BLOG:The 10 Best Alternative App Stores for Android

Inspire Visual By Inspire Visual
Published October 2020
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Hands down the largest and most popular app store for Android is Google Play with a massive collection of over 2.5 million apps. With a good app strategy and solid user engagement plan you are well equipped for having success in the Play store.

However, if you are launching an app, there is great potential in the alternative app stores. With less competition and smaller or no fees you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of these stores.

Check out these alternative app stores with great content.

The best Google Play alternatives for Android

The reason for Google Play’s large success is partly because it is the official Android app store and come pre-installed on most Android phones. It’s also the easiest way to install an app on your phone.

The downside to Google Play is the competition is really strong and it can be hard for a newcomer to get exposure.

What many people don’t know is there are alternative app stores available and installing an app through them is not difficult.

Each store has a significant number of monthly active users and if you have an app idea, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t launch it on those platforms to get a larger audience.

Amazon App Store Logo
Amazon's app store has a large library

Amazon App Store

The world’s largest retailer opened its Amazon App Store in 2011. The app store is pre-installed on Amazon’s own Fire devices and a worthy contender to Google’s Play store.

There are currently more than 455,000 available apps, including popular apps Minecraft, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Roblox. Spotify and much more.

The virtual currency Amazon Coins can be used to buy apps, games, and in-app purchases. Amazon Coins can either be purchased like a gift card or rewarded through various channels.

One of the differentiators of the Amazon App Store is that besides the common APK apps, you can also submit HTML5 web apps to their app store.

If you have an APK app or HTML5 web app you want to publish on the Amazon App Store you can do it here.

Available for Android
Galaxy Store Logo
The largest manufacturer of smart phones offer their own app store.

Galaxy Store

Samsung, the largest manufacturer of Android phones, launched their own store in 2009. Access to it comes bundled when you buy a Samsung Galaxy smart phone or Gear watch and the store is available in 125 countries. The catch is that apps are only available to Samsung owners.

The store positions itself as a high-end app store not allowing low-quality apps to be listed. An issue Google Play is plagued by with over 50% of its apps being unrated and few downloads to follow.

A big advantage of publishing on the Galaxy Store is you will have less competition and immediate access to all Samsung Galaxy and Gear owners.

Only available for Samsung devices.
F-Droid Logo
Community driven app store with free apps.

F-Droid

This is a community-maintained store and unlike the corporate-run stores, every app on the F-Droid store is free and open-source.

The Store was founded in 2010 with an app selection geared toward utility apps and power users. It’s an alternative to the “geekier” app users, who needs more features than main-stream apps provide.

The app selection is rather small at approximately 3,000. If you are developing an app it could be a good testing ground before releasing in the larger app stores.

Available for Android
Qoo App Logo
Qooapp is mostly for the Asian market.

QooApp

The QooApp is an Asian app store specializing in anime, games and comics from Asian developers.

Many of the apps are non-English, so you may have to sort through the library to find English translated comics or games. When you do find one you are usually met with a manga or anime styled interface.

Available for Android
Aptoide Logo
Aptoide has individual app stores searchable from one place.

Aptoide

This is an alternative app store based in Portugal and initially released in 2009. Aptoide works different than traditional app stores by not having a centralized store. Instead each store is managed by individual users.

But don’t worry, as with other app stores you are able to search the entire library from Aptoide’s search bar. Popular apps include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, TikTok, Netflix, Twitter and many more.

The content regulations are much less strict in this app store than others. This also reflects on the available app types. There is some adult content and piracy apps and you can download without having a registered account.

Available for Android
SlideMe Logo
You can find both free and paid apps on SlideMe.

SlideMe

SlideMe was founded in 2008 and market themselves as “the best alternative to Google Play”. While they offer both free and paid apps, they don’t have the same large number of apps as Google Play.

You pay for apps through SlideMe by using either a PayPal or Amazon account to fund your purchase.

App developers can take advantage of free developer services, including in app billing and SlideLock – a tool to protect your app.

Available for Android
Bemobi Mobile Logo
Bemobi offer both their own app library and links to other stores.

Bemobi Mobile Store

Formerly Opera Mobile Store, Bemobi Mobile Store offer not only Android apps, but also Java, Symbian, Blackberry, iOS and even Windows Mobile apps. They are available in 230 countries and boast 2 million downloaded apps per day.

They are not a traditional app store, but a hybrid between a traditional app store and a library linking to apps from other stores.

For example, if you find an Android app you like and click download, you may get the app directly from Bemobi or be referred to the download link on Google Play.

Available for Android
GetJar Logo
You can find neatly categorized apps in this store.

GetJar

The GetJar app store was founded in Lithuania in 2004 and acquired in 2014 by Chinese mobile app firm Sungy Mobile. They have more than 350,000 mobile apps available for Android, BlackBerry, Java, Symbian and mobile web.

Getjar offer both free and paid apps in categories such as games, social messaging, productivity etc. similar to the official Google Play store.

You can download apps from within the GetJar app or directly from their website.

Available for Android
HappyMod Logo
Existing apps with modifications added are offered for free.

HappyMod

This is an unusual alternative app store as it doesn’t offer original created apps, but rather “modded” apps. A modded app is an app that has been modified to extend the functionality or with certain original app restrictions disabled.

For example, ads may be removed from games, in-game currency is unlimited or the number of a trial period removed.

Users will give feedback on whether the apps are working and malware free. If they get don’t meet these requirements they will be removed.

HappyMod claims compliance with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and publishers can request their app taken down if they feel there is a DMCA violation.

Available for Android
Itch.io Logo
You can only download itch.io apps from their website.

Itch.io

Itch.io is an app store only available via their website. It offers apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS and Web platforms.

For Android it focuses on delivering Indie games and currently have almost 24,000 games in the catalog. Some are free and some are paid apps.

Finding popular games like Among Us is unusual. The games are – for the most part – not listed in other app stores and created by game communities and volunteers who spend a short amount of time to release a game they are passionate about. The quality is usually high despite not being developed by the professional game studios.

Events are also held in which developers only get a few days to complete a game which is then published in the store.

Available for Android

Final thoughts

When you download from an alternative app store, you are not protected against malware, viruses and security treats the same way you are from Google Play.

Be vigilant about what you are downloading and where it is coming from. Downloading from the Samsung Apps Store will likely be safer than downloading a modded app.

That said, all of the app stores listed are well established and generally safe to use.

With many of the apps being downloaded from third-party app stores, you will have to accept to “install from unknown sources” on your device.

If you want to publish an app, there is no way around the Google Play store, but all of the stores listed are great alternative app stores to use for a wider reach.

We at Inspire Visual are experts at making apps. We hand-pick resources specific for every project and only use senior talent. We are so sure of our quality, that we offer a 30-day code guarantee after completing your app and in the unlikeliness that you find any bugs, we fix it free of charge within our 30-day code guarantee.

Learn more about our app development phases and our core strengths that set us above our competition.

Get it touch with us today to discuss your app project. We’d love to help you realize your new app.


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About Inspire Visual
At Inspire Visual, we believe that compelling design, functionality and content help drive effective results. That’s why we work hard to provide innovative, visually inspiring and functionally sound solutions to address your marketing challenges and extend your brand’s reach.

We offer decades of experience helping brands worldwide with websites, mobile app development, email marketing, direct mail campaigns, brand identity design, UI/UX, graphic design, print design, tradeshow design and more. We feel privileged to be allowed into our clients’ businesses, and we strive to provide personal service and close collaboration throughout your project.

Call 407.476.1950 or email [email protected] to contact us, so we can meet you, learn more about your business and answer any questions you have. We’d love to connect with you!

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