Threema is now on F-Droid, completely free from Google code

Threema Libre takes privacy to the next level

Threema’s instant messenger has proven to be an answer to security and privacy concerns surrounding WhatsApp and Telegram. It has also managed to provide an alternative to Google’s push notifications with the introduction of Threema Push, allowing you to be more independent of Google services. Now, the company has gone a step further by introducing Threema Libre, a variant of its app that is completely free from any proprietary dependencies.


Threema Libre has a major advantage over its Play Store counterpart, as it completely excludes any proprietary code from companies such as Google. This means that the company’s custom Threema push notification service is the only way to get new messages from the app, thereby eliminating any privacy concerns one might have when relying on Google’s push services. The removal of any proprietary code makes Threema Libre a good fit for those who use de-googled Android versions like /e/OS or GrapheneOS.

Like other Threema releases, the Libre version supports reproducible builds, which allows you to confirm the integrity of the version of Threema you downloaded on your phone.

You can download Threema Libre exclusively via F-Droid, the Play Store alternative that lets you install and update open-source software applications. However, if you’ve already purchased and downloaded Threema from the Play Store, switching to the F-Droid version means that you’ll have to pay up again and get a license from the Threema Shop. The company doesn’t currently support switching between the Play Store and other distribution platforms like this, even though it is possible to export and import your contacts and chat history across versions. If you’ve used the Threema version provided on the company’s website itself, you can switch to Libre for free, though.

Still, early reactions to the fully open-source version of Threema have been positive. The only other drawback besides the inability to switch from the Play Store version for free seems to be that Threema’s custom in-app emoji picker doesn’t work in Libre due to licensing issues. You will need to use your software keyboard of choice to add emoji instead. Threema is looking into providing a more elegant solution, though it hasn’t committed to anything just yet.

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