While Google Play is the main platform for downloading applications, there are plenty other alternative Android app stores trying to compete with Google. Some of them position themselves on the same level, while others focus on becoming the leading alternative choice by providing only high quality apps.
People are using all kinds of app stores, so why not submit your app in those stores? Someone who downloads your app in one of them, may tell his friends about it who might download it from Google Play.
As people are not coming to these stores to download the apps everyone has (Instagram, Tinder etc.), it’s easier to become featured.
The disadvantage of these app stores is there may be security issues as they are maintained by small or unknown companies. Also, who knows what happens to the .apk file you upload? They may temper with it, extract images, audio files and code. Or even worse, they may upload your free app to one of the app stores as a paid app, like it happened to this guy.
So let’s see the top 10 alternative android app stores, in a random order:
The main competitor of Google Play opened up its doors in 2011 and is currently the home
of 400,000 thousand apps. The Amazon Appstore does not only offer Android apps but also
apps optimized for its range of Kindle Fire tablets as well as the Fire TV and Fire
Phone. To be able to use the Amazon Appstore you have to download the app from amazon’s
website. However strange it sounds, the app cannot be downloaded from Google Play, you
manually have to install the apk file on your phone.
Opera Mobile Store
The Opera Mobile Store dates back till 2011. Today, it is used by 40,000 developers and delivers more than 1 million app downloads a day. It offers apps for all kinds of operating systems including Android, Blackberry, iOS and Windows. The Opera Mobile Store does not charge developers for signing up or publishing apps but takes 30% of the price of each sold app. Each app is approved by the Opera Mobile Store team and to keep high standards, the Store does not accept adult and sexual content.
What I don’t like about this app store is that you need to add all the information you set on Google Play and upload all your photos which makes the submission a long process. There’s no way to import the data from Google Play.
Samsung Galaxy Apps
Samsung’s own app store is installed on all Samsung phones by default, therefore it has a
large userbase. I didn’t found it on Google Play, nor on Samsung’s website, so I have no idea how you install it if you removed it from your phone. It’s an exclusive store only for Samsung users but that shouldn’t discourage you from submitting your app because Samsung is the world’s biggest smartphone provider. However, if you want to submit your app to the store, you must be from the USA, you have to use the Samsung SDK and of course you need a Samsung phone to test your app. In order to upload your app to the store, first you need to create a
seller account at http://seller.samsungapps.com/. Unfortunately things are not at all obvious as to what a developer should do and on which website.
This app store accepts only free apps but as long as you advertise the paid version in your app that leads the user to Google Play or another app store, this shouldn’t bother you. There is no cost to upload an app and all submissions go through a reviewal process. The revenue share model for 1Mobile is the standard 70/30 split – a special SDK is required for the purpose of in-app billing.
There are currently more than 600,000 apps and games in the store as they state on their about page. The app itself is no longer to be found on Google Play but it can be downloaded from their website.
As a developer you need to register an account on their developer site. There you need to fill out all the details of your app you already added on Google Play and the good thing is that you can import the data from the Play Store with one click. You also need to upload the .apk file of your app because users are not redirected to Google Play, instead they download the .apk file directly from 1Mobile Market.
SlideMe was founded in 2008. Unlike Google Play, developers can be paid out via PayPal,
wire transfer and Amazon Payments as well. The earnings depend on the fee of the payment
method and the VAT used in the country of the buyer. For those who reside outside the
USA, need to sign a special form to prove that they are a tax citizen/resident of their
country. All submissions are reviewed within 4 days by the SlideMe staff to meet their
standards and guidelines. Gambling and adult content will not be approved. Although only 30,000 apps can be found in the SlideME appstore, 60% of the submissions are rejected so those who want to browse among quality apps have found the paradise.
A huge plus for SlideMe is that while Google Play can only run on Google approved devices, SlideMe runs on any device including those low cost tablets as well so you can reach all those people who does not have Google Play on their phones.
The app can be downloaded from http://slideme.org/sam.apk.
One of the most popular app stores that was downloaded more than 5 million times from Google Play. Developers can submit free and paid apps as well, that go through a verification process before being published in the application. Though the website seems to be obsolete, more than 3 million downloads are registrated in the app every day. You can sign up at http://developer.getjar.mobi/.
The GetJar app is available on Google Play and it redirects you to Google Play when you decide to install an app.
The platform accepts Android, iOS, Windows, Blackberry and Symbian apps. About 40 million people are visiting the app store every month and download 240 million apps.
Publishing apps cost $29.99/year which is a disappointment as the screenshot shows:
Another thing I don’t like about this store is that things are not at all obvious. I had problems signing up and publishing apps as well.
Mobango is available only as a web app. There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the store and it’s used by 10 million members. All apps can be downloaded free of charge. The signup and the publish procedure is simple. You can publish your app here for free. You can promote your mobile app on Mobango by paying a certain amount of fee for each download. In turn, the app is promoted in premium areas of the store to drive downloads.
Soc.io Mall competes with Google Play by being a hub for downloading Android apps, books
and music. Submitting apps is free of charge. Soc.io developed a licensing method that
ensures that apps and games are run only on devices of the users who actually purchased
them. Soc.io offers a 80/20 revenue model which may make developers chose them over other
app stores. The store is relatively smal with it’s currently 4,500 apps but it will be favored by those who like reading as they can browse among 38,000 ebooks. The submitted apps will be reviewed and published within 5 days.
There are 100,000 apps and games in this app store and 100,000 daily visits that encourages every developer to submit his app to the pandaapp store. Publishing apps is free but a decent amount of them contain malware so I highly encourage everyone to ignore this store, at least as a user. You can register here to publish your app.
So these are 10 of the alternative android app stores worth checking out. Though they are new platforms in terms of app distribution and driving downloads but apart from the big ones they lack the control systems. Low quality apps and malware may scare off users.
With so much competition on Google Play, publishing your app in these app stores may extend your audience and bring you a new flow of downloads and revenue.
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