When a typical user wants to download an app, they usually make their way to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, depending on their device’s operating system. These stores have almost every app you will ever need – to be more specific, 2.96 million and 1.85 million apps in the Play Store and the App Store respectively.
But when you reside in a particular region or have a low-spec smartphone, things won’t be in your favour. In such instances, most of the apps you desire to use will be placed out of your reach, and the only way to access them is with the help of an alternative app store.
There are plenty of alternative app stores for you to choose from and we have listed 40 of the best ones out there. Before that, let’s take a closer look at why using alternative app stores can be a better option for developers and users.
Why Use an Alternative App Store?
For developers publishing their apps on an alternative app store, they have more chances to rank higher, unlike on official app stores, which are overcrowded.
Alternative app stores are also a great place for developers to test their minimum viable product (MVP) apps without having to pay anything, as opposed to the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, which charges a $25 and $99 registration fee respectively.
For users who like to use modified versions of their favourite apps, alternative app stores are the only choice. Some of these alternative stores will also offer many apps and games which are not (or will never be) released in the official stores.
Also, many users will be unable to use certain apps because they reside in particular regions where the app is yet to be released, or if they are using specific devices that the official app stores have deemed incompatible.
If you want to know more about MVP, read our comprehensive guide on how to develop an MVP for your mobile app.
20 Best Android App Store Alternatives
The Amazon App Store is a commercial app marketplace that directly competes with the Google Play Store. It doesn’t have a website; instead, you will have to download its APK file and install on your Android device. Interestingly, its user interface looks similar to the earlier version of Google Play.
- It offers one paid app for free every day.
- It pays developers nearly 70% of an app’s listed price and in-app purchases.
- It is available in more than 200 countries.
Aptoide is one of the earliest and the best third-party Android app stores you can find. It offers almost every app available in the Play Store (and sometimes even more). Surprisingly, some smartphone manufacturers use Aptoide as their default Android app store.
- You can access Android apps which are geo-restricted in Google Play.
- It accepts the AppCoins cryptocurrency for in-store purchases.
- You can directly download and install apps without the need of any developer permission.
This Google Play alternative app store offers safe-to-download malware-free apps, and unlike other alternatives, it doesn’t have a dedicated native app. Instead, you need to visit its website to download any APK files. You can access popularity charts and browse top apps based on 24-hour, weekly, or monthly basis.
- It lets you download and store apps as APKs.
- It offers multiple variations of the same app.
- Its homepage shows a daily updated list of apps that align with your interests.
APKPure has both a website and an app and has almost every app in the Play Store. This platform doesn’t modify or crack any of the paid apps. Instead, they offer the APK files of apps, directly uploaded by the developers, which will work without any extensions. The platform can be accessed in more than 20 languages, and also offers an easy-to-use developer console.
- It offers paid games at discounted prices.
- The homepage is continuously updated with popular apps in the last 24 hours.
- You can access geo-restricted apps using this platform.
5. Galaxy Store
If you are using a smartphone from Samsung, then you would have probably used the Galaxy Store. This alternative app store supports over 12 native languages and is a reliable choice, as the manufacturer optimizes all apps. Several games like Fortnite and Forza Street were initially published in the Galaxy Store, even before their debut in the Google Play Store.
- The platform is currently undergoing several reforms to attract developers by offering better profits.
- For Samsung users, apps downloaded through the Galaxy Store perform better.
- The store offers multiple themes and font customization for Samsung users.
AppGallery is Huwai’s official app marketplace that was initially launched only for Huawei and Honor devices. But after the infamous Huawei ban, the company made its app store open to any Android device. It seems after the ban, the brand is on a quest to introduce new apps first on its platforms before they make their way to Google Play.
- It offers incentives to developers for directly uploading their APKs to the platform.
- It provides over 1.3 million apps to choose from.
- Its “Gift Center” offers discount vouchers or in-game presents to users for downloading apps or games.
GetApps, formerly Mi Apps Store, is the official Xiaomi App Store that can be accessed and used by Redmi, Poco and Mi smartphones. Its UI is similar to that of Google Play and offers thousands of apps. If not for Google’s compliance rule for all OEMs to pre-install Google Play on their devices, GetApps would have been more than enough for Xiaomi users.
- It offers a personalized homepage based on your interests.
- It employs security tools from Avast, Kingsoft and Tencent for safe and secure app downloads.
Access thousands of Android apps using this alternative app store, but as expected, it is only available for LG smartphone users. This app store has apps and games which won’t be found in Google Play, and any LG device using the Android version from Jelly Bean and above can use this app store.
- You can use this platform to get apps for Android LG Smart TVs.
- The store will send you a reminder if an app gets an update.
- The store offers numerous themes to customize an LG smartphone.
SlideMe is an alternative app store that offers easy to install and safe Android apps. More than 140 Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) following the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) use the SlideMe market. It has both paid and free apps and passes through a quality control process to ensure utmost stability.
- It offers three different types of profiles – Developers, Users and Partners.
- For AOSP-based devices, SlideMe ensures they are free of Google Play Services.
- All apps are scanned for exploits and viruses.
10. Yalp Store
The Yalp Store lets you directly download apps from Google Play, in the form of APK files, without the need of a Google account. This means you are free from Google’s activity tracking and can use all apps from the Play Store.
- It allows you to search by filtering out apps that have in-app advertisements.
- If your device is rooted, Yalp Store can help you uninstall system apps.
- It allows you to whitelist / blacklist apps for updates.
The Opera Mobile Store is a browser-based alternative app store that allows you to download apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry OS, and many other operating systems. The platform receives more than 100 million visits per month and has access to almost all apps released in the Yandex app store (the Russian Android app store).
- Android developers get 70% of all app sales and in-app purchases.
- You can access several apps before they release in Google Play.
- It offers an “all-you-can-eat” model in which you can download as many premium apps as you want for a weekly subscription.
With more than a hundred million monthly active users, Uptodown is one of the oldest and popular alternative app stores in the industry. Although it won’t have the entire apps list as in Google Play, you may be lucky enough to find some unreleased apps.
- The platform is available in 15 different languages.
- The contents of the platform are deeply analysed with 50 antivirus software.
- You can restore the previous versions of any app.
- Most of the apps listed have a detailed blog post in their description, explaining their functionalities.
F-Droid is an app store that focuses on just the free and open-source (FOSS) Android apps. It includes apps that are entirely free – those that don’t even have in-app purchases or ads. The website is run by volunteers and depends on donations. For developers planning to test their MVP, this website is an ideal choice as you don’t have to pay a penny as registration fee.
- It allows developers to access the codes of the apps listed.
- It has a forum for developers.
- It enables you to donate using Bitcoins.
This alternative app store is exclusively for Android games and does live up to its expectations. Hardcore gamers can use this store to access several games which are not released in Google Play. This app also lets you access region-restricted and beta versions of games.
- The UI is clean and optimized for fast downloads.
- You can filter apps based on reviews, ratings, downloads, in-app purchases and so on.
Unlike other alternatives, AppsFree doesn’t offer an enormous list of Android apps. Instead, it displays only those paid apps that are going free for a limited time in Google Play. So if you are waiting to download a paid app for free, you can set notifications for the particular app category and wait for the AppsFree app to notify you.
- It offers a native Android app, making it easier to keep track of paid apps going free.
- The platform automatically filters those apps you may be interested in.
- It offers granular filtering options, allowing you to filter apps based on keywords, ratings, categories and developers.
Just like AppsFree, if you are waiting to download a premium app for free, then AppBrain can let you do it with ease. Many developers offer their paid apps for free for a limited time on Appbrain, or in most cases, you can find top paid Android apps with significant price drops.
- It stores the list of apps you installed as a backup on their website.
- It allows you to move apps to an SD card.
For those of you waiting to download an app for free, AppSales is an excellent alternative app store to consider. This native Android app lets you monitor the price history of apps and also offers advanced filter options. Recently, Google Play has enabled developers to provide their paid apps as free for a limited time, and AppSales lets you find those with ease.
- It allows you to access geo-restricted content.
- You can sync your Watchlist across multiple Android devices.
- You can also access several unreleased apps.
Along with being updated for trending and grossing apps every week, A1 Apps lets you view apps with detailed descriptions. This alternative app store contains millions of apps, and lets you set notifications for upcoming apps based on your interests.
- You can exclude games from search results and see only apps.
- You can filter games based on reviews, ratings, downloads, in-app purchases and so on.
- You can block specific categories from showing up in search results.
GetJar is one of the largest app stores for Android that offers free-to-download APK files. Apps are divided into multiple categories, and it also provides modified versions of several popular apps.
- It offers analytics for developers.
- It offers GetJar Gold – a widely used virtual currency.
Unlike other platforms discussed, the APKUpdater is not exactly an app store alternative, but a tool that makes it easy for you to find the updates of the installed apps. More precisely, APKUpdater lets you find and install updates even before they are released in the Play Store.
The app makes it possible to disable Google Play entirely for better performance, and update apps only when the users feel like it.
- It supports Android versions starting from Gingerbread.
- You can set the list of apps that you don’t want to update.
- It displays notifications whenever there is a new update.
20 Best iOS App Store Alternatives
Cydia can be considered the first unofficial app store for iOS that lets you install apps that aren’t available in the iOS App Store. You need to jailbreak your iPhone to download and install apps from Cydia.
- It offers numerous unofficial games and apps.
- It allows you to modify the look and feel of your iPhone using third-party themes.
Sileo was initially released as an alternative to Cydia but has now become a full-fledged app store that supports all 64-bit devices that run iOS version 11 or higher. This platform lets you download apps over “Safe Mode” which ensures that your data is protected up to an extent.
- It allows you to purchase paid jailbreak apps securely.
- Tweak developers can place their apps on the store.
Emus4U is an app store alternative for iOS with no jailbreak required. The app offers numerous game emulators, along with thousands of apps, wallpapers, and themes to choose from. It offers a comprehensive screen recorder and junk cleaner out of the other amazing features you won’t find in the Apple App Store.
- It allows you to perform in-app customizations.
- The app offers a single installation package that automatically adjusts to the OS version you are using.
AppValley offers tonnes of features that you won’t find in the stock versions of any apps. You can easily download modified versions of Whatsapp, Spotify, YouTube and many other apps.
- It offers a wide range of game emulation features.
- You can access it directly from the browser.
TutuApp is one of the best app store alternatives available for iOS apps that you can download and install within a short time and doesn’t require you to jailbreak your iOS devices. An upcoming version labelled TutuApp VIP will provide you with exclusive games and apps without any ads.
- You can download multiple apps at a time.
- You can download apps without an Apple ID or any other login credentials.
6. TopStore App
TopStore is an alternative app store that lets you install tweaked iOS apps, themes, and so much more. The store is trusted by millions of iOS users around the world and enables you to access all this without the hassle of jailbreak.
- This app store can be directly accessed through a browser or by installing an app.
- The entire offerings of this app store won’t cost you a penny.
7. Panda Helper
Panda Helper is a platform that supports iOS and Android devices alike. It offers plenty of themes, emulators, screen recorders and file managers, which you can’t find in the official app stores.
- You can use this app store without jailbreak.
- You can update your apps directly through Panda Helper.
8. Zestia Step
Zestia Step is a third-party alternative for App Store that doesn’t require you to jailbreak your iPhone. It is one of the most updated platforms that lets you install cracked iOS apps with ease, and its installation takes only a few minutes.
- You can install it without connecting to a Mac or PC.
- It supports almost every iOS version.
TweakBox is an alternative iOS app store that doesn’t require a jailbreak to use. It is fast, stable and most importantly, secure to use. It is supported on all iPhones, iPads and iPods.
- It allows you to download movies, music and tweaked iOS apps.
- Tweaked apps like Spotify and YouTube have enhanced functionalities.
iNoJB is again another alternative app store that doesn’t require you to jailbreak your device. You don’t have to install iNoJB on your iOS devices as it offers a web-based application as well.
- You can install this application without a PC or Mac.
- It supports iOS devices running iOS 7.1.2 to iOS 10.
With more than one million users worldwide, CokerNutX is an always-free third-party app store for iOS devices. It is a secure platform that uses the standard SSL encryption and offers tweaked versions of almost every popular app.
- It offers more than 5000 apps and games for you to pick.
- You don’t have to worry about using your Apple ID to download apps anymore.
iOSEmus is a third-party app installer that lets you install tweaked iOS apps on your iPhone or iPad. You can download and install its app via a configuration profile which has been designed to meet the privacy requirements of Apple.
- Doesn’t require you to jailbreak your device.
- You can install apps without an Apple ID.
AppEven is a third-party app store alternative that is easy to install and doesn’t require you to jailbreak your device to use. It offers several off-market iOS apps that will most likely never be available in the Apple App Store.
- It supports devices running iOS version 9 to 12.
- It can be directly downloaded and installed from Safari.
Asterix Installer is a third-party installer that works for both iOS and Android devices. The app has a unified platform approach in which it combines apps, themes, shortcuts, tweaks and so on, under a single roof.
- It allows you to install iOS apps without an Apple ID.
- You don’t have to jailbreak your device to use this app.
iPA4iOS is a relatively new alternative app store for iOS devices and doesn’t require you to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad to access it. It packs several unofficial games and tweaks, and you don’t have to pay a single penny for any of them.
- It offers SSL encryption to keep your data safe and secure.
- You can install it directly on your iOS device without the need of a PC or Mac.
16. Mojo Installer
Mojo Installer is an unofficial App Store alternative available in 5 different languages and lets you choose apps from four different categories. Everything is free in this app store, and you don’t need to jailbreak your device to use it. You don’t need any technical expertise to download and use this app store.
- You can track your downloads using its Package History.
- Its Quick Search tool allows you to find the apps you want quickly.
If you are using an iPhone with iOS version 10 or higher, the efforts required to jailbreak your device will be tiresome. AppEven lets you use unofficial apps without the need of a jailbreak, and that too with unmatched protection against hackers.
- You can download and install any apps just like in the Apple App Store.
- It supports iOS 9 and above.
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AppCake allows you to install IPA files onto your Apple devices directly. It offers a vast database of unofficial apps for free. You can uninstall AppCake without hassle by going to the Profile section of the Settings and tapping on the Delete App option.
- It allows you to use unofficial apps without any in-app ads.
- It allows you to install using the Enterprise Developers Profile easily.
19. FtOS Store
FtOS is a third-party iOS app installer offered by Vietnamese developers, housing thousands of unofficial games and apps. This app’s content is divided into six categories and offers Dark and Light mode themes.
- You can download and install older versions of an app.
- It optimizes the iPad for split-screen, which lets you divide the screen and scroll independently.
HipStore is an alternative app store with its origin in Vietnam. It offers several apps and games that you won’t find in the App Store and most importantly is free to download and use. The app offers numerous themes, ringtones, and screen recorders to choose from.
- It is compatible with iOS version 9 and above.
- It secures your data with SSL encryption.
Although both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store perform an impressive job in publishing all the apps one will ever need, they may seem dull for tech-savvy users who crave for something different. For them, an alternative app store is their playground for trying out apps that are not run-of-the-mill.
For budding developers, the need to stand out is crucial, and official app stores may not be their best breeding ground due to cutthroat competition. This makes alternative app stores more approachable than the official ones.
Keep in mind the security risks when installing apps from these alternative app stores. Always read the app reviews to determine the trustworthiness of the developer.