Android is the largest mobile ecosystem in the world by a long way, with approximately 3 million apps and games. It supports more than 7000 devices and has to be the most used mobile app store in the world. It has a diverse range of apps and games like the Free Fire and PubG – if you can think of it, it is in there, but does it offer everything every user or developer wants?
The answer to that is no, and it doesn’t. Let’s start with the developers.
You might think they are on to a good thing, but the reality is very different. While it’s a great, global platform, actually trying to get an app into the store is not easy. It costs money and a lot of time and even when they get it into the store, things don’t improve. With so much competition, many ap developers, particularly the independents, stand little chance of getting any real recognition for their apps. The Recommended lists are virtually out of reach, geo-restrictions are in place on many apps, and a mediocre advertising model means that, for many developers, their audience and revenue streams are not great.
What about the end-user? Well, while the store does offer a ton of apps and games, some free, some paid, it doesn’t offer everything. Again, that geo-restriction comes into play, stopping some users from downloading certain apps. And many users are now looking for ways to download third-party apps onto their devices without having to root them first.
The good news for both developers and end-users alike is that there are now plenty of alternatives to the Android app store, and all of them offer a great experience. We’ll be looking at those shortly, but first, a bit more information.
Why Should You Use An Alternative?
Sure, the Google Play Store is huge, and yes, it offers so much choice for the end-user that, surely, we should be happy. Shouldn’t we? Well, not really. Things have changed in recent times, and now we want more. We’ve got fantastic devices, and, in many cases, the app store just doesn’t provide for us. And the developers want an easier way to get their apps out there, to widen their audience and their pay streams. That’s why these alternatives stores are here to provide extra for both developers and users.
Some are cross-platform, some offer only unofficial content, and some provide everything for free. The advantages of using these alternative stores include:
Advantages of an Alternative Android App Store
- Cheaper, even free sometimes, app submission
- Better advertising and promotion models, more chance of getting their apps on the Recommended or Daily app lists
- Broader audience reach for apps, and more chance for revenue
- No more geo-restrictions – developers can get their apps anywhere, and end-users can download apps the official app store may have blocked them from using.
- Some app stores work on all platforms, and others offer free, modified, and tweaked apps and games.
- And end-users do not have to root their Android device to enjoy these stores.
Let’s see just what alternatives are on offer.
Top 10 Android App Store Alternatives
Developers are up against it in all directions with the official store; not only does it cost them in time and money, but other factors also affect their audience reach and revenue streams. Plus the competition is so tough, it’s hard to get an app to stand out over everything else. Looking for alternative app stores makes sense on so many levels, not just for the developers, but for the end-user too. So here are ten of the very best alternatives to the official Android app store for 2020:
Starting with the most popular unofficial Android app store, ACMarket offers everything you could possibly want in an app store. Everything is unofficial, and none of this can be found in the official store. With ACMarket, you get a huge choice of modified apps, all with tons of extra features. There are ++ apps, which are modified stock apps, unlocked games, game emulators, unlimited streaming apps, and so much more. With ACMarket, you can pretty much find a modified version of any app or game you can think of, and more are being added all the time.
This one is aimed more at giving the developer a good experience and is a platform for testing apps. The apps are checked for exploits and viruses, and once cleared, they are uploaded to the store for users to try out. There’s a pretty good recommendation system, giving developers much better app promotion prospects, a nice way for developers to broaden their audience, and users get to try beta apps, free premium apps, and take advantage of the filters that help them find what they want.
- Opera Mobile Store
Opera Mobile Store is a cross-platform app store launched in 2011. More than a hundred thousand people visit the store every month, downloading from a huge choice of apps, games and other content, Some are free, some are paid, and over 7000 devices are supported by the store. It’s also a great alternative for developers, offering another way of reaching a wider audience.
- Amazon App Store
Amazon is a household name, offering pretty much any product you can think of to buy. It is available in multiple countries and also offers physical and digital books, movies and TV shows, music, groceries, and much more, but what a lot of people didn’t know is that it also has its own app store. Time and again, that app store has shown itself to be a great alternative to the Android store. Launched in 2011, the store offers around half a million apps and games; no, that isn’t anywhere near what the Google Play Store offers, but Amazon has concentrated on providing quality apps, some for free, some paid. An added bonus here is that the store has its own currency, which you can use for buying apps and for the in-app purchases.
HappyMod is a very different kind of store. Much like ACMarket, it offers unofficial, modified apps. But here’s where it’s different. These modified apps are uploaded from the internet by the developer, and by other users. That means there could be multiple versions of the same app, each with a different modification. The end-user gets to try the app and rate it; those with the highest ratings go to the top of the list, and every app has a note, telling you what the modification is. Users know exactly what they are getting, and they know they are getting a working app. All apps are virus-scanned before being allowed into the store, adding another layer of security.
SlideMe was launched in 2008 in the USA, and it didn’t take long before it hit the second place, just behind the Android store. The app store developers have made security their number-one priority, and every app or game submitted to the store is checked for exploits and scanned for viruses before it can go in. The store is backed up by thousands of developers, offering the app developers help on fixing bugs, pricing their apps, marketing, and so much more. And the end-user gets a huge choice of apps, some for free and some paid.
Aptoide was one of the first alternative app stores to be launched, and it focuses on offering users only four and 5-star apps. It is an independent platform, offers Recommended app lists, Top Downloads, Local Downloads, and a whole lot more besides. All the content is categorized so users can find what they want easily, and developers can make sure their apps are targeted at the right audience.
AppsZoom is nearly a decade old now and is one of the most popular app testing platforms of all time. Thousands of apps have made their way to the platform over the years and, although a cross-platform store, it does offer plenty of choice for Android users. There are free apps and paid ones, and all of them are checked for exploits and viruses before going into the store. The developers get a great platform to submit their apps to and, if their apps are cross-platform, well, they get one-stop-shop. With strong encryption securing app downloads, users are safe in the knowledge that they are not downloading anything dodgy, and their device, data, and privacy is protected. More than 4 million people visit AppsZoom monthly, and there are thousands of reviews and developers to help out, making this one of the very best alternatives.
LuckyPatcher is less of an app store and more of a modification app. If you already have apps on your device, you can use this to remove ads, app restrictions, add modifications, get rid of license verifications, and more. And you also get a free system cleaner and a way of backing up your system.
Last is AppBrain, launched in 2009 and a very reliable app store. More than 2 million installations happen every day, and over 100 million people use the store every month. It is available in over 230 countries, has over 70,000 apps and games, and is constantly being updated. Developers get great pricing, good advertising and promotion models, CPI pricing, fraud detection tools, and more.
There you are ten alternatives to the Android app store. Something will offer exactly what you want to try them out and see what you think of them.