7 Best Alternatives of Google Playstore


Here are the best alternatives of Google Playstore. If you need apps that aren’t on the Playstore, or just wish to not use Playstore, this list is for you.

I’ve curated this Playstore alternatives list keeping quite a few things in mind. For starters, there’s availability. These are some of the most heavily-populated app stores in the industry.

Then, there’s privacy & security. I’ve prioritized app stores that do not trace/track you. If an app is open-source that’s a nice cherry on top.

If you’re a developer, I’ve discussed the monetization models of these app stores ensuring you get a better cut than what Playstore offers you.

All in all, there’s a decent chance this list wouldn’t disappoint you if you’re searching for Playstore alternatives.

Let’s get started then?

  • ApkMirror

Website: https://www.apkmirror.com/

apkmirrorThis isn’t an “app store” but ironically is one of the best Playstore alternatives in existence. ApkMirror is actually a “website”. Well, this actually has more pros for you than cons.

Yes, it’s a website and this means you have to manually download APKs for whatever apps you wish to install on your phones. But then, because it’s not an “app store” you’re bound to find some of the rarest and most uncommon titles here.

Another major benefit of it not being an “appstore” and rather a website is that you get older/previous versions of the applications. On appstores, this isn’t possible as the latest versions are generally pushed out.

“Websites” are generally more risky and stereotyped as pushing unsafe apps. Fortunately, APKMirror actively ensures the available apps are security-checked. It verifies the cryptographic signatures of the applications before uploading apps on the site.

It also performs virus and other checks that ensures the apps are relatively safer than other independent appstores out there.

  • Aptoide

Website: https://en.aptoide.com/

AptoideI actually leant of Aptoide during the Playstore vs. Aptoide controversy. A classic example of strategies gone wrong for Playstore.

So, Aptoide was removed from the Playstore because it was deemed “unsafe”. But, it’s pretty clear it was more of a competition than unsafe. In fact, that has been proven by independent researchers. So, in a bid to reduce Aptoide’s reach, Playstore actually gave it free exposure.

Anyway, Aptoide is a full-fledged app store with a set of unique policies and features.

For starters, Aptoide is decentralized. What this means is, nearly anyone can upload apps with much less oversight from some “central authority”. Then,  every developers gets their own “app store”, or let’s say “page” on Aptoide.

Does that mean anyone can upload apps without any supervision? Not exactly. Aptoide does stamp a trust seal on the apps it has verified to be safe.

Even the commission charged by Aptoide is much lower than what Playstore charges.

It’s one of the most advanced Playstore alternatives on this list as it’s capable of tracking your interests and show you personalized recommendations.

Unlike Playstore, you aren’t forced to push just one (latest) version of your app. Rather, you can list and users can download multiple versions simultaneously.

Oh it even has a “modded” category. Yes, an app store that finally supports modded apps, neat, eh?

  • TapTap

Website: https://www.taptap.io/

taptapTapTap is exclusively a game-store. That’s the only reason I didn’t include it higher on this list of alternatives of Google Playstore. So, in case you need an app store for e-books,

I personally love TapTap for its localization. TapTap focuses heavily on delivering a varied range of games from across the world, including localized titles that may not be accessible on other platforms, including the Google Playstore.

“Local” also means exposure to culture and environments that these games will offer which you’d be missing otherwise.

Just like Playstore, it does let users to share their feedback, allowing users to post game reviews, ratings, and suggestions. This user-generated material informs others and develops a feeling of community among players.

TapTap also frequently and exclusively offers early access to games as well as beta testing chances. Yes, mega popular games like the Valorant are in the list. This lets you test out new titles before they are officially launched,

It does cater to your “personal” experience by letting you select from a variety of themes and language options. This ensures you’ll be able to use TapTap even regardless of where you’re from or what language you speak.

If you’re a game developer, TapTap also has a much more liberal and easy approval process. This gives smaller studios like yourself a chance to showcase your creation without being heavily criticized as with PlayStore.

  • Amazon App Store

Website: https://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/get/android

I hear what you’re thinking (yes, I’m a magician). You’re thinking “but, the Amazon app store is to buy stuff”. Well, not exactly.

The Amazon app store offers everything from games, e-books, movies, audiobooks and a lot more.

 You’ll love Amazon app store if you like discounts. It very frequently offers special deals and promotions on applications, games, and in-app purchases. Discounts, free premium applications, and virtual currency bundles may all be include which adds up to quite a bit of savings.

It also has its own currency, called “Amazon coin”. It can be purchased using normal money and then used on the app store. Using Amazon coin instead of normal money often offers additional discounts and rewards.

Oh and because it’s from Amazon, the app is actually the primary app store for Kindle, FireTV, Echo Show and other Amazon products.

Another major benefit is the app store is connected with Amazon Prime, Amazon Music, and Amazon Kindle. This connection enables you to smoothly access material across numerous platforms.

  • F-Droid

Website: https://f-droid.org/en/

F-Droid is different from all other Playstore alternatives in the sense that it primarily hosts open-source apps. Nearly everything on there is open-source which gives you access to the code and lets you modify it to your liking.

That of course implies it’s not just a goldmine for normal users, but also developers.  

When I say open-source, I truly mean it. F-Droid apps do not have proprietary dependencies, guaranteeing that the apps offered on the platform are totally open-source and devoid of any non-free components. No strings attached.

If you’re anyone like me, you probably love your privacy. F-Droid emphasizes anti-tracking standards and opposes programs that collect unneeded user data or participate in intrusive advertising practices.

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On top of being open-source, F-Droid prioritizes user privacy and security by thoroughly screening apps for potentially dangerous code, trackers, and other privacy concerns. This means even if you don’t speak (or write) code, you aren’t installing malware.

Oh you also get to control updates. You can either enable “automatic updates” or choose to update manually.

Now, compared to Playstore, which hosts closed source apps and doesn’t really care about the “privacy” angle, I’ll say this is a major game changer.

Of course if you’re a “for-profit” developer, F-Droid probably isn’t for you.

  • SlideMe

Website: http://slideme.org/

SlideMe is a full-fledged app store. It doesn’t have very specific USPs apart from the fact that it’s another platform for developers to upload their apps and users to download apps from.

However, unlike Playstore, SlideMe takes a more flexible and liberal approach to app submissions. This allows developers to offer their apps with fewer limitations and requirements. If your app got rejected on the Appstore or the process is too long/complicated for you, you may give SlideMe a try.

Do note that you’re less likely to find the heavier apps/games on this app store and it’s more for the simpler, everyday tools.

SlideMe also prioritizes localization.  supports a broad number of nations and locations, making it available to users from different places. You can also make payments using local payment modes and it has a pretty decent local game arsenal.

  • Itch.io

Website: https://itch.io/

Itch.io can be best described as an Indie-friendly Playstore.

Again, it’s a Google Playstore alternative because you can download apps and games off here. However, it’s not an “appstore” and is a website.

Itch is more of a “creative” appstore. Most apps/games I’ve seen there lean towards the creative side more than engineering/tech and so on. Of course, there are thousands of exceptions.

Additionally, it’s massively supportive of indie developers. I say that because unlike Playstore, it doesn’t rob these developers off 15% revenue outright. Rather, it lets the developers choose how much they’re comfortable sharing with the platform.

Because it’s Indie-friendly, its games are DRM-free as well. Meaning you get a lot more control and access to the files of the games than you do with games downloaded from the Playstore.

Itch.io does have the review/comment and feedback feature that you see on Playstore. However, unlike Playstore, the pages aren’t forced to look one way or the other. Developers get to customize their pages as they wish .Each game page looks unique and different from the other.

  • Aurora Store

Website: https://auroraoss.com/

Do you wish to download apps from the Playstore but without using your Gmail account, or even the Playstore? That’s exactly what Aurora lets you do.

Maybe you wish to download an app that’s officially not available in your region yet? Well, there’s a decent chance you can get it on Aurora!

If you liked F-Droid, you’ll love Aurora Store. Aurora Store doesn’t trace/track you or your activities which Playstore blatantly does. Then, it too is open-source ensuring nothing is hidden behind a curtain or backdoored.

Another one of Aurora Store’s major features is its App Cloning ability. In simpler words, you can have multiple versions (parallel apps) of the same app without requiring any additional third-party app.

Because it also serves as a bridge to Google Play Store, you do not compromise on your security either.

Problems with Playstore Alternatives

Hey, you asked for it and I delivered you the best Google Playstore alternatives. But, it wouldn’t be right if I concluded this piece without addressing the issues involved with independent app sources.

For starters, there’s the security issue. Any app source (appstore or website) that’s not official always has the ability to push any app they want. They’re in 100% control of what’s uploaded. This means viruses, malware, ransomware or even just fake apps are abundant on these sources.

Do note that the issue is almost non-existent on any of the Appstore alternatives mentioned on this list. However, the risk is never non-zero.

Secondly, downloading and installing apps from third-party sources will always require additional confirmation on your mobile devices. On Android, you’re required to “allow apps from unknown sources” on each installation.

Third, developers often do not provide as good a support as they would on official app stores. This means slower bug fixes, longer response times (if any) and overall less importance to you.

Fourth, oftentimes these app stores or websites do not push updates “automatically”. Meaning, you’ve to manually search for an updated version and install it manually.

Compatibility is another lesser-known issue on these independent sources. When developers upload their apps, they specify what structures their apps are compatible with. Often, these app stores have their own compatibility requirements. Hence, developers may have to upload multiple versions to different app stores instead of just being able to upload one version everywhere.

Finally, the most obvious problem is the lack of inventory. Playstore has more apps than any of its other alternatives listed here.

Of course, the benefits in most cases outweigh the cons. Why else would you be searching for alternatives of Google Playstore, eh?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

You must have dozens of questions when it comes to third-party Playstore alternatives. Allow me to ease some of that tension.

  • Are these Playstore alternatives safe?

Well, these alternatives are more like a mediator. They simply allow you to download apps, uploaded by developers. So, these app stores by themselves are safe. However, you may find a few apps uploaded by independent developers which may not always be safe.

  • How to find trustworthy apps on these app stores?

Well, most of these app stores have their own security and verification processes. However, it’s best if you look for security seals /certificates (if provided by the app store) on the apps. Additionally, always read the manual reviews and feedback, and look at the number of downloads on an app before hitting that download button.

  • Will my device get bricked for using non-Playstore apps?

No, that doesn’t happen. When downloading apps from third-parties, you’re essentially assuming all responsibilities. Hence, Android won’t brick your device from their end just for downloading or using third-party apps.

  • How do I updates for non-Playstore apps?

In most cases, you’ll have to go to the same page/app store you downloaded the app from. Once there, you should see the more recent version. You should download it and install it manually.

Final Words:

So, that’s about it folks. I hope you’ve got atleast a few options to download apps from if you aren’t using the Playstore.

Which of these is the best you ask? I’ll say APKMirror is a pretty good place to start with. If it’s games you’re exclusively looking for nothing beats TapTap.

But hey, as I’ve mentioned throughout this piece, each of these have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Isn’t it best if you tried some of these out before drawing a conclusion? Also, there’s a chance you may have to jump around these alternatives of Google Playstore anyway. Not all the apps are available on all these platforms.

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Nagama Ansari
Nagama Ansari is a well-known blogger and digital marketer, working in the industry from several year, and has written more than 1000+ well-researched information guides and product testing review articles..