Android = Play Store. This is the mentality of many of us, that when downloading an Android application, we go directly to the Google Play Store from our smartphone. But there are other alternatives to download an application.
One thing to keep in mind is that not all devices have Play Store and not all applications are approved by Google. There are many alternative stores and this is explained by the open nature of the operating system.
Created in 2008 under the name of Android Market, it wasn’t until 2012 that Google changed the look and feel of its app store, calling itself the Google Play Store as we know it today. Although a few years ago, these alternative markets were somewhat obscure, today they are quite popular.
The e-commerce and cloud computing giant has one of the best alternatives known to date for Google Play Store. With a presence in Spain for almost five years, the Amazon app store has some tricks to keep being the best alternative to Google.
The main advantage is that there are many games and applications in the Play Store that would be paid for, while here they are free of charge, which is a real relief for our pockets (Amazon Underground); another advantage is their temporary exclusivity, where you can find real bargains.
Many Android devices come standard with the Play Store, but this is not the case with all smartphones, so here would be an interesting time to reflect and think about which option would be better.
Another great alternative to the Google Store. Aptoide was born in 2009 as a proposal of Paulo Trezentos, and today has more than 300,000 applications, all of them uploaded by users. One of the features that define Aptoide is that many of its applications have not been approved by Google Play.
This can be a double-edged sword, because while we can find unique apps in the store par excellence of Android, many times malicious apps can sneak in, which end up becoming paid. And this is where we find the great advantage of Aptoide, where all its applications are free of charge.
If we take all the app stores we’ve seen so far, F-Droid would be something like David versus Goliath, but it has one essential feature: it’s a free software oriented store. All applications that we download in F-Droid will be open source.
In addition, on the applications, we will be able to download the APK, source code and discover under which kind of open source license they are. Created in 2010 by Ciaran Gultnieks, F-Droid has a very small catalog of applications (just under 2000 apps), and a proprietary application for Android, where we can download and update the applications we have, all presented with an excellent design.
It’s one of the safest Android app stores, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% virus-free. It currently has more than 100 million users, with at least five million of them active per day.
With a fairly wide catalogue (800,000 applications), MoboMarket asks users for the location, so that we can recommend popular applications, as well as those that we may have in our own language or the country in which we are.
APK Mirror would be included in this list, but almost. This is not an app store to use, but a repository created by Android Police where users who use the site, will publish APKs of the latest versions of the applications that have more popularity in the world.
The speed to update any of the applications we have on our mobile phone will make APK Mirror an incredible ally, as well as if we want to download any old version of any application.
A shop with origin in Spain. In 2002, Luis Hernández Garrido and Pepe Domínguez Fernández founded Uptodown, an app store that doesn’t have an application in itself, but operates from a web page.
With Uptodown we can directly download the APK files to install on our smartphone or even save them in our own cloud to use them whenever we want. Uptodown is currently established in various parts of the world, such as China, Japan and Indonesia; it is also available in several languages (English, Portuguese, Italian and German).
Do you know any other app stores?
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