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Data too expensive? Offline app stores are a thing in Cuba

android,android 8.0,android 8.1

Between constant updates and large file sizes, apps can be a major data hog for your smartphone. This is especially apparent in developing markets, where the price of data is often expensive for the local populace.

One cool solution, as reported by free software activist Torsten Grote, is an app “store” or repository that doesn’t require data at all. And this solution is being used in Cuba to fascinating effect.

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According to Grote, the open-source F-Droid app store for Android has an “app store kit” that allows anyone to create their own repository that runs over a local WiFi network.

The activist visited a tech store in Cuba, which was using this exact solution to serve apps and stand out from other stores in the area.

Read more: 15 must-have Android apps under 15MBs

“Currently, they offer more than 2000 apps, mostly games, but also other useful apps, for free to everybody within the range of their WiFi router. Having a worse store location than their competitors, it really helps them to drive people to their shop and to build up their reputation within the local community,” Grote noted.

All the employees have to do is download the apps once and put them into the repository, serving it up to any Android owners connecting to the router. And in a neat touch, app updates are seamlessly served to users as well. It might not be as fully stocked as other app stores, but again, you don’t need data.

Grote adds that many Cubans also make use of the Zapya application to wirelessly transfer apps and other files between two devices. This way, a new app, music track or movie can spread quickly, without requiring an internet connection.

Check out Grote’s full blog post on the topic here.

Featured image: Android on Instagram

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