Robert Triggs / Android Authority
The Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store are the largest app repositories in the world. All the biggest apps are available across the two, and most users don’t need to look elsewhere for their app needs. That said, they aren’t the only kids on the block. There are many alternative app stores on the market, including the likes of the Huawei App Gallery, Samsung’s Galaxy Store, and other resources like APKMirror and F-droid. Of course, Apple users don’t have much choice in the matter since iOS does not allow downloads from third-party app stores. Huawei users also don’t have access to the Google Play Store because of the company’s ongoing US ban.
So we asked our readers — Android users — if they resort to alternative app stores other than the Google Play Store. Here’s how they voted in our poll.
Do you use app stores other than the Play Store on your phone?
We received over 3,400 votes in our alternative app store poll, and the results are in. While 52.2% of our readers prefer sticking only to the Google Play Store for their app needs, a large volume of the voters — 42.9% — are also into using alternative app stores alongside the Google Play Store.
Surprisingly, 5.2% of the respondents also voted to say that they only use alternative app stores. That either means they don’t have access to the Google Play Store or simply prefer not to use it. We think the latter is unlikely, but let’s see what our voters had to say on the matter.
What you had to say
Albin: I only use my nonsense non-commercial ID Google account for free Play Store stuff, have used a real credit-card identity Amazon account to purchase very few apps and media, but mainly from free sources and our excellent (tax supported) public library. A few apps (GCams, system ad blocker) are from developer sites – a good (banned) system ad blocker often makes free Play Store apps pleasant enough to use. Some old version APKs for a couple of repurposed old Androids come from archive sites like Uptodown or APKmirror.
庄緯盛: QOOApp is a good source for games that are not in your country.
Joe Chelena: While not an app we are big users of eBooks, Kindle and others, and audio books, Audible and others. Now that Google is forcing one to go to the dealers website we will be spending a lot more on those sites.
kingof9x: I barely use the Play Store. I have like $30 of play store credit and nothing I want to spend it on. Every time I go to the store it just pushes stupid games full of micro transactions and other special bullshit. I want to spend money on apps but I rarely find anything compelling enough to even bother downloading. But I can always find ios apps that I would gladly pay for if they were on Android.
thesecondsight: Whether it’s GCAM, NewPipe or AdGuard Premium, I routinely download apps outside of the Play Store. Many of these apps are downloaded directly from the developer’s website or third-party sites like XDA. Prior to installing these apps onto my phone, I always upload and scan them with Total Virus.
Marshall thesecondsight: I constantly find stuff that needs sideloading, such as GCAM and AdGuard… but usually if it’s a store app I’ll usually get it from the Play Store instead of giving info to shadier ones.
moew: Samsung has an app or two in their store. It started downloading an app I have never installed this morning though
Kent Seaton: Other. I use the play store and sideload what I want that isn’t on the play store.
Adam: Almost all my apps at this point are modded ones. All my games I Still get from the play store.
creeper82: Also, if anyone here uses apkpure or other repositories due to having a Huawei phone or just no GMS, please look at Aurora Store. It’s way safer and more reliable than downloading apks from internet, obviously that’s when the app you’re interested in is also on Google pladisqus.com/by/StimmyPizzay store
Beardednomad: I have used alternative app stores in the past but it’s been a few years since that happened.
Wakanai: I use 1337x to download cracked apks, formerly using rexdl, Droid-ify for foss apps cause F-Droid sucks in terms of interface and usage, then there’s telegram, github repo, etc.