Last Updated on January 21, 2022

When we talk about publishing app ideas to the app store, two names that instantly strike the mind are Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Indubitably, the two app stores are the most recognized app platforms in the world. 

As of 2021, Google Play Store is the largest app store that offers 3.48 million apps to Android users. Similarly, the Apple App Store offers 2.22 million apps, becoming the second-largest app platform.

No of apps in google play and apple app store
Google Play Store is the largest app store that offers 3.48 million apps to Android users ” Source: statista

Now, for any app owner looking to launch their app, the supremacy of Apple and Google app stores forces them to pitch their solution against millions of other apps. This makes it extremely difficult for new players to grab attention and stand out amongst the crowd. 

But is there any other solution? Well, thankfully yes. There are various Google Play Alternative and App Store alternatives where app owners can successfully launch their products. Here, we have curated a list of the best app stores for Android and iOS that are worth considering. So, let’s get started. 

Google Play Store – Overview

Google Play Store was launched in 2008. Available in over 190 countries, it is one of the first mobile app stores that exclusively targets Android. Over 2 billion people visit the app store every month to download apps, games, movies, TV shows, and much more. 

When it comes to users, Google Play ensures to provide high-quality and engaging apps in a safe and convenient way. On the other hand, it enables newbie developers to get their products across to 2 billion people and ensure success. 

That being said, many developers feel that their app gets lost and buried in the search results. But that’s not to say that listing your app on Google Play is a bad idea. You can simply explore other Android-specific mobile app stores and list your app there as well. 

Apple App Store – Overview

Designed for iOS users, the Apple App Store was also launched in 2008. Available in 175 regions, the App Store is an incredible place to look for new applications and an exciting range of games. The app store gets about 500 million visitors per week. 

Most developers build their apps for both iOS and Android to get maximum discovery. However, that means competing with nearly 5 million other apps. Thus, it is advisable to list your app elsewhere as well to ensure better results. 

Market Size & Share of App Stores

As we all know, app stores are app marketplaces that offer a wide range of apps to browse through, download for free, or purchase. Last year, over 218 billion applications were downloaded worldwide through these app stores. 

Number of mobile app downloads worldwide
Over 218 billion applications were downloaded worldwide through these app stores” Source: statista

In terms of content volume, Google Play is the biggest app store in the world with 3.48 million apps on it. The app platform offers a majority of free apps and generates huge sums of revenue each year from in-app payments and game sales. By 2025, the users are expected to download 187 billion mobile apps from Google Play, which is a sharp rise from the 109 billion downloaded in 2020.

Mobile app downloads worldwide from 2018 to 2025, by store
Users are expected to download 187 billion mobile apps from Google Play ” Source: statista

Moving on, Apple’s App Store is the second-biggest app store with 2.22 million apps to choose from. In terms of gross revenue and user spending, Apple continues to beat Google. The app platform has gaming as the biggest source of revenue. 

Recently, a new wave of alternative app stores is creating a lot of buzz. Also, the Chinese app market is growing at a staggering pace. Google Play Store is not available in China, and this has led to the development of several other Android stores. Currently, Tencent My App is the largest Android app store in China, with a market share of 26%. The presence of a huge number of smartphone users in China presents a viable opportunity for app developers to launch their products.

Market share of the Android app stores in China
largest Android app store in China, with a market share of 26%” Source: statista

Why We Need Alternative App Store for Android and iOS App Store?

Considering the humongous popularity and reach of Google Play Store and Apple App Store, is it worth experimenting with alternative app stores? The short answer – Yes. 

Alternative app stores offer a variety of different niches. Looking for different apps or even launching apps at these platforms can prove to be really beneficial. Let’s look at some of the most noteworthy advantages of using these third-party stores. 

  • App developers have a greater chance of securing a higher ranking on alternative app stores. This is because Google Play and Apple App Store are overcrowded
  • Most of the alternative app stores offer a cut-rate premium version of the apps or some great bargains. Also, in most cases, these app stores do not charge any uploading fee. They promote different apps by featuring them as app of the day or providing advertising packages at discounted prices to the app owners. 
  • Testing MVP apps on most alternative platforms are absolutely free. On the other hand, Google Play charges a single-time registration fee of $25, and App Store charges an annual developer fee of $99. 
  • Lastly, both Google and Apple have very high expectations in terms of app quality. At the same time, many alternative app stores feature apps that have not been able to get published on Google Play and App Store. 

Also Read: How To Create an App

Now, let us also look at some benefits of using alternative app stores for the users. 

  • Alternative app stores offer different categories of apps that are typically not available on Google Play and App Store. 
  • The users can get their hands on the Beta versions of various apps and try them first-hand. This is not possible on Google and Apple app stores. 
  • A large number of apps that are otherwise paid are available for free on alternative app stores.

What Are the Top Google Play Store Alternatives for Android Applications?

Google follows the approach of an open app marketplace. This means that an Android app developer can also submit his app to the next best alternative. This has helped thousands of app developers whose apps have not been approved by Google Play upon their first submission. 

Now, let’s look at some of the best alternatives for Android applications. 

Amazon App Store

Amazon App Store

Amazon is an industry leader in the eCommerce space. But when we talk about this eCommerce giant, we almost forget that it also has an Amazon app store that serves as a growing market for ecommerce apps

Launched in 2011, the Amazon app store offers a plethora of free and paid apps with a clean and easy-to-navigate interface. It is an excellent alternative to the Google Play Store that pays its developers nearly 70% of an app’s listed price along with in-app purchases. 

The app store also has its own currency system for the users to buy apps and make in-app purchases. Also, the platform provides an app compatibility test that automatically helps the developers to detect problems and eliminate them. 

Slide Me

SlideME Store

SlideME is an app store that has been running longer than Google Play Store. It is among the most popular alternative app stores that offer curated lists of app categories. The users can use Amazon Pay or PayPal to purchase apps. The app store only charges 20% for every purchase of the app. 

One of the best features of SlideME is its security guidelines. All applications are rigorously scanned for bugs and viruses before they are approved by their editors. Additionally, the platform has an extensive community of developers and advisors who help each other, especially newbies with codes and bug fixes. 

1 Mobile Market

1Mobile Market follows a very different approach as compared to other app stores. The platform is only meant for free apps. Thus, it is an excellent place for developers who are looking to test out their app in the market. 

Although it does not cost anything to upload your app on 1Mobile Market, yet it only comprises good quality apps. And that is because each app has to pass through a stringent selection process that checks it for bugs and malware. 

The main focus of this app store is on entertainment-based apps and games. Overall, it is a great place to get your free app in front of hundreds and thousands of users and make it a big success. 

Samsung Galaxy Apps

Samsung Galaxy Apps

Samsung is among the leading producers of Android smartphones. Thus, it comes as no surprise that the company has developed its own app store. In comparison to other alternative app stores, Samsung Galaxy Apps is relatively small. However, that also makes it one of the best places to make your app stand out. 

Every Samsung Galaxy device comes with this app store already installed. This gives it a great competitive advantage as it serves as a go-to place for many Galaxy phone users. 

The app store comes with a plethora of themes that the user can download for an enriched device experience. The users can also search for different apps and games and download them without the need for login or registration. Also, the app store’s interface is very friendly and easy to navigate. 

Aptoide

Aptoide

Aptoide is another great alternative for Google Play Store. It essentially includes those apps that are not available on Google. 

The platform is not centralized, and thus, the users can manage their own store. It accepts payments for in-store purchases in the form of AppCoins, or APPC. One of the best aspects of this app store is that it allows access to geo-restricted Android apps that are present on Google Play. Also, the updates of many apps are released on Aptoide first than they are anywhere else. 

Lastly, the app store enables the developers to benefit from paid acquisition campaigns. Here, the developers can promote their apps via ads and only pay for the number of installs. 

What are the top App Store Alternatives for iOS Applications?

Most iOS users think that they only have the App Store to get their hands on their favorite apps. However, that is not true. There are several alternatives for downloading iOS applications that not only charge lesser fees but also provide several app advertising options. So, let’s look at some of the best App Store alternatives. 

BuildStore

BuildStore

Launched in 2013, BuildStore is among the first and best alternatives for the App Store. The platform offers slightly tweaked versions of classic apps and games that can be securely downloaded on any iOS device. 

BuildStore is a safe and reliable store that offers over 300 apps and games. And this list is constantly updated with 10 new products added each month. This app store gets 15k monthly users and comes with an around-the-clock customer support panel. 

Sileo

Sileo

This is a relatively new platform that is quickly gaining prominence as a great App Store alternative. Originally, the platform was developed to serve as an alternative to Cydia, but lately, it has taken its stand on its own. 

Sileo is very versatile as it is compatible with anything is iOS 11 and above. The platform is especially meant for jailbroken devices with a focus on keeping them up to date. Here, you can easily download apps, tweak, and themes for jailbroken iPhones, iPads, and iPods. 

AppValley

AppValley

This is another popular App Store alternative that is developed by AppValley LLC. The greatest advantage of using this platform is that most of the listed apps are absolutely free. Besides, AppValley is completely safe and secure to download all kinds of iOS files on your device. 

The platform uses an advanced algorithm to protect the user’s device from all viruses and malware. Lastly, the users do not need to jailbreak their iPhone in order to use any app from AppValley, which is a big plus.

GetJar

GetJar

GetJar is available for both Android and iOS platforms. The app platform is indubitably one of the best third-party app stores that offer most paid apps for free. 

Additionally, GetJar offers older versions of all apps. So, in case a new update has been launched that you don’t like, you can always uninstall it and download a usable older version from GetJar. The platform offers applications belonging to every genre. 

Lastly, it has over 30 million users along with an excellent recommendation service that enables the users to quickly discover useful apps. 

TutuApp

TutuApp

Another safe and reliable App Store substitute is TutuApp. The app platform is highly secure and lets the users get their hands on an exclusive range of apps and games. However, to use this third-party store, you need to have a jailbreak on your iOS device. 

TutuApp lets you download multiple files, all at once. It comes in two versions: Regular and VIP. The latter comprises apps and games without ads. 

Choosing the Best App Store Alternative

All the third-party app stores mentioned above offer a plentiful of exclusive apps and games. But it must be noted that in no way these platforms can substitute App Store and Google Play. They are simply an additional channel to get more downloads for your app. 

The two main stores imply very heavy competition. So, as app developers, you can enhance the likelihood of better promoting your app by publishing it on these third-party stores. Similarly, as users, you can come across some great apps on these platforms and download them for free. 

But always make sure to be aware of any security risks. Before using these platforms, do your own research to find out the credibility of any specific app store. This will help you to avoid any security hassles later on. 

Hire the best app development company that can take your app ideas to the next level with its experienced, mobile app developers.

Author

I am an eCommerce consultant, a member of the Forbes technology council with a decade of experience in the ecommerce development segment. My expertise can make your business overcome any obstacles while you are dealing with the Magento ecommerce platform!