7 full and safe alternatives to Google Play
Over the past five years, Android has become the most popular operating system. Managing smartphones, tablets, readers, smartwatches, smart TVs and smart consumer electronics in general, and even notebooks for a bit, he competes with MS Windows itself. If you count how many devices work under one system or another, the “green man” will be ahead: more than a billion Android devices are delivered in a year, that is, about the same as Windows devices!
And, to a large extent, Android owes its success to the store (in the recent past it was called the Android Market) - managed by Google. It has long been exposed not only software, but also music, books and movies. However, it is applications that remain the most popular product: there are more than 2 million of them, that is, almost twice as many as, for example, in the Apple App Store, which serves the iPhone and iPad. A nuance that not everyone knows about, but which may be useful to many: Google Play is the official, but not the only, Android application store.
Unlike Apple, forcing owners of phones and tablets to use only their store, Google provides the freedom of choice. Each user of an Android device may install not only programs from Google Play on it. All that is needed for this is to allow “installing applications from other sources” by enabling the option with this name in the settings (Settings -> Options -> Security). After that, contact one of the many alternative stores (where you usually need to download and install an application manager, through which, in fact, you will manage new programs).
There are dozens of alternative stores, but in order to count the most famous and rich in content, there are enough fingers. Below you will find the most recent list of them, with a description of the merits of each. Another question - why is it even necessary? After all, not a single alternative app-store even came close to Google in terms of the number of applications.
There are four reasons to use the “alternative”.First of all, in other stores may be more favorable conditions.To attract people, small app stores often arrange promotions for buyers when good applications are distributed for free or at a huge discount.
SecondlyTwo and a quarter of a million Google Play apps are a huge pile-small. No matter how you sort it, no matter how you filter it, it's still not easy to find something necessary in it: popular applications crawl over your eyes, and new programs are often lost.
ThirdlyAlthough Google adheres to “progressive views” on shop management, something still prohibits and restricts. For example, not all applications are available in all countries, advertising blockers are prohibited, “adult” content is not welcome.
Finally,fourthlyBy skipping applications “on the counter” almost without checking (in fact, checks are conducted, but less stringent than, for example, in the Apple store), Google inevitably misses outright rubbish, which is at best useless, and at worst it does harm: Once in Google Play, they caught malware that stole data and followed the user.
Surely the list of reasons is not complete, it can be replenished. But the fact that we have already listed is enough to make sense to look towards alternative stores. And here are the most interesting ones:
. Of course, the richest among the "alternative".Formally, Amazon.com (the largest online department store in the United States) made it for its devices, including the Kindle reader. However, use is not prohibited to anyone. There are about 300 thousand applications here, and the most interesting feature is that every day one of the programs is distributed free of charge (including very expensive gizmos).
. It competes with the Amazon in the number of applications, but differs in structure. This app-stor does not belong to any manufacturer of Android-devices, and therefore it does not have “selfish interests” that would overlap with the interests of program developers. Therefore, any applications are welcome here at all, as long as they do not harm the user. This property makes it very attractive for developers - after all, you can very quickly put your program "on the counter." But for users, due to the same reason, Aptoid is interesting: there is more variety of software here. Some even consider it the main alternative to Google Play.
. Yes, it belongs to a well-known browser developer - and also works directly in the browser (does not require installation of the program manager), which greatly simplifies the first steps.It is designed not only for Android, there are many applications for other platforms, a total of about 300 thousand names.
. It belongs to the eponymous Russian company. The application catalog again has several hundred thousand items, but this store is valuable because of its focus on Russia and the Russian-speaking user. This means a completely Russian interface, application testing by domestic experts and antivirus, plus payment not only with a plastic card, but also with Yandex.Money, direct debit from the phone’s account, or bonuses (which accumulate from each purchase).
. Here, applications are already an order of magnitude smaller than in other alternative stores. But this is the essence: the administration of Slide.ME is guided by the draconian selection rules and is very proud of it. They say that they give two out of every three candidate applications a turn: the programs are rejected for excessive advertising, unreasonably broad powers (why, for example, the music player has the right to access the camera?), Not to mention the uselessness. If you are concerned about the issue of information security, perhaps you should start from here.
. This store is owned by the French company Archos, which makes popular budget Android devices. There is not even a hundred thousand programs, and yet AppsLib is in demand among manufacturers of low-end products. To understand why, you need to remember that Google allows Android to be used not by all manufacturers, but only by those who agree to fulfill a number of conditions (in particular, to preinstall some applications from Google).
All other companies can only use a “trimmed” version of the operating system, devoid of many useful programs, and are not allowed to use the word “android” in the name. It is for such devices that AppsLib became the main one. Here, in the program descriptions, among other things, there is information about which devices each program is compatible with.
. There are even fewer applications - only a couple of thousands. On the other hand, only free software is allowed here, that is, one that is developed under free licenses. This means, in particular, that the source texts of such programs are published and can be copied, studied, and changed by everyone.For you, as a simple user, another property of free software is more important: it is difficult to hide something harmful in it. And such applications are often not very beautiful in appearance, but they have powerful functionality.
As a bonus, look at:
- specializes in finding replacements for paid applications.
- contains a huge collection of experimental games, including for Android.
Concluding the review, I consider it important to warn you: remember that contacting the little popular app stores, you inevitably increase the risk of stumbling into malware. Of course, even Google cannot guarantee the absolute purity of its Google Play - but at least there are many users there, and therefore questionable applications are quickly identified. Perhaps if you use your smartphone or tablet for work, you should not risk it.
P.S. The article used a graphic work.