Android might be synonymous with Google’s large ecosystem of apps and multimedia content that’s available through Google Play Store, but that doesn’t mean that alternative ways how to download Android app don’t exist. In fact, there’s a whole bunch of them, each offering a slightly different reason why you should give it a go.
Amazon App Store (Amazon Underground)
Before we go any further with our description of Amazon App Store, we want to correct one common misconception: Amazon Underground is NOT limited to Amazon Kindle tablets. It’s just how Amazon distinguishes between the Amazon app you can download from the Play Store and the one you can sideload from their website. Apart from the difference in the installation method, both apps are the same.
Amazon launched their App Store in 2011 with about 3,800 apps and games. It didn’t take a long time for the popularity of the digital marketplace to skyrocket, and it now features nearly 340,000 apps. The main attraction of this alternative to Google Play Store is Amazon’s “Free App of the Day” feature. Those who diligently check back every day can download many popular titles without paying a single dollar. The current roster of free titles (including all downloadable content) includes Goat Simulator, Office Suite Pro 8, Monument Valley, DuckTales: Remastered, Looney Tunes Dash!, Frozen Free Fall, Angry Birds Slingshot Stella, and many, many others.
GetJar is an independent mobile phone app store based in Lithuania. The service started in 2004 as an app beta testing platform for developers. After a short while, they started making their apps publicly available, which attracted the attention of Android enthusiasts. A major shift happened in 2014, after a Chinese company Sungy Mobile acquired GetJar.
Sungy took the GetJar business model to the next level, and the service now provides almost 1 million mobile apps across all major mobile platforms, of course, including Android. On a good day, the download number of downloads through the app exceeds 3 million.
GetJar proudly presents itself as the biggest open-source app store for Android, and their wide selection of apps, which are sorted into appropriate categories is mind-blowing. Some of these categories include games, social & messaging, productivity, entertainment, education, finance, food, health, news, personalization, shopping, and many others.
Uptodown is a great Play Store alternative for people for enjoy using Android smartphones but not so much Google’s app store, Google Play Store. Uptodown for Android operating systems gives you a complete access to all Android apps, including their latest updates, from one convenient place that doesn’t require you to have a Google account.
The app highlights which payment model a particular app or game is using, allowing you to avoid those that give you just a small glimpse of what they are capable of and then demand money for just about any extra feature. Another fantastic feature of Uptodown is the ability to roll back to an older version of any app or game. If an update causes more harm than good, you can go back a version or two and wait until the developers sort everything out. Last but not least, Uptodown uses what they call “neutral screenshots” to give their users an accurate representation of what they are about to download and install on their devices, instead of often highly-alternated screenshots which barely resemble how the real app or game looks in action.
As describe on its official website, “an F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The client makes it easy to browse, install, and keep track of updates on your device.”
Just like any third-party app, you can download and install F-Droid on your Android device by downloading the official .apk file and manually installing it. Just make sure you have third-party app sources enabled in the settings menu. Once you are inside the app, you can browse through its content using category and popularity filters.
The kind of Android app that you find on F-Droid are usually, but not always, smaller, independent projects and low-level utilities created to make your Android smartphone as useful as possible. Their user interfaces are not thalways as polished as you might be used to from the venture-backed apps found on the Play Store, but they are, nonetheless, worth a try.
Samsung GALAXY Apps
It could be argued that Samsung has always been striving to create their own branch of Android. Their smartphones sport a customized user interfaces, they produce their own range of smart accessories, and they have their own app store, which aggregates all “apps designed for your Galaxy or Gear in one place.”
The kind of app you find on Samsung Galaxy Apps have been specially picked out for your Galaxy or Gear devices and sorted out into different categories. The Best Picks category contains a collection of some of the best Samsung-ready apps out there, the For Galaxy category aggregates all apps optimized for Galaxy devices, and the Gear category features apps tailored specifically for your Gear accessories.
Samsung GALAXY Apps app store regularly hosts special promotions, offering popular games for free or for a substantially discounted price.