The Google Play Store is one amazing place. It is a place from where most of us install and upgrade all the apps on our Android device. Since the store is maintained by Google, it works fast and is quite reliable. But sometimes you hear about some app and when you search Play Store for the app you won’t be able to find it. In such cases alternatives to Play Store comes in Handy.
This post is dedicated to such alternatives of Play Store. These download places on the web provide you the apk and installation of apps from an alternate location. Your Android phone will work great if there is an option to activate the installation of apps from external sources. If you are an app developer, you might want to consider submitting your apps to these stores for extending your reach.
Also note that I am listing those alternative app stores which host the .apks themselves. I am not listing apps store like App Brain which provides us with a curated list of apps and when we click download, they take us to the Play Store. Those are just recommendation apps.
Here is the list of best 10 alternatives to Google Play Store:
1. Amazon Appstore for Android
When Google announced Android and an app market for it, Amazon was quick enough to bring in their own competition to this. They brought out their own Kindle devices based on modified Android and with Kindle they gave us their own Amazon AppStore. This Amazon AppStore is the default app store for Kindle devices. But the app store can also be used by other Android devices.
Amazon appstore has a portal at: http://www.amazon.com/mobile-apps/b?ie=UTF8&node=2350149011.
2. CNet Mobile Downloads
CNet is a great site known for tech news as well as downloads of computer software. As a tech reviewer and download site they have not stopped themselves from foraying into mobile downloads. They feature great lists for all the major platforms including Android. They also provide detail reviews and ratings that help a lot in making a decision. This CNET Mobile Downloads is also quite reliable.
Get to the CNet mobile download site from: http://download.cnet.com/mobile-downloads.
3. Opera Store
We all know Opera as a provider of a great mobile and desktop browser. But it feels good to know that Opera has an online store for Android mobile apps as well. Opera mini app store has an assortment of apps for several platforms including Android and HTML 5. The apps there are also sorted into different categories for your convenience. If you are a developer, you can also create an account and upload apps for everyone. This is a good place to get your .apk files for your phone.
The opera app store can be reached at the web address: http://apps.opera.com.
SlideME is a place on the internet which has apps for Android. Their collection is great if you are looking for free as well as some paid apps. Their apps quality selection is also quite rigorous meaning that the apps that you download from SlideME are quite safe. SlideME is also great if you want to buy premium apps using your PayPal balance. There are also other billing options such as credit/debit cards and Amazon payments account which are supported. They also have an online wallet where you can load your funds and store your balance.
SlideME has a nice portal set up at the web address: http://www.slideme.org.
AppsZoom is a nice web portal that has a list of some of the best apps for Android. Their collection is large and you get to browse through all of it. When you select an app to download, you get options such as downloading by email, direct downloading the apk file or using a QR code which you can scan from your phone. The great thing about AppsZoom is that they also keep a small number of old versions of the apps. You can also get some great suggestions of what apps to install and try.
AppsZoom web portal is available at the web address: http://www.appszoom.com.
F-Droid calls itself an alternative free repository for free software. This means that all the apps present at F-Droid are free and are open source. That is great if you never want to pay for any app or if you are a developer looking to get some neat codes of great useful apps. In this free online store, you get the latest and greatest apps which are all released through open license such as the MIT license or GPL license. You can always get to download the .apk file of the apps or in .tar archived file. Different versions of the apps are also listed with their own requirements for permissions.
You can access F-Droid from: https://f-droid.org.
Handandgo is another nice portal for apps. This online app store supports all major platforms including all Android phones. After you enter in your device information, you will get a list of apps that works in your phone. The apps are also sorted into categories for your convenience. There are also lists like featured apps, top apps, top new apps and top updated apps. These lists and the category listing of this website takes your app discovery to a whole new level.
Easily reach Handandgo by visiting: http://www.handango.com.
If you are a lover of free apps then Android Freeware is a great place to start. This site only lists a large number of free apps for your Android Device. The apps include general apps as well as games. There are also free widgets for your Android device that you can download. Browse into their categories, see what they have featured. Also check out similar applications to find an array of free apps that you would otherwise never find. In the download page of Android Freeware, you do find a link to Play Store as well but they offer alternative mirror downloads as well. From their download mirror, you get the .apk files directly.
Access AndroidFreeware by opening: http://www.androidfreeware.net.
Handster is another place for free and paid mobile apps downloads. You can download a wide range of games as well as apps categorized under various headings. Like the other app centers in this list, this one also provides the direct .apk file download for your installation. You also get to read the app description and view the ratings. For premium apps, there are payment options of credit cards as well as PayPal.
Handster’s online app store can be landed on by visiting: https://www.handster.com.
Yandex is a well known Russian company offering a variety of services. One of its services turns out to be Yandex Store which is an app market for Android. To access this store, you have to install its official app. Then you will have to go through a painful process of signing up once and opening a Yandex account. After that it is all apps for you. Browse through their collection of more than 50K apps, both free and paid. The apps are screened using the top antivirus and security programs. Payments can be easily processed through credit cards.
The website to get the official Yandex app: http://store.yandex.com.