Google Play remains the one stop shop for billions of Android phone users around the world.Populated with over 2 million apps now Google Play is the ideal marketplace to download both free & buy paid apps. However, after Google Inc. created local Google Play portals for all regions (e.g. US Google Play is different from UK’s Google Play Store)Android users’ have been left stranded without their favorite apps.
If located outside the USA, you will not be able to download countless region locked apps only available to users’ with US IP addresses. You may have noticed these local portal restrictions with the PokémonGo app which was only available on the US, Australian and New Zealand Stores.
Although you can always consider using a VPN to bypass the local store restrictions and visit your desired Google Play store, there are always alternatives to the Google Play Store you can download Android apps from. We took the liberty to compile a list of the 7best alternatives to the Google Play Stores.
- Amazon AppStore
- Samsung Galaxy Apps
- Get Jar
- APK Mirror
Amazon App Store
Amazon launched its dedicated Android app store in 2011 with some 4,000 apps. In my opinion Amazon’s Android app store is positioned strong against the sheer excellence of Google Play. Today, the Amazon Android app store boasts close to 350,000 apps including a devoted section for underground apps.
Amazon app store also features a “Free App of the Day”, where everyday a premium app is offered to Android users’ for free.A “Test Drive”feature was previously available for visitors to trial an app on their PC by loading it to their web browser for 30 minutes using the Amazon EC2 Cloud, the service was discontinued in 2015. Android users can browse Amazon app store by category, check out Best Sellers and many great deals.
Amazon App Store also offers a superb Amazon Underground Android Store app but you will not be able to find it on Google Play. To get the app follow the link to Amazon’s official download website.The Amazon Android Store app is only available to users in the US, UK and a handful of territories around the world.
Samsung Galaxy Apps
Samsung Galaxy Apps, previously known as Samsung Apps, was the electrical giant’s dedicated Android app store launched back in 2009. The Samsung Apps would be available to every mobile, tablet, TV and any other smart devices by default.
Today, the Samsung Galaxy Apps store is available to over 200 million people with new apps being added almost every day. The store has categorized apps quality checked for all Android devices with some Samsung apps only meant for Samsung devices. The Samsung Galaxy App store also provides a Samsung Gifts feature giving away premium apps for free daily. If this was enough, Samsung galaxy Apps also offers a special widget for devices for quick access to trending & new apps.
At the Games Beat Summit 2016Samsung representatives established that new apps including a huge range of Android games will be added to the Galaxy App store to encourage downloads directly rather than from Google Play. President of Emerging Platforms Mihai Pohontu established that the tech giant intends to add more developers creating attractive partnerships.
Although not a recommended location to download Android apps, you should check out the Samsung Galaxy Store routinely for interesting apps. You can also download the official Samsung Galaxy Store App that allows you to easily browse through all available apps.
The Lithuanian based independent Android app store kicked off in 2004 and has become one of the top most visited& largest Android app stores in the world today. GetJar claims to distribute more than 900,000 apps over 6 OS platforms with close to 400 developers at its disposal,Android apps account for some 300,000 apps out of the total.
Although the store was instituted to promote free apps and give developers a platform to be visible, today developers are paid for every download. In 2014, China’s Sungy Mobile acquired the store for close to $40 Million adding to the infrastructure of the massive Android apps store.
GetJar offers a simple user interface with one of the most user friendly website navigation I have seen. You can search for apps from the categories section or get top apps and trending apps directly on the home page. Apps are available in 23 categories from games, social to adult categories sorted for easy access. I loved the feature where you can also browse through app sub-categories within every category, for example the gaming category is further divided in to:
GetJar also offers a sleek & simple mobile app designed to ensure that you can get your favorite apps directly to your Android phone in case it is unavailable on the Google Play Store. Browse through thousands of apps, access sub categories and get latest app recommendations as you navigate.
I really loved the GetJar App store, also due to the fact that none of the apps were either malicious nor were tweaked by developers to be intrusive. It is one of my recommended options apart from Google Play.
Aptoide has become one of my favorite app stores to get apps for my Android phone. Rather have a massive centralized store developers & ordinary users can simply set up their own Android app stores and publish apps directly. Aptoide offers a mobile, a Smart TV (dedicated TV apps) and an Aptoide Lite (lite version of Aptoide) app store to users. Aptoide offers more than 650,000 apps across 200,000+ stores listed within its directory.
The Aptoide store has a very attractive interface but the disappointing aspect was the absence of categorized apps. Although there are lists of Editor’s choice, top trending and latest apps available with a search feature, categorized apps would be a lovely addition to the Aptoide interface.You can also download the Aptoide app to access the huge selection of apps, user app stores, the Aptoide community and much more.
Although 5th on my list it is probably the first Android App store I go to for any app that I need. APK Mirror has established its name providing the latest versions of most Google Play Store apps that are blocked in different regions. Being outside the US I couldn’t download the HBO Now, Starz and Pokémon Go apps, all I had to do was visit APKMirror and all issues were resolved.
Although I couldn’t find an exact number of apps published on APK Mirror, the website has a considerable number since I find every other app usually available on Google Play Stores. I estimate there are close to 600,000 apps on the website. The APKMirror website is as simple as it can be, a search button, a list of latest updated apps and popular apps trending at the moment.
APK Mirror offers no mobile app, but,has a mobile version website so that you can directly install apps from your Android phone. APKMirror is very simple, offers a very basic design and provides all popular trending apps with updates coming up as soon as they are released. APK Mirror is the Editor’s Choice Android Store side stepping all others even with its basic site navigation, no categories, no reviews or any added features.
In a Nutshell
Hope you enjoyed our top 5 alternative Android app markets, did we miss one? Let us know in the comments section below, do remember to pitch in and let us know what you think of our top 5.For any queries and precious feedback leave your comments below and do remember to add us @VPNBest on Twitter.