When comparing Signal vs F-Droid, the Slant community recommends F-Droid for most people. In the question“What are the most useful Android phone apps?” F-Droid is ranked 5th while Signal is ranked 20th. The most important reason people chose F-Droid is:
Free and open source applications that are not for profit
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Provides security and privacy
Signal uses an advanced end to end encryption protocol that provides privacy for every message every time.
Pro Free and open source
Signal is free and open source software, enabling anyone to verify its security by auditing the code. It's the only private messenger that uses open source, peer-reviewed cryptographic protocols to keep your messages safe.
Pro SMS/MMS support
Signal can be your default SMS/MMS text messenger. Encryption is not possible when sending SMS to your contacts, however.
Pro Supports encrypted group chats
Pro Recommended by Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden uses this messenger and recommends it to everyone who is concerned about his privacy.
Pro Supports sharing of various different media types
Signal supports: emoji, pictures, videos, audio, contacts, any location and GIF.
Pro Message mirroring on Signal Desktop
Signal Desktop is a Chrome extension that allows you to mirror messages from your phone, including replying.
Pro You can easily view all media exchanged
You can easily view all media shared in the chat without scrolling back to when it was shared.
Pro Note to Self feature
Allows you to "send: messages to yourself and sync to desktop so you can use Signal as a kind of encrypted Pushbullet alternative
Free and open source applications that are not for profit
Pro All titles are free and open source
All apps and games on F-Droid are open source (FOSS), making for a complete store resource for users who want to use only open source software on their device.
Pro F-Droid compiles all packages
F-Droid compiles all the packages themselves ensuring a high level of security. Other stores just allow the developer to upload the app already compiled, meaning anything malicious could be in the app.
Pro All apps have no ads nor tracking
This alone can be a great reason to use the apps available on F-Droid, but there is also the fact that this can increase battery life due to tracking and ads never requiring a data connection, since they are not present.
Pro Previous versions of apps remain available after updates
If you don't like to an app after an update, you can download the previous version again. This is not possible on GooglePlay.
Pro File sizes are shown
For those running out of room, the size of the APK is always shown.
Pro Multiple repository sources
You have more than one source of apps and updates and local repository too
Pro Highlights 'anti features'
Features that are often considered undesirable by users and the open source community are highlighted. This could be advertising or connecting to non-free services
Con Needs access to your phone number and contacts to work
Con Single device
Signal can only be registered to one mobile device at a time. But you can link Signal to Signal Desktop.
Con Unreliable notifications
Sometimes messages won't be received if the Signal app has been closed for a long time or hasn't been opened after booting the device.
Con Servers hosted in the US
A security risk due to National Security letters, which require giving up data to the US state, and making it illegal to disclose that.
Con If SMS/MMS imported, other apps can't read SMS
For those using Join, Pushbullet, or similar apps to send and receive SMS/MMS from web or desktop, putting your SMS in Signal somehow breaks this functionally. The dev is aware but plans to remedy the situation have not been named a priority
Con Uses message mirroring
Con No ratings/comments/number of downloads
All apps are presented equally. It is difficult to judge an app's quality/popularity before trying it. On the upside, descriptions are fair (written by the F-Droid maintainers, not by the app authors).
Con Small selection
F-Droid has a small selection of apps when compared to other major Android markets. This is due to every app being open source and given away for free, something not many people are willing to do with their time and creations.
Con It doesn't have all the open source apps
There are many open source apps that aren't available on F-Droid due to their authors not making it available on that particular app store. One example is Omni Noted, which is on the Play Store but not F-Droid.
Con Not all apps have screenshots
It can be difficult to tell what an app is like without installing it.
Con Descriptions are only available in English
Though the store app is multilingual, the app descriptions are only in English, meaning you must know English to find an app, even if the app is supposed to be multilingual.
Con A lot of apps lack polish
Since every app on F-Droid is FOSS and released for free, many of them aren't as polished compared to other markets and their paid app selections.
Con It's not an alternative for googleplay
Most usefull softewares not available in this platform so we can't call it an alternative!
Con Updates are not automatic for non root users
You have to click the updates one-by-one in order to make them happen. If user has rooted their device automatic updates are possible, the app needs to be converted to a system app.
Con Most applications are outdated/deprecated
Most applications (80% of them) haven't been updated for more than 4 years
Con F-Droid bans Gab for being a “free speech zone” that will “tolerate all opinions”
F-Droid is just another liberal marxist echo chamber. It silences, bans, any opinion that deviates from their "progressive" marxist narrative.