Google has improved its Android app Store a lot in the past few years, but sometimes you need an alternative. For those times, here are 9 great Play Store alternatives that you should know about right now. While these alternatives may not provide you with all the functionality you may desire, they can come in handy in a number of ways.
Sometimes an app is not available in your region on the official App Store for Android and it is a very valid problem for many people. Thankfully, the Play Store alternatives do not segment their audience based on the region and provide apps to all of them.
Other times a country may have blocked Google services and the Android Play Store might not be readily accessible.
For developers, these alternate app stores offer another stream of revenue. If you are a developer and you’ve developed an Android app, you’d absolutely want to get extra eyeballs from these alternate app stores.
Some people also like to keep backups of apps in the form of APK files for later usage. The Play Store doesn’t allow us to download a backup of an app, instead, it automatically installs the app on your phone after downloading. So if you want to have a healthy collection of apps which are ready to be installed on any device you want, it is advisable to download them from one of these great PlayStore alternatives.
A word of caution, though, while these Storefronts are well-maintained and have a healthy collection of Android apps, there might be some malicious apps lurking on them.
To be honest, Google also doesn’t have a fail-proof method of detecting harmful apps on their Store but at least they take them down immediately after discovery.
Best Google Play Store Alternatives
It is highly advisable that you download the apps you need and not go exploring on these PlayStore alternatives. Only download the apps you trust and from the developers that are well known. We have personally scanned several downloaded apps from these websites and found nothing wrong with them so at least the mainstream apps are clean. However, we recommend that you use common sense and only interact with the apps that you deem essential.
This list will show you websites of the respective Play Store alternatives, some of them may have Android apps that you can download to your PC and install by copying it to your smartphone or tablet.
Note: The list is not in any particular order because all of them provide the same functionality with very minor tweaks to the delivery system.
Amazon App Store
You’ve probably already heard of Amazon. However, besides being the most popular shopping site, Amazon is also involved in creating sources like Amazon Music, Videos and Prime, for movies. It is only natural that recently, Amazon has developed its own alternative application marketplace. In the Amazon App Store, there are many apps and games that are available for free, up for the grabs for anyone worldwide.
Perhaps the best thing about the Amazon App Store is that it is available for both Android and iOS users. Another cool thing is that you can install bundles of apps. There are also available a great number of eBooks, movies and even music on the Amazon App Store, just like in the Google Play Store.
In the market for a simple to use and easily accessible Play Store alternative? This is perhaps the app just made for you. You’ll need to download the APK file from the website and transfer it to your Android device. From there you just have to install and run the alternative app store. After that, you will be able to see a ton of apps ready to be downloaded and played around with.
It is a very well designed app with some fairly advanced features. It also houses a very large library of apps that are free of any malicious code or viruses. Although it is not as big as some of the websites we have listed, it still is one of the best ones to have.
This particular app Store has been around for a very long time. Perhaps you might remember using their website to download apps on your Nokia phone almost a decade ago, or getting .jar video games for your Sony music edition phone almost 12 years ago.
This PlayStore alternative is now perhaps the world’s biggest open app Store for Android, and that is saying a lot. There are a ton of apps available here, and some of them are not even available on the Google PlayStore. This Store is expanding at a rapid rate and provides a ton of content for absolutely nothing. The website also comes with advanced filters that can help you locate a certain app with ease.
F-Droid is a free and open-source software that allows you to get apps for your Android smartphone or tablet. This is not a traditional app Store and only houses some apps that are made for free. However, if you are into these apps and trends, this is one of the best places to get them.
The repository of FOSS apps available here can be kept updated by using an Android client which can be installed on the device. It is a clean and hassles way to make sure the apps stay updated and supplied with fresh content. This Store can be considered somewhat underground because of its niche user base. Normal Android users may not find any use for these apps.
This Play Store alternative has helped me a lot in my research and is still going very strong. This App Store alternative allows you access to some details that are not given at any other place. It is an easy way to know how much space an app will occupy on your Android device. If you’re worried about permissions, this amazing Play Store alternative has them listed right on the app page.
There are a lot of apps you can search and download from this Store. We especially like how detailed the search feature is on this website. The filter system is also very well implemented and advanced features make this a unique experience for someone who is looking for depth in functionality.
Apk Mirror can be proclaimed the biggest website and App Store for Apk files today. Lots of apps that are premium on Google Play Store have their Apk file uploaded here, up for grabs. All you have to do is download the apk file and install it on your phone – and voila! You got a premium app for free.
Apk Mirror comprises of a massive list of apps and games that are completely free. Even though they don’t have an app yet, you can visit their webpage, download the apk files directly on your device or, perhaps, on your laptop and then transfer them on your Android device.
On Uptodown there are over 2.5 million apps uploaded that are tested for Malware. A cool feature that they have is being available in 12 languages, which is pretty useful if you’re not exactly comfortable with English. This is a place where you can mostly get tweaked or hacked software, as compared to other app marketplaces.
If you are generally worried about security, you can rest your mind with this one. They use VirusTotal, having reports on all files, based on results from more than 50 antiviruses in total. This means that you are less probable to download malware from this marketplace, compared to most of the Google Play Store alternatives.
Sometimes you don’t want to sift through hundreds of apps to find the one that suits you best. Sometimes you’re in a hurry to get a perfect app for a certain task. This application manager app provides you access to a well-curated list of Android apps. Unlike other Play Store alternatives, this one handpicks the best of the best apps and brings them to the forefront.
This allows you to get the best experience possible on your preferred device without having to rummage through thousands of apps. The app can be installed on your smartphone as well and from there it is fairly easy to download and install other apps.
Opera Mobile Store
Opera has been around for a very long time and by now they have made a name for themselves with amazing browsers. The Opera browser also made it to our best Internet browsers for Android list. So naturally we also tried their mobile Store, and it was pleasantly stocked.
Make no mistake, though; there are a ton of apps there, but they are not at the level we expect from a fully-featured Play Store alternative. However, if you are worried about your security and only want to download apps from reliable sources, this is as reliable as it can get.
What Other People Ask
What are Google Play Store alternatives?
Google Play Store is the go-to place to get trusted apps and game, but it isn’t always available. Or, perhaps the app you desire isn’t available in your country yet. While there are some workarounds for this, they are a lot of work and not worth the effort. This is where Android Marketplace alternatives come into place! You can find there premium apps for free, to try and use until they are available where you are.
What are the benefits of these third-party app stores?
As mentioned above, they are a great place where you can get restricted or unavailable apps for free. Sometimes, you can even find apps that are tweaked with or hacked, especially games, to help you see another side to them or enjoy them more.
What alternative Android marketplace is the best?
While each f those presented is different and has various strength points, we’d go with Uptodown for being the best. This is mainly due to the huge list of hacked games that you can get there, all of them being thoroughly verified for malware.
Google Play Store Alternatives – Discover an Underground World
These were a few Play Store alternatives which are not straight up scams. These apps will not try to fraud you or obtain your personal information just to give you one measly app. While they are not as reliable as the official Google Play Store, they do provide a pretty good service.
So which ones did you try? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments down below!