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10 best third party app stores for Android and other options too
Let’s face facts. We all live under the safe, warm umbrella of the Play Store. There’s a good reason for that. It has the most apps, intensely good security (comparatively speaking), it comes pre-installed on most Android devices, and it usually works well. Most people know that there are other options out there, but there isn’t a ton of information about other app stores. This is something we can help with. Below we have the best third-party app stores listed. You can follow these instructions to install third part APKs on your device. We are not responsible if something goes wrong while using one of these.
We also look forward to trying out the Epic Games Store when it eventually launches. You can read more about it here. Huawei is also building a third-party app store, called AppGallery (link here) after Huawei was banned from the US in 2020. We’ll keep an eye on it too.
The best third party app stores for Android
Price: Free / App costs vary
The Amazon Appstore is likely the most competent app store aside from the Play Store itself. It’s the stock app store on all Amazon Fire devices. The store has a variety of apps, including some big, popular names. It also has all of Amazon’s various apps and it used to be the sole home of Amazon Prime Video. This is an actual app that you can install on any Android device without a ton of issues. It also runs concurrently with other app stores if you want to use more than one. It could definitely use some optimizations, but it’s otherwise more positive than it is negative. We do wish it had a better selection, though.
Okay, so APKMirror isn’t technically an app store, but rather an app repository. You can find all kinds of stuff here, including some beta apps not available in the Play Store. However, you can still get updates from the Play Store if a newer version comes out, so it’s an excellent secondary source of apps and some games. This definitely isn’t a full store experience and we really only recommend it if you want to try something specifically or find an older APK of an existing app so you can roll back to a previous version due to bugs or preferences. It’s surprisingly safe to use and a source we often link to in our other articles.
APKPure is a third-party app store with a lot of upsides. It has a lot of popular apps like TikTok, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, UC Browser, PUBG Mobile, Brawl Stars, and many others. The app store features a clean, coherent UI with a decent search and a good overall selection. It has a lot more categories than the Google Play Store, although some categories are a little light in terms of good apps for download. You can get the basics here with no problem, including some Google apps like Gmail.
APKUpdater isn’t really an app store, but it has a neat function. You can update your existing apps without the use of another app store. It sources downloads from multiple sources so you get the latest updates as quickly as possible. The UI is simple Material Design without any problems. It’s a good way to keep your device up to date without the hassle of having a full blown app store on your phone. There is a search for other apps, but it’s not quite as good as a dedicated app store.
Price: Free / App prices vary
Aptoide is one of the oldest third party app stores on the list. It has a bunch of modern apps like Facebook, Nest, YoWindow Weather, Fleksy, and many recent games. However, the main draw of Aptoide is its looser regulations for content. You can find adult (NSFW) apps and games here as well as questionable apps like Show Box. Of course, this gives the app store a bit of a badlands feel so make sure you pack an antivirus app if you use this one. Aptoide suffered a data breach in 2020. However, since you can use the service without creating an account, its security issues didn’t actually affect many people.
F-Droid is one of the older app stores on the list and among the most trustworthy. The store experience is mostly for productivity and power user stuff. We’re talking about apps like an Arch Linux package browser type of stuff. There are some basic apps on there, like Simple Gallery or Simple Calendar along with a very small selection of games. However, by and large, this is an app store for people who need something a little extra that the Play Store doesn’t have. F-Droid is open source and every app on the platform is open source. You can even find alternatives to F-Droid on F-Droid. This is a neat little app store.
Price: Free / Varies
Humble Bundle is an excellent place to score some cheap mobile games. It has a pay-what-you-want system that lets you score games for less than you’d normally buy them. There are tiers where you get more stuff if you pony up more money. You can download any app or game you bought through this method at will so it works out pretty well. Some of the money also goes to charity so it’s all for a good cause. They don’t have a proper store like Google Play, but they do run bundles fairly frequently. Check out the linked page for more details.
QooApp is a different sort of app store. It’s best for those who enjoy Asian games from Asian developers. You can find all kinds of stuff here, although only some of it has English (or any other non-Asian language) translation. This is mostly useful for getting Japanese variants of global games like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. TapTap is another app store with basically the same premise. We have that linked up below in the other section.
Samsung Galaxy Store
Price: Free / App prices vary
It’s a shame that Galaxy Store is only available on Samsung devices because it’s actually fairly competent. The selection is obviously smaller than the Play Store and likely a little smaller than Amazon’s Appstore. However, it has a clean UI, simple navigation, and it actually has some rather popular apps and games, including Microsoft, Netflix, Hulu, Fortnite, Brawl Stars, and others. It’s not an end-all-be-all kind of thing, but those with Samsung devices have a decent secondary app store along with Google Play right on their devices already.
Yalp Store is another unique app store. It uses Google Play Store APKs but you get them without the actual Google Play Store. You can search for, install, and update apps directly from the source and we quite like that. The UI is a little old, but it works well enough. There are also additional features for root users. You don’t even need a Google account to use it, although your purchases may not be saved over the long term.
There are plenty of other app stores on the Internet. Some of them are pretty good and some of them are only kind of serviceable. Many of these are listed for the sake of completion. Here we go:
- ACMarket – ACMarket is a surprisingly good looking app store. It is reminiscent of Google Play in a lot of ways and includes some popular apps and games. It also supports modified APKs and other such things. Tread carefully because some of that stuff can be suspect.
- Getjar – Getjar is kind of the Wild West of app stores for Android. You can find all kinds of ridiculous things here, including adult content, modified APKs, and some popular stuff like UC Browser. Tread lightly, this place always gives us the heebie-jeebies.
- Github – Github isn’t an app store on the face of it, but there are a lot of excellent open-source projects that get posted there. You can find apps, download the APK, and install it straight from there. There are some rather big apps there along with some entertaining projects. However, there is no specific directory for Android apps so they can be hard to find.
- Mobilism – Mobilism is a smaller app store with a few extra features. It also includes over 800,000 ebooks. The app works as a crowd sourced app store where you get the app from the hosting the uploader chooses. It has some good ideas and so we give it an honorable mention.
- Opera’s App Store – We’ll be honest, we didn’t know Opera had a mobile store until we started researching for this. It has a bunch of options. However, all of those options default to the Google Play Store anyway. It’s a good secondary way to browse Google Play apps, but we wouldn’t necessarily call it its own apps tore.
- SlideMe – SlideMe is another older app store similar to Aptoide and Getjar. The website doesn’t inspire confidence, but the store itself works okay. You can find stuff like OfficeSuite or WPS Office there along with other similar productivity apps. Its game selection is very weak, though.
- TapTap – TapTap is an Asian-oriented app store with a bunch of stuff from that region. It’s a good way to get a hold of some Japanese games with a region lock in the Google Play Store. It’s also a decent way to get Japanese versions of games with distinctly different global versions, such as Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. All of the games on this one are in Japanese, Chinese, or Korean.
- XDA-Developers – There are a lot of developers that use XDA-Developers as kind of a test ground for apps that eventually end up on Google Play most of the time. You can get root-only apps like Xposed or Viper4Android here. A couple of our best apps from 2018 began life here as well.
If we missed your favorite app store, tell us about them in the comments below. You can also check out all of our app lists by clicking here.
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