Android apps

There is life beyond Google Play: Android apps that you will not find in the official store and where to download them

The applications are the soul of our mobiles, tools of all kinds with which to become a kind of Swiss Army knife. In Android, when we want to install a new app, we turn to the official Google store, but the Play Store is not the only source to get new apps.

There are many very interesting apps that we can not download from the Play Store, usually because they do not comply with Google’s guidelines. But Google Play is not the only showcase of apps, in fact, if something has Android is that the possibilities it offers are huge, also when downloading apps. There are many more ways to get those applications that are not suitable for the Play Store, we tell you what they are and select some of the best apps available.

Unknown origins yes, but with care

Many Android users know other sources, but for a large majority, the only way to install new apps is to use the store that comes pre-installed on the mobile, i.e. the Play Store. In addition, by default Google configures Android terminals so that we can only install apps from your store and, when activated, a warning message appears that can be quite dissuasive. It also warns every time that we are going to install an APK package, something that certainly does not invite us to venture outside the confines of the safe and controlled Play Store.

The main reason for these warnings is safety. It is true that most malware that enters Android does so through apps that are installed from other sources. Does that mean that if we install apps from unknown sources we will install malware? Not at all, if it means that you have to be more careful and avoid installing apps from suspicious places.

However, even if we use trusted sites, it is not possible to guarantee that the apps we install will be 100% safe, so if we activate the option of unknown origins we should know that it involves risks. However, it is also true that the malware has sneaked into the Play Store at some other occasion, so nothing can be guaranteed in the case of the official app store.

Android apps
Image Source: Google Image

Alternative stores to the Play Store

As we said, when it comes to installing apps from unknown sources, it is best to resort to trusted sites and for this there are many options available. Below we collect some alternatives to the Play Store. They are not the only ones, but they are the ones that we consider most complete and interesting.

You may also like to read: Google only wants quality apps on Android: This will penalize the bad applications

Amazon Appstore

Also known as Amazon Underground, the Amazon app store could not miss this list. The giant of online shopping includes its own store on its tablets, but it can also be installed on any other Android device , for this it is enough to visit this page and download the APK file.

The Amazon store stands out for its polished and easy to use interface, but above all for the offers, and although it does not have as many apps as the Play Store, it does offer some discounts on integrated purchases and a free premium app per day . In addition, in terms of security is one of the most recommended sites to download apps


Uptodown is one of the best-known alternatives to the Play Store. Created by a company from Malaga, they have recently had a native app so that we can download countless titles, from apps that are also in the official store to other external ones that are not in the Play Store. One of the advantages offered by Uptodown is that their apps are not limited by region,something that does happen in the official one, and their apps are scanned for viruses.

It has a very careful design and navigation is simple thanks to its structure by categories. It also has its own download top and allows you to update the installed apps easily. To have it on your Android just access this page and download the APK.


APKmirror is not an app store, but rather a repository that hosts many APKs. It has no official Android application, here we have to resort to its website, but we must recognize that it is well structured and allows a very comfortable navigation.

In APKmirror there are no paid applications, it only offers free applications but, yes, they have all been scanned for malware. This site is where we resort many times when we want to install an app that is not yet available in our country, or when we want an update that has not reached us through official channels, but also serves to download many apps that are not officially in the Play Store with total security


The last of our list is F-Droid, an app store where we can only find free and open source applications. It has an app where we can navigate between the different categories or look for the titles that interest us.

The biggest advantage of F-Droid is that all apps are, as we said, open source and promise to be free of advertising, do not track or collect our data and do not depend on other services. If you support the Open Source movement, you will undoubtedly find many interesting tools here.

Apps that are not on Google Play

We have already listed some alternative apps stores to the Play Store (we insist: there are more) and now it’s the turn of the applications themselves. The list is endless, but again we have selected some of the most interesting ones based on their popularity as well as their usefulness and good functioning.

  • Humble Bundle: The well-known service to get lots of games at a good price has an app, but it’s not in the Play Store. This service allows you to enjoy several games for a more adjusted price than if you buy them separately.
  • SnapTube: When it comes to unofficial apps, those related to YouTube are the most popular. The goal of SnapTube is that we can download the videos from the platform and then see them offline, something that is not possible in the official version of the app. It has a very careful interface and works very well. It is the number one most popular apps on Uptodown.
  • MiXplorer: In the Play Store you can find numerous file scanners, but few as complete as Mixplorer. It has an interface with a very careful design and does not lack any functionality; It allows you to copy, cut, paste, extract compressed files, view multimedia content and even associate storage accounts in the cloud.
  • LMT Launcher: This application allows you to create a menu of drop-down shortcuts that is the most practical to have the tools that we often use at hand. It allows a high level of customization and also does not require root, so it is available to everyone.
  • Pokerstars: Betting apps are often other of the ‘repudiated’ of Google Play, the Pokerstars is one of them. If you want to bet poker with real money, download the official application from its website.
  • XDA Labs: The largest Android development community has its own application so that browsing through its forums is a more fluid experience, but it also includes a section where developers can publish their creations, making it an application and store at the same time. You can get it on their official website.
  • Face Slim: There is no doubt that Facebook is one of the apps that weighs more and consumes Android, but there are alternatives and Face Slim is one of them. This open source version is much lighter and above all stands out for eliminating advertising. In addition, it does not require additional permits. It is available for download on F-Droid.