alternative to Playstore-pay, graphics inadequate, and probably won't find the audio card, but dunno b/c the app never gets past boot.

@agx or we have zero intentions on using Google or Apple services. Nothing more annoying.

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