Unless you’re a power user, you probably head over to the Google Play Store first to download apps on your phone. Still, there will be times when you won’t find an app on the same either due to the regional restrictions or because the app doesn’t comply with Google’s terms and conditions. That’s when the open-source nature of Android comes to the rescue. You can install third-party app stores and download apps just like you would using the Google Play Store.
Why You Should Look for Google Play Store Alternatives?
If you have an Android device, Google Play Store is probably what you’ll end up using, but there will be times when you won’t find certain apps in the same, and that’s when you would want to check out some of the best Google Play Store alternatives.
Apart from that, the footprint of Google Play Services and Framework is only getting bigger, and if you have a phone with low internal storage, chances are, you’ll run out of free space pretty soon. The apps mentioned in this list consume fewer system resources, are completely safe to use, and do not invade your privacy, unlike the Google Play Store.
10 Best Google Play Store Alternatives (2022)
Note: Please note that the list of apps and websites mentioned below isn’t a ranking; you’re advised to read their features and use the ones that suit you the best.
APKMirror, as the name says, lets you download tons of free Android APKs and no paid apps are available here. However, APKMirror doesn’t have a dedicated Android app. So, users will have to visit the website for APK downloads.
The apps available on this Google Play alternative are malware-free and safe to download. On the homepage, the apps are arranged in chronological order, and you can also find popularity charts based on a monthly, weekly, and 24-hour basis. There is also a search bar for those who want to cut to the chase.
APKMirror’s user interface is excellent on the desktop, but it can be unpleasant to those accessing it via a smartphone. It’s somewhat difficult to find the download button for the APK files. Other than that, you should definitely give this Android app store a try.
2. Aurora Store
Aurora Store is an open-source Android app store with everything you could ask for. Starting with the app’s UI, the dark theme combined with a wide variety of accent choices. The app is pretty straightforward to use. What amazed me was the library of applications, as the selection of apps looks nothing like the bloatware apps that you find in other app stores.
On the app’s landing page, you’ll find a ‘For you’ section, a ‘Top Charts’ section, and ‘Categories.’ The store will also help keep your installed apps up-to-date. Overall, it is one of the best Google Play Store alternatives you can find on the internet.
You can download the Aurora Store from F-Droid, Gitlab, and the official Aurora website.
Aptoid’s design aligns with Google standards, and the experience is almost as good as the Play Store with a well-crafted user interface.
Aptoide is an open-source Android app store with over 700,000 apps to choose from. Its collection has over 3 billion downloads. It has been used by more than 150 million users worldwide since its launch in 2009.
There are several versions of the Aptoid app available:
- Aptoide app for smartphones and tablets
- An edition for smart TVs and Set-top Boxes
- Aptoide VR and Aptoide Kids for children’s devices.
It allows you to download APKs to your device directly and install them. It is a safe and straightforward app store for Android that you can use as a great Google Play Store alternative.
Also read: 8 Useful “Google Play Store Tricks” And Features For Every Android User
4. Amazon Appstore
Amazon Appstore for Android, also known as the Amazon Underground, is one of the best alternatives for the Play Store to download paid apps for free. The app store has nearly 334,000 different varieties of amazing apps, free and paid. In fact, it’s the default marketplace for Amazon’s Android Fire-branded line of Android devices.
The fascinating thing about the Amazon Appstore is the “free app of the day” feature. Every day a premium application is offered for free. Those who diligently check back daily can download many popular apps without paying a single penny.
The store has a vast collection of music, books, and movies, often available at a lower price than the Play Store. Overall, the Amazon AppStore provides a decent experience to those looking for free app stores for Android because such a big name backs it.
F-droid is one such app store focusing on free and open-source software (FOSS) Android apps only. The apps on the store are well categorized, and you will find a vast collection of apps for free.
Uniquely, the entire site and app store are run by volunteers and rely on donations. So if you find an app you like, do consider making a small donation to keep this Google Play alternative up and running.
F-Droid is popular among Android developers as they have easy access to all the apps’ codes. They can use part of the codes to make apps of their own.
The apps don’t have reviews or ratings and are not always as stable as can be found in Google Play. If you are a developer, it’s a go-to site for you.
Founded in 2002 by Luís Hernández and José Domínguez, Uptodown is one of the best Google Play Store alternatives. The goal was to connect developers to distribute Android, Windows, and Mac applications safely.
The website hosts all the popular apps that you could ask like Signal, WhatsApp, Firefox, etc. Apart from that, you can search for your favorite applications or sort them based on categories.
The app has over 130 million users and is available in 15 languages. Apart from the desktop site, you can also download the free Uptodown app and keep your apps updated.
Also read: How To Use Google Feed For News And Replace Facebook? How To Customize It?
Another long-term player in the app store business that is safe and easy to install is SlideMe. Many Android Open Source Project (AOSP) OEMs are preloaded with SlideMe Market. It provides free and premium apps in various categories, and they all pass through a quality control process.
SlideMe opens up a convenient marketplace for developers based on geographic locations and payment methods.
If you’re searching for apps or games that’s aren’t available on the Google Play Store; chances are, they will be available on APKPure. If an app is banned in your country, you can probably find and download it by visiting APKPure.
The app also has far more categories than the Google Play Store, a decent UI to navigate, and most popular apps. You can also download the APKPure Android app to keep your apps up-to-date.
Also read: 6 Legal Ways To Download Paid Android Apps For Free
9. Galaxy Store
If you use a Samsung device, you probably already know about its alternative Android app store called Galaxy Store. For of all, there is no doubt the app store scores some huge numbers in terms of looks and feel.
Other than all the Samsung-made apps, Galaxy Store also features many other popular Android apps that one might want to download on their device. However, the app store only caters to Samsung-made devices, including smartphones and smartwatches. Hence, it makes a great secondary app store for Samsung fans.
10. Yalp Store
The final app store on this list is Yalp, which is an open-source application that lets you download apps from the Google Play Store as APK files, thereby serving as one of the best Google Play Store alternatives.
The app was created to be independent of the ever-growing Google Services Framework as the Google Play Store apps grew big in size, which initiated a lightweight app that people can use to download safely from the Google Play Store.
You can sign in to your Google account and download apps as you do by using the Google Play Store. Just make sure that the two-factor authentication for your Google account is turned off, or else you won’t be able to log in.
You can download the Yalp Store from the project’s official Github releases page or F-Droid.
Choosing a good Play Store alternative for your needs could be hard, in which case we recommend you use APKMirror, Aurora Store, APKPure, and F-Droid as they’re trusted by millions of Android users, including us. They’re completely free, and some of them are also open-source.
So, these were our picks for the best free app stores for Android in 2022. That solves the question, “What can I use instead of Google Play?”
How to Download Apps without Google Play Store
However, installing apps from “third-party” apps is blocked on Android by default. Hence, you’ll need to enable “Allow app installation from unverified sources” in Settings. To do so, go to Settings > About Device > Tap on Build number seven times > Go back and go to Developer Options > Enable Unknown Sources.
Do you know of any other Google Play Store alternatives that deserve to be on this list? Moreover, if you are looking for alternatives for Tumblr, do check out our related article here! Let us know in the comments section below.
Aptoide is completely free, legal, and one of the best alternatives to the Google Play Store. Like any third-party Android store, it was developed to end Google’s monopoly on the Android app store market.
Yes, it’s safe to download apps from APKPure. Most apps that are published on the website are MD5 hash checked with the official apps listings on the Google Store, meaning the APKs are unmodified.