The 10 Best Alternative App Stores for Android

Inspire Visual By Inspire Visual
Updated April 2024

Hands down, the largest and most popular app store for Android is Google Play, with a massive collection of over 3.55 million apps. With a good app strategy and solid user engagement plan, you are well-equipped for success in the Play store.

If you are searching for a great Google Play APK store alternative to download APK apps, you’ll have some excellent choices on our list.

Or, if you are launching an app, there is great potential in the alternative app stores. With less competition and smaller or no fees, you should consider the importance of these stores.

Check out these alternative app stores with great content.

The best Google Play alternatives for Android

Google Play’s immense success is partly because it is the official Android app store and comes pre-installed on most Android phones. It’s also the easiest way to install an APK app on your phone (APK is the file type of Android apps).

The downside to Google Play is that it’s always the same APKs on the top 10, and finding great alternative Android apps can take time and effort.

Many people are unaware that alternative app stores are available, and installing an app APK through them is not difficult. We’ll have instructions for how to do that at the end of this article.

For Android developers, the downside to Google Play is that the competition is fierce, and it can be challenging for newcomers to get exposure.

Each app APK store has a significant number of monthly active users, and if you have an app idea, there’s no reason you shouldn’t launch it on those platforms to get a larger audience. Or if you’re looking for great Android apps that may not be available on the official store.

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When we develop an Android app for our clients, we often advise them on which app stores they will benefit from being featured on in addition to the Google Play store.

We have in-depth experience with the various app stores, and we are confident when we recommend which app stores are the best fit based on any app’s core functionality.

For example, we recommend the F-Droid store as an ideal choice for any techy app targeting the more advanced IT crowd, whereas is a good testing ground for any indie game-developed app.

Of course, every app user and owner has specific goals they want to accomplish, so look at the list below to see which app stores are out there that you can benefit from today.

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

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

With the release of Windows 11, Microsoft announced that its Microsoft store would allow access to the Amazon App Store, making it possible to run Android apps on a Windows-based PC.

There are currently more than 480,000 available apps in the Amazon App Store, 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 be purchased as gift cards 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.

Every new app is reviewed by Amazon staff before being published. That helps ensure they are safe to use and will work without hiccups.

Depending on the app type, we recommend many of our APK or HTML5 web app clients post their apps on the Amazon App Store to reach a wider audience. Some apps are not suited for the store, but we assist in making the right decision based on the type of app.

We also help app publishers meet publishing requirements, including uploading images, descriptions, tags, etc.

You can install the Amazon App Store here and gain access to it from your Android phone.

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

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

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

There are quite a few requirements that must be met for an app to be published on the Galaxy store.

Samsung rates parameters like performance, usability, hardware compatibility, app content, and legal matters as very important.

Our app development team knows the requirements like the back of their hand and can usually get apps through the distribution process on the first try.

A big advantage of publishing on the Galaxy Store is that 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 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.

Their apps are divided into 17 categories, spanning more common themes such as Games, Graphics, and Navigation. Still, you don’t have to look long to find exciting apps in Connectivity, Development, Internet, Science & Education, and Theming.

The app selection is relatively small, at approximately 4,200. But as an alternative APK store, it could be a good testing ground before releasing in the larger app stores. Or to find apps not found anywhere else in other APK app stores.

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

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

Many apps are non-English, so you may have to sort through the library to find English-translated comics or games. To help you find games easier, go into the Games section and choose the Western and Others subcategory.

When you find an APK app, you are usually met with a manga or anime-styled interface to enjoy, very much in tune with the store theme.

It’s not difficult to download an app; you don’t even have to create an account. Just hit the “download” button, and the app is installed on your phone or tablet.

To get the latest app version, you must enter the QooApp store, which will auto-update from there.

It’s the best app store for finding anime-styled games and comics.

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

Aptoide is an alternative app store based in Portugal and was initially released in 2009. Aptoide works differently than traditional 3rd party app stores by not having a centralized store. Instead, each APK app store is managed by individual users.

But don’t worry about not being able to find apps. As with centralized app stores, you can search the entire library from Aptoide’s search bar either on their website or within the Aptoide app.

Popular apps include PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, TikTok, Netflix, Twitter, and many more.

The store is popular and visited daily by more than 800,000 users, able to choose from more than one million apps.

The content regulations are much less strict in this app store than in others. The lax regulations also affect the types of available APK app types. Expect some adult content and piracy apps that, like the other app types, you can conveniently download without having a registered account.

Available for Android
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Uptodown App Logo
Uptodown is a great alternative app store for Android APK files.

The Uptodown app store is another great alternative for finding quality APK files for Android.

Uptodown was founded in 2003 with headquarters in Spain. Originally a portal for downloading desktop programs, but with the success of mobile phones, Uptodown quickly saw a new market and started its APK store.

The goal of Uptodown’s app store is to be as non-restrictive as possible while still protecting the safety of its users. We can relate to the importance of safety and security as that is one of our highest priorities as an app developer, whether it’s a financial app protecting investments, a healthcare app with sensitive information, or an e-commerce app with payment transactions.

Since not all app publishers are to be trusted, or hackers can rework their apps to steal users’ information, Uptodown uses Virustotal to scan apps for trojans, viruses, and other malware before they get published on the app store.

Uptodown is an open app store without demographic restrictions; you don’t need to sign up to use the app store.

Their revenue is advertisement-based, so they do not offer paid apps in the same way as the traditional Google Play store.

Some apps have in-app payment/freemium models, but Uptodown is not getting a piece of the revenue, which usually results in cheaper APK apps.

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

SlideMe was founded in 2008 and markets itself as “the best alternative to the Google Play app store.” While they offer free and paid apps, they have fewer apps than Google Play.

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

When we code an app, we can take advantage of SlideMe’s fantastic features, including a lower 20% revenue share fee (Google Play charges 30%) or SlideLock – a tool to protect your app from tampering with third parties.

They have a dedicated SlideMe team to approve every app. This ensures users avoid ending up with rogue apps with ill intent. They also create a safer environment for kids by not allowing gambling, adult content, or illegal-themed apps.

It’s a worthy alternative app store to get your APK apps from, or to publish an app at.

Available for Android
APKPure Mobile Logo
APKPure is a great alternative app store for Android.

APKPure is a Chinese based website serving users worldwide. Since 2014 when it was launched, it has been a popular alternative Android app store providing mobile users with a massive library of Android applications and games. Unlike traditional app stores like Google Play, APKPure primarily offers APK files for direct download and installation, allowing access to a wide range of apps outside of the official ecosystem.

One of the selling points of APKPure is its extensive collection of both popular and niche apps, as well as games. You can search for specific apps or browse through categories to discover new ones. Additionally, APKPure often provides updates for apps even before they are available on the Google Play Store, making it a valuable resource for early access to new features and improvements.

APKPure also offers additional features such as app reviews, ratings, and recommendations to help users discover high-quality apps. The platform emphasizes security and strives to ensure that all apps available for download are free from malware and other security threats.

Available for Android
Huawei AppGallery Logo
The third largest Android App Store is the Huawei AppGallery.

The Huawei AppGallery, more commonly known as just AppGallery, is the third-largest Android store in the world. It was launched in China 11 years ago and was available to international audiences four years ago.

With more than 530 million users across 170 countries, it’s a thriving hub for mobile users and developers. Since 2019 the developer base has grown 77% to 2.3 million registered developers. The top-rated apps are familiar faces like TikTok, Snapchat, and JustEat, but it doesn’t take much effort to find more alternative apps such as Earntogether (make money by chatting), Snaptube (download HD videos and MP3s from any site) and MEGA (client device encrypted cloud storage)

Enjoy Apps spanning 17 categories and Games offered across six sections. It’s possible to sort by ‘Most Popular’ apps in each category and browse through the ‘Featured’ section. They offer exclusives with competitions, rewards, and in-game events only available to AppGallery users.

All apps are downloaded directly from the Huawei AppGallery website or within the AppGallery app.

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

HappyMod is an unusual alternative app store as it doesn’t offer originally created apps but “modded” apps. Their catalog offers more than 200,000 modded apps to choose from.

Every app is a downloadable APK app file that has been modified to extend the app’s functionality or with certain original app restrictions removed.

For example, ads may be disabled from games; in-game currency is unlimited, or the number of days of a trial period extended indefinitely.

Due to these principles, the HappyMod store is not a good choice for app publishers and not one we recommend for our clients. However, there’s plenty of selection for app users to circumvent the micro-transactions popularized by mobile games and apps.

HappyMod users provide feedback on whether the apps are working and malware-free. APK apps are removed if thy don’t meet these requirements. In addition, each app is manually checked by a HappyMod staffer before approval.

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

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

We thought deserved a bonus spot. is an app store available via’s website and just recently also available as a download through Epic Game’s store. The APK store offer apps for Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Web platforms.

The store focuses on delivering Indie games for Android and currently has almost 24,000 games in the catalog. Some are free, and some are paid apps.

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

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

Developers have unparalleled freedom in how their apps are sold, from choosing their payment model and timing to extremely customizable app listings.

Whereas Google Play requires 30% revenue sharing, is based on open revenue sharing, with developers able to choose how much, if any, they want to share (the standard is to share 10% with

Available for Android
TapTap App Store Logo
Tap Tap App Store for Android is perfect for gamers

TapTap deserves a mention as well. TapTap is a mobile app store and community platform originating in China in 2016 and operated by XD Inc. It has gained popularity for its focus on mobile gaming.

Today it has more than 120.000 games played by over 60 million gamers and serve as a global hub for users seeking diverse gaming experiences. TapTap distinguishes itself by providing access to a wide array of mobile games that may not be readily available in traditional app stores. The platform operates as a vibrant community where users can discover, share, and download games, fostering a sense of connection among gaming enthusiasts worldwide.

The game library range from well-known titles to indie gems, and users can explore different genres and discover new and unique gaming content. The platform facilitates user engagement through features such as offering more than 4 million user reviews and ratings, offering valuable insights that help individuals make informed decisions about the games they choose to download and play.

TapTap emphasizes localization, supporting multiple languages to ensure accessibility for users across the globe. This commitment to inclusivity allows individuals to navigate the platform comfortably and find content that aligns with their gaming preferences. Users can connect with friends, share gaming experiences, and recommend titles to each other, fostering a social dimension within the TapTap community.

Available for Android
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How to install APKs from one of the alternative Android app stores

If you’re ready to install an APK from one of these stores, you may need help getting it on your phone. While it’s a little more work than downloading them from the official Play store, don’t worry; it’s quite easy.

Once you have installed the third-party app store on your phone, you can install more APK files within the alternative app store.

How to get an alternative Android app store on your phone

Depending on if you are running Android 8.0 or later on your Android phone, or if you are still running Android 7.0 Nougat or older, the installation method is slightly different. Go to the appropriate section below for instructions for your specific device scenario.

How to install a third-party APK on Android 8.0 Oreo and later OS’s

Google changed how APK installations are installed from Android 8.0 Oreo and later OS’s. You need to do only four steps to install APKs on the latest Android versions.

  1. Download the APK you want from one of the alternate app stores above.
  2. Click on the completed download in your web browser OR go to your Download folder with a file browser app and click the downloaded APK.
  3. Once downloaded, Android will request your permission from the mobile browser or file browser to install the downloaded app. Give permission to install and you should be redirected back to the installation screen. If you are not redirected, manually go to your Download folder to try again.
  4. The app will install, and you are done.

Once the app is installed, you’ll find the newly installed app in the app drawer. If an app does not install correctly, it is probably because it is incompatible with your device. In that case, you will have to try it on another device or find a compatible app.

How to install a third-party APK on Android 7.0 Nougat and earlier OS’s

With Android Nougat and earlier versions, you must enable the ‘Install from Unknown Sources” setting in Settings. Follow these steps to install on older Android systems.

  1. Download the APK you want from one of the alternate Android app stores listed.
  2. From your Home Screen, go to Settings, Security, and Enable the ‘Install from Unknown Sources” setting.
  3. Use a file browser, go to your Download folder, and then click the APK file you just downloaded.
  4. Your new Android app will be installed and ready for use.

If you have any install issues, it could be because you are running an old version of Android. You’ll need to update your Android OS or buy a new phone if you need that app.

Final thoughts

When you download APK apps from an alternative app store, you are not protected against malware, viruses, and security threats 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 is safer than downloading a modded app from HappyMod. That said, all of the app stores listed are well-established and generally safe to use. Many stores also have verification teams making sure the apps are safe to use before they are allowed in the marketplace.

Do note that with apps downloaded from third-party app stores, you will have to accept to “install from unknown sources” on your Android device at your own risk.

Our first choice when we publish apps for our clients is the Google Play store. However, most of these alternative Android app stores are excellent choices for expanding the user base and promotional platforms.

They are also a great source of software developed for Android users looking for more than the mainstream Google Play store offers. Each with its specialty, whether you’re an app techie, an anime fan, or love modded apps.

If you’d like your app published someday in one of the Android stores, we at Inspire Visual are experts in the entire development process. We hand-pick resources specifically for every project and only use senior talent.

You can learn more about our app development phases and core strengths that set us above our competition.

Contact us today by email or call us at 407.434.9171 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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