The Google Play Store is the go-to place for most Android users to download apps. It is secure, reliable and has the biggest (Android) app collection with over 1.6 millions apps. However, there are other app stores, which might not have such a huge app collection, but they do have unique features that are worth looking at.
They may offer paid apps for free (legally), filter specific types of apps, or just offer a better interface to browse and download apps. They are typically not as secure as the Google Play Store, so you will have to be more aware of potential security issues. We will only list the most popular and secure ones. The best thing to do is to check the app permissions before/while installing any app to ensure it is safe.
Note: To install third-party app stores, you will have to enable installation from “unknown sources”. To do so, just go to “Settings > Security”, and then check the option “unknown sources”.
1. Amazon Appstore
The Amazon Appstore is the second most popular Android app store after the Google Play Store. It has over 0.4 million free and paid apps and new are added frequently. It has an interface similar to the Google Play Store, and all the apps are categorized to easily find the required app.
The most interesting thing about the Amazon Appstore is its daily app give-away. The Amazon Appstore offers one paid app completely free to download everyday, so you can get your hands on exclusive apps for free!
2. GetjarGetjar is a cross-platform app store that also offers apps for Android phones. It started in the pre-Android era, but has really grown alongside Android. It divides the apps by categories and you can review or vote for apps just like the Google Play Store to make it easier for other people to get the right app. Furthermore, it also has an “Appday” to offer paid apps, for free.
It can be a bit annoying, because downloading free apps may require submitting surveys or viewing ads. If you have no problem with such interruptions, then it can be a good alternative to the Android App Store.
F-Droid is an app store specifically created to hosting free and open-source apps. If you like such apps, then this can be a great app store for you. However, due to its free and open-source nature, you might not always get your hands on the best apps. This is probably a way to support Open Source apps, which keep getting better.
4. AptoideAptoide is another great replacement for the Google Play Store that offers similar interface and high quality apps. It may also offer many Google Play Store paid apps for free by filling them with ads. If you are comfortable with ads, then you might like to check your favorite paid app on Aptoide before moving on.
After downloading the apps, it will manage them as well, and provide updates as soon as they are available. You can download apps both from the web interface or use the Aptoide app.
If you are looking to download paid apps for free, then AppBrain can be a good place to check out. Every now and then, app developers post their paid apps on AppBrain to be downloaded for free, to get some publicity. You can keep track of the new comers to get some exclusive/free apps.
Apart from free apps, it has a good interface with app ratings and comments from a huge AppBrain community. It also offers daily and weekly app charts that you can refer to if you can’t find any satisfying apps apps in the Google Play Store charts.
Let us know in the comments if you know any other cool and secure Android App stores that offer unique features worth checking out.