Alternative Android Appstore: Beyond Google Play

Android is a beloved platform. More than 70% of the mobile market uses Android as their operating system. This is due to its accessibility and vast reach. On the other hand, Apple holds about 26% of the mobile market. With reachability, Android has had to be an adaptable platform. If you use an Apple device, the idea of an alternative platform to download applications sounds foreign. After all, you would only be allowed to download apps off of the App Store. These applications go through extensive vetting and this could stall smaller developers. The next breakthrough app might get locked behind Apple’s strenuous restrictions. However, Android is known to be the more open platform. Users looking for an alternative android appstore are in luck. As app developers ourselves, at Twelfth Dream we have worked on many apps for our clients in Vancouver and beyond. See our case studies.

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Google Play is the main appstore that comes pre-installed on android phones. It is the premier location for Android users to download their apps. Certain Android phones, like Samsung, come with a second app store. That being the Galaxy Store. In addition to those two, there are a myriad of options for an alternative Android appstore. In this article, we will discuss a few. The installation process is as easy as downloading the official APK file from the relevant website. Install it and you have access to more apps than before. An open platform like Android allows developers to test out new ideas and take risks. Risks that one would not be able to take on the iOS App Store. Let us familiarize ourselves with app stores, before we dive deeper. This list will familiarize you with the alternative android appstore concept.

What defines an appstore?

We will also look at what an alternative android appstore means for developers further down. But first, what is an appstore? An app store is a platform that distributes applications to users, often on mobile devices. They allow users to make the most from their phones and devices. Every phone comes with pre-loaded applications. Ones the manufacturer has developed specifically for that device. Think the calculator or alarm app that is always on your phone when you first turn it on. App stores can include apps developed by the manufacturer of the phone and those from third-party developers. At Twelfth Dream, we operate as a third-party developers on these platforms. Team As A Service (TAAS) develops an app for the client and submit it for review. Generally, Apple is known to have more restrictive measures. Their review process can also take longer than Google’s.

Brief History of the App stores

The first appstore was launched in 2008. It came with the first iPhone. It launched with 500 apps. Over the years, it grew exponentially to more than 1.8 million. Similarly, the Google Play Store launched with 50 apps. Today, it hosts more than 3 million. The app stores introduced in-app purchases around the late aughts and early 2010s. This revolutionized the mobile economy. It allowed developers to rely on a constant stream of income, rather than the traditional one-time purchase. If an app is free, the chances that the user would give it a try increase. The risk factor is lowered than with a paid app. However, some apps do garner enough reputation to squash any doubt.

Alternative Android Appstore: Top 5

Alternative Android Appstore: Top 5

The main topic however is the examples of the alternative android appstore. In this article, we will mention five of the most popular. However, there are many examples of such app stores. With Android being an open platform, innovation has only grown. Developers now have the option to test out their product in many markets. In some areas where payment through Google or Apple is difficult, local app stores take control of the market. The importance of this practice is undeniable.

Amazon Appstore

Amazon launched its own slate of mobile phones in 2014. The model was called the Fire Phone. The bigger user of the appstore are those with the Fire Stick TV devices. Users can download streaming apps on their TV through this store. One way the Amazon Appstore differs from Google Play is Amazon Coins. It is a virtual currency that users can use to purchase apps. They can be earned through completing in-app tasks or purchased. When converted, apps are sold with a discount if purchased by Amazon Coins. Besides the users that download it, the Amazon Appstore is pre-installed on many Amazon devices. It is a great way for developers to reach another massive audience. The TV app store market has been booming since the introduction of smart TVs.

Samsung Galaxy Apps

Galaxy Apps or sometimes the Galaxy Store, comes pre-installed on Samsung Galaxy and Gear devices. Gear being the smartwatches that Samsung offers. Galaxy Apps was introduced in 2010 as Samsung Store. It has taken a similar approach as that of Amazon. The store offers Galaxy and Gear users exclusive offers and has at times hosted exclusive apps. The store is not meant to compete with Google Play, so much as it is meant to enhance the Galaxy line of phones. It is a great way for Samsung to use the option of an alternative android appstore to retain its customers. However, engagement seems limited to Samsung devices, as Samsung has no official APK link to install the appstore. Nonetheless, Samsung users form a large chunk of the market. In fact, more than a quarter of mobile phone users have a Samsung phone.


SlideMe is the independent alternative to the Amazon, Samsung, and Google stores. The appstore has its own set of guidelines and each app is manually reviewed before going live. In fact, they pride themselves on “curating” apps rather than simply approving them. Its reputation has only strengthened since 2008. According to their website, more than 140 original equipment manufacturers or OEMs make their devices with SlideMe pre-installed.

Opera Mobile Store

The Opera Mobile Store is an interesting take on the alternative android appstore. Users can download applications from their browser by simply visiting a link. This makes the appstore platform independent. Users from any platform can access it. The appstore generates more than one million app downloads a day and runs on Java. You may have heard of Opera before due to their super optimized and feature-packed browser. This is another great venue for app developers to reach a wider market.

1Mobile Market

1Mobile Market is another fascinating example of an alternative android appstore. Apps cost nothing to upload and nothing to download. It is a phenomenal place to test a new concept for an app. Apps are only checked for malware and basic standards. The whole appstore also runs on recommendations. Therefore, users can rely on a well-oiled recommendation machine to sift through all the apps uploaded there.

alternative android appstore

What to look for when choosing an alternative Android appstore?

This is important for both developers and users. Google Play holds the bulk of users. Having the option is what matters most. Being able to enter less-risky markets before launching on Google Play can be a godsend for newer developers. It also allows the developer to reach the users that have these app stores pre-installed on their devices.  native apps or hybrid apps would take some time to perfect. So launching it on an alternative store gives the developer room for feedback. The marketplace is also not as competitive as the big app stores. Therefore, publishing on multiple platforms is a no brainer.

As a consumer having the option to use an alternative android appstore

When you are a user or a consumer, choice is always a good thing. You may find the next great app that maximizes your phone usage on one of these alternative platforms. New ideas, even experimental ones, can be just the cure for your app fatigue. Google Play is extremely competitive with developers gaming the meta to top the charts. The alternative android appstore is just the breath of fresh air you need. It could also be that Google services are not as optimized in your region. These app stores give you the path for a more localized option.

The bottom line on the alternative android appstore

At the end of the day, Android’s openness is to be applauded. Whenever a company with this much market share opens themselves to competition, it is only good. Critics would argue that apps on alternative android app stores do not compare. However, a big monolithic platform with one overseeing body is not the solution. Competition breeds innovation. When newer app developers have options for deploying their ideas, the next big app can blossom. More importantly, it can blossom from anywhere. Even a less-established developer can take a chance on 1Mobile Market. They could reach multiple platforms through the Opera Mobile Store. Localized options are another possibility through SlideMe and other app stores that Android allows.

Platform openness and accessibility is also good for the consumer. With apps competing to have the best App Store Optimization or ASO, Google Play can seem mundane. For those looking to experience the rest of what android app development has to offer, an alternative android appstore is a gift.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to upload an app on the google play store? 1. Preparing info about the app
2. Uploading the APK file 3. Finalizing the app’s ranking content 4. Finalizing the pricing 5. Publishing the app
Is it free to publish an app on Samsung galaxy apps? It costs zero to publish an app on Samsung galaxy apps.
What should I do after uploading an app on App Store? Now it is about time to deploy the best application marketing strategies to reach a wider range of audiences to approach your goals. Read more

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