The Google Play Store is easily one of the best app stores out there on any platform, but you might get to the point where you just want to try something else out. So, if you’re looking to expand your horizons, we’ve put together eight of the best Play Store alternatives. Check ‘em out!
8th on our list is an app called AppsFire. The app has some elements that are similar to Taptu, such as the interface being driven by a number of horizontal lists. Unlike Google’s own Play Store and other Play Store alternatives, AppsFire does its best to fit as much as possible on a single screen.
There’s really nothing overly increduble about AppsFire, but it does offer a few helpful features. For example, it will tell you what apps can be moved to our microSD card, and during our tests, it even recommened apps based on the Snapdragon processor in the Nexus 4. However, the overall experience is pretty lackluster, but the small things it does makes it worth putting on this list.
Next up as a marketplace known as F-Droid. This Play Store replacement will feel familiar to pretty much anyone who’s used Linux. Instead of having an outright store, it shows you available apps based on what repositories you have. It comes default with the standard F-Droid repository, but you can add your own.
It’s minimal, quick, and it works. Most of the apps there is free, and you can even see what license the app has. F-Droid will mainly appeal to open source fans because, well, everything is open source.
The only downside is that the selection isn’t very large, but there are open source alternatives to a lot of popular apps on the Play Store. Since F-Droid has to be downloaded from the web, you can find it here.
Getjar is probably one the best Play Store alternative on this list when it comes to downloading and trying apps you normally wouldn’t bother with. The interface is ridiculously simple. So simple that that it doesn’t even give you categories, but people still like it.
It works pretty easily. You download the apps in Getjar, and you’re given gold coins. These gold coins can be used on in-app purchases, which is pretty cool, as it encourages people to try apps they normally would ignore. Even if you don’t want to try new apps, you can use the gold coins instead of money to get extras in apps that you actually use.
#05 Opera Browser
Now here’s a Play Store alternative that you probably weren’t expecting. One of the many features added to the new Opera browser is a built-in app store. So if you’re looking for a Play Store alternative and browse, this is a two birds, one stone scenario.
As with most of these, the links do defer back to the Play Store. The Opera Browser app store isn’t the most feature filled, and the interface could use some work, but you can access the app store within the browser at any time.
Many of you are probably familiar with AppBrain, mainly because it’s used in a lot of Android blogs for providing links to apps. When it comes down to it, it’s a solid Google Play alternative, even if it looks a little plain.
Perhaps one of the best things about AppBrain is that all of the apps come from the Play Store. Why is that? Well, AppBrain is simply a different skin that you can use to surf. The AppBrain stream, recently used apps, and the ability to manage and sync settings give you a unique view of your apps and recommendations.
#03 GO Launcher Ex
First up in our top three Play Store alternatives may be surprising as well. GO Launcher EX is indeed a launcher, but baked in the launcher is the GO Store. Having over a billion users, the GO Store actually isn’t that bad. So if you need to grab yourself a launcher and a Play Store replacement, this is another two birds, one stone scenario.
The store is pretty simple, and the best part about it is that it, well, works! You can browse games and apps by trending and other categories. This is great in particular for the GO Launcher, as you can find some pretty awesome themes for the launcher. In fact, it’s much easier to search for themes and wallpapers than on the Play Store.
Next up is something called Fetch. We don’t know if it’s because of the genuinely fun to use interface or the constant reference to puppies, but we really enjoyed using Fetch. It’s as solid as they come, and it’s a very competent alternative to the Play Store.
The main appeal of Fetch is that it allows you to narrow down your search by using an absurd amount of parameters. You can narrow down your app search by ranking, price, category, and pretty much anything else you can think of. It’s so thorough that you can even search for games by 2D or 3D graphics.
#01 Amazon App Store
And here we are with our last app, the cream of the crop. Enter, the Amazon App Store, one of the best Play Store alternatives you can get your hands on. Of course, it’d be disappointing if it wasn’t one of the best, because, well, Kindle Fire owners need apps, too!
By now, just about everyone should know about the free app Amazon hands out every day, and sometimes, it’s a really good app. Another unique feature is the Test Mode, which is basically a type of try before you buy model. Only, the app plays in an emulator inside the App Store.
It’s a really neat feature, and we wholeheartedly recommend this Play Store alternative, though it doesn’t have all of the popular apps that you may be used too. Since you can’t get the Amazon App Store directly from the Play Store, you can download it here.
If you take a look at our leaderboard (image above) you can check out how these apps stack up against one another. As per the norm, these ratings are based on Google Play Store ratings, which means that there was no bias at all compiling this list.
This was an interesting list to put together, mostly because a lot of these couldn’t even be found in the Google Play Store. As you probably know, the Amazon App Store and F-Droid have to be downloaded from the web, so we had to put them on here based on popularity.
Either way, it’s not everyday that people think of trying out a different marketplace other than the Play Store. So if you want to venture out into unknown waters, these are the apps that’ll help you do just that.