Nowadays, a majority of Smartphone owners have an Android device, regardless of user needs. For most Android devices, The Google Play Store serves as the default source of apps. It is after all the official app store of Google and it is bundled with almost every Android device across the world. While the Play Store contains millions of apps and Google strives to improve its functionality and security, there exists some Google Play Store alternative. There are reasons for trying out these third-party app stores for Android. In these android app store alternatives, you can get paid apps for free. Sometimes, the apps you like may be taken down from Google Play if the company finds the app is violating its norms.
How to access and enable third-party App stores for android?
To access the third-party Android App Market you have to change some settings in your Android device- whether it is a tablet or Smartphone.
At first, you will have to go to the settings in your Android device and choose Settings>Personal> Security. Then in the Security section under Device Administration, choose Unknown Sources. At this point, a security warning will pop up and you have to click ok. Then you can download the APK files to install app store android alternatives. Remember that Google does not protect you from malicious apps when you use third-party app stores.
Listed below are the top 11 Google Play Store Alternatives
F-Droid is another alternative Android app marketplace you can use. The main difference with other third-party app stores is, it is funded by donations. Another noteworthy difference with other Android app stores is the apps you find in its database do not have ratings and reviews. However, all of the apps are Open source and hence free. More than the users, it is useful for the developers as they can access app codes without woes. The apps may be less polished than those you get in Google Play.
- Open source, free apps.
- Useful for the developers
- App store funded by donations
GetJar has been around for quite a long time and its user base has grown over the years. It has a huge database of free apps for download. You can find these apps under section and subsections and filtering is much like what you get in Google Play. As it is, GetJar is not limited only to Android devices and it supports other mobile platforms like iOS. It is also among the secure Google Play Store alternatives. The types of free apps you can find in this app store include education, finance, food, productivity, entertainment, health, news, etc.
- A wide range of free apps
- Google Play like usage experience
3. Amazon App Store for Android
This is among the top and widely used alternative Android App Markets. In this app store, you get access to thousands of apps, both paid and free. You will need to install the Amazon App Store on your mobile first to access the apps and games. The nice thing is Amazon offers a paid app free each day. You also get free bundles of some paid apps here. The UI is fluid and sleek. You can also access a great range of books and songs, movies at rates slower than Google Play. However, to access this app store, you need to have a valid Amazon account.
- Sleek and smooth UI
- Option to get paid app for free
- Having an Amazon account is mandatory
Visit: Amazon App Store
Aptoide is among the sleek and sophisticated Android app stores you can find. It actually works with a distributed network of separate store providers. They are joined under the Aptoide platform. While this gives you access to a multitude of apps belonging to diverse segments- the security risk is also enhanced in the process. Aptoide offers faster app updates to users compared to Google Play. Like Amazon, here you get some apps for free that cost you money in Google Play.
- Huge range of apps
- Faster app updates
- Not much-secured platform
Uptodown is one of the biggest Android App stores where you can find almost any app’s APK package which you were unable to find anywhere else. It is better suited for those Android users who are wary of security loopholes. It boasts of 2.5 million malware free apps! There is no paid app in its database and there is no payment system either. It does look quite tidy and there are no pirated and counterfeit apps.
- No paid app
- Malware free app
- Sleek, tidy UI
6. XDA Labs – APKUpdater
APKUpdater stands out among the other Google Play Store alternatives owing to its USP- faster app updates. It should be your choice if you care about getting faster updates to apps than others. However, it lags behind in other aspects. It lacks a search feature- to begin with. You get a notification on apps you already have installed in the device. Besides, you have to download using respective websites which may make you put up with pesky ads.
- Faster updates to apps
- No app search feature
Visit: XDA Labs – APKUpdater
ApkMirror is ideal when you want a third party alternative to Google Play where you can find plenty of free apps. It lacks a dedicated Android app store and so you have to download the APK file from the website. The good thing is you get malware free apps. The website is pretty well designed and you can search for specific apps without hassles. It gets faster updates to apps than Google Play.
- Free and malware free apps
- Faster app updates are available.
- Sleek interface.
AppBrain is perfect for you when you want a Google Play store substitute that offers premium apps literally for free! The paid app developers offer their apps for free on this platform for a limited period. AppBrain does the publicizing part in turn. You can access its database using both app and website. You can download apps both from this marketplace and through Google Play.
- Access to paid apps for free
- Flexibility of functioning
Mobogenie is another nice alternative to Google Play that you can try. It offers you access to plenty of apps without paying anything. The app marketplace is multilingual and the user base is pretty huge. It also lets you access a massive amount of media content and download them on your devices. The UI is smooth and there is a nice, intelligent recommendation engine. You don’t have to register to use its service.
- Sleek, smooth UI
- No registration needed.
- Multilingual platform
SlideMe is among the top alternatives to Google Play. It lets you access a huge Android Open Source Project database from one UI. You get several paid and free apps and the app uses geographic locations and payment processes to access convenient marketplace. The UI is nice and you can surf across many segments. The SlideMe website is where you can find the SAM app.
- Huge database of app
- Nice and sleek UI
11. Samsung GALAXY Apps
As evident from the name, this Android App marketplace is meant for the people using the Samsung Galaxy lineup of Android tablets and smartphones. The Samsung Galaxy Apps are therefore designed for such devices. You also get apps for the Samsung Gear devices here. You can avail special promotions and games are sold at lower prices occasionally.
- Ideal for Samsung Galaxy and gear device users
- Promotions and discounted apps
Visit: Samsung GALAXY Apps
So this our list of 11 best Android app store alternatives from where you can download apps and games for free. Obviously, Google Play Store has the biggest collection of apps of all the markets but Google’s monitoring and privacy-infringing policies are making users look elsewhere. F-Droid has been one of my favourite android app markets where you can get open source alternatives to any popular app which will require minimum permissions.