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You told us: Here's the last time you sideloaded an app on your phone

Almost two-thirds of respondents sideloaded an app in the last year, at the very least.

Published onDecember 28, 2022

best sideload apps APKMirror

One of the best things about Android is that you can sideload apps onto your device. In other words, you can install apps from sources other than the Play Store.

In any event, we were curious about the last time readers sideloaded an app on their phones. We posed this question over a week ago and the results are finally in.

When was the last time you sideloaded an app on your phone?


Over 2,800 votes were tallied in this poll to date, and it turns out that the most popular pick was “a week or two ago” (24.35%). We can see why people would sideload apps now and again, as there are several popular apps you can’t get on the Play Store. These apps include third-party YouTube clients, ad-blockers, the full-fledged Cerberus security app, and Fortnite.

Interestingly, those who said they’ve never sideloaded an app before accounted for ~15% of the vote and second place. We’re guessing the Play Store meets the needs of these readers just fine. Otherwise, those who said “today” took third place with 13.68% of the vote.

It’s also interesting to note that almost two-thirds of respondents (~65%) have sideloaded an app in the past year at the very least. This suggests that while it might not be the kind of feature you use everyday (after all, who installs apps daily?), it’s still a key selling point for Android.


  • Resuna: When I upgraded from my Pixel 2 XL to my Pixel 4a and transferred a couple of apps I’d previously sideloaded. Also, calling ‘installing an app in the normal way people have installed apps on personal devices for the past almost 50 years’ “sideloading” is a a bit twee. This should just be a normal thing you can do on any device you actually own. If you can’t, you don’t really own it.
  • Jacque G.: I’ve written several apps for personal use that I update and install frequently.
  • B!: It’s been a few years. Haven’t had the need in awhile.
  • eszklar: Google Play Store, F-droid, Developer’s Web site or GitHub, APKMirror. Whatever app I need and where ever I can find it legitimately.
  • roaduardo: It’s a feature that if it were taken away from me I’d resign and just move to iOS permanently.
  • Kent Seaton: On the play store there is a version of an application that just flat out sucks in comparison to an older version, which obviously isn’t “available” anymore. I sideload that same app at least once a month as I don’t keep it on my phone and only install it when I know I’m going to need it.
  • Abhinav Srivastava: I sideload apps like Blokada, SpotiFlyer and Revanced, so basically apps that corporations consider out of their terms of service.
  • thesecondsight: GCAM, AdGuard and NewPipe are just a few apps in which I’ve regularly sideloaded over the years. I’ve also found XDA to be an excellent place for open source apps which aren’t available on the Play Store.
  • Pokeguy4: The only sideloaded apps on my phone are Sonic Runners Reloaded and ReVanced. 1 is a fan game/continuation of Sonic Runners, the other is an objective improvement on the og app

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