Every Android mobile user has a common problem, and that is battery draining. One of the things affecting the battery life is the Google Play Services. Google Play Services constantly runs in the background consuming precious RAM, CPU power and battery. If you hibernate, or freeze, or disable, or un-install Google Play Services then you won’t be able to use Play Store in your Android mobile. To overcome this problem, one can use any of the following Play Store alternatives even when Google Play Services is disabled. There are more than a dozen of them available to download and are safe to use.
Before proceeding, it is important for us to learn few things about Play Store.
Play Store is a widely used online store that hosts millions of Android applications i.e, games, apps, movies, music, books etc. It is estimated that around 65% of the apps can be downloaded for free and the remaining 35% of the apps has to be purchased.
Despite the numbers, you might not find the app that you are looking for in the Play Store. The app may be hidden due to incompatibility with your device, or it may not be available in your region, or the app is in its beta/development stage, or the app does not meet the requirements in your country.
If the download from Play Store is restricted, that doesn’t mean its the end. In such situations Play Store alternatives is the answer. They not only host a large number of applications, some of them also offers paid apps for free and give discounts on premium apps.
Disable or Hibernate Google Play Services
By default, normal user cannot force-stop or disable Google Play Services. To disable Google Play Services, one has to root their Android mobile. If you can’t find a suitable guide to root your Android mobile then drop us a comment below. We will try to help you as soon as possible.
- Make sure your Android mobile has root access.
- Install App Freeze application on your Android mobile.
- Click on Enable tab and select Google Play Services from the list.
- Now click on Freeze(1) button.
- Grant super user permission (if asked).
- That’s it. Watch Google Play Services getting freezed.
If you want to hibernate Google Play Services instead of freezing it then you need to follow similar steps for hibernating. I would recommend freezing over hibernating as the frozen app will not be able to wake-up even if any app tries to wake it.
Enable third party app installation
On Android, installation of apps from sources other than Play Store is blocked by default. To bypass this restriction, you will need to enable installation of apps from unknown sources on your Android mobile.
- Click on Settings icon.
- Scroll down and select Security option.
- Enable (check) Unknown Sources.
Best Play Store Alternatives
Before proceeding, we would like to clarify that the list of apps stores mentioned below aren’t ranked in order. Read their features and use the one that best suits your needs.
1. SlideME Marketplace
Official Website: http://slideme.org/
SlideME Marketplace is an independent Android applications and games marketplace that has a huge global reach next to Play Store. The reason behind such reach is the shipment of SlideME application. SlideME Marketplace is being preloaded in over 140 OEM’s handsets. For the vendors, who do not include Play Store, SlideME has become the default alternative.
The best part of SlideME application is that it provides access to Android applications and games based on geographic location, devices, payment methods etc. And also the apps hosted on this marketplace does not solely dependent on Google Play Services.
Users are allowed to download the applications and games using website and the official app. This app store has both free and paid applications just like Play Store. Apps in the home page are categorized under Latest, Updated and Popular categories. This app store also has an official forum.
SlideME Marketplace official app: http://slideme.org/slidememarket.apk
Official Website: https://www.apkmirror.com
ApkMirror is created and maintained by android-police and is the best app store among all Play Store alternatives when you talk about only free apps. It hosts a large number of free apps. You cannot find any paid or premium app in this app store. This app store is popular among users who likes to update their apps to the latest version using browser. Some of the apps are made available on Play Store after they have been uploaded at ApkMirror. Apps hosted in this app store are free from malware, thus safe to download. This app store does not have its own Android app, so users will have to visit their website for downloading APKs.
ApkMirror is designed quite well. Apps on homepage are arranged in order by date. Ordered by latest uploads, popular in last 30 days, popular in last 7 days and popular in last 24 hours from top to bottom.
When you search for an app, results of app versions are displayed as a list arranged chronologically. Either click on the result or download icon present on the right side of it. Then click on ‘Available APKs” anchor link to see available APK versions. Click on the link that suits your device and then finally click on “Download APK” button.
Official Website: https://f-droid.org/en/
If you are an Android developer then you must be well aware of F-Droid. For those who are not familiar, F-Droid is an app store that hosts only free and open source software (FOSS) applications for the Android platform. F-Droid client makes it easy to search, install and keep track of updates available on your device.
Due to the open source nature, this app store is a good starting point for app developers as anyone can access the code used to develop apps for free. So, if you find an app or a certain feature useful then you can browse the code and use that particular code in your project without any restrictions.
The apps are well organized into various categories for easy access. The project is maintained on donations, so if you find any app or code useful then you can consider donating a little amount. The downside of the app store is that there are no reviews and rating for the apps and also the apps are not always as stable as that are found on Play Store.
F-Droid official app: https://f-droid.org/FDroid.apk
Official Website: https://en.uptodown.com/android
An app store among Google Play Store alternatives that you can trust on is Uptodown. Officially, Uptodown hosts around 30,000 malware-free apps for the Android platform. The apps are tested using Virus Total engine for any malware before uploading them to their servers. The apps are available to download on both the website and the official app. Uptodown not only hosts apps for Android platform but also for Windows, Mac, Ubuntu, iPhone and Webapps.
The homepage of Uptodown displays currently popular apps on the top, followed by the latest updates, followed by the top downloads and then categories. All the apps are organized into well structured categories.
Uptodown app also notifies whenever an update is available for the installed apps on your device. When you first launch the app, it will suggests you to select a couple of options interactively in order to make your experience better. Uptodown does not hosts paid apps as there is no payment system found in the app store, that means you cannot download paid apps and cannot pay for in-app purchases.
Uptodown official app: https://uptodown-android.en.uptodown.com/android
Official Website: https://apkpure.com
Founded in 2014 by APKPure Team, APKPure app store is one of the best among Play Store alternatives. This app store provides safer, faster and better software download experience. APKPure has a vast collection of Apps, Games along with history version list.
All the apps are well organized into different sections. The homepage has a Discover section on the top, in which you might find various useful apps and games to install, followed by popular games in last 24 hours, followed by top new games, followed by top and updated games.
When you click on an app link, scroll down to check for older versions of it. You might find it useful when you want to switch back to older version for some reason. The information about the APK’s are well displayed like version, updated on, signature, sha1 and changelog. The app also notifies about the updates available to the installed apps on your device.
APKPure official app: https://apkpure.com/apkpure-app.html
Official Website: https://en.aptoide.com
Aptoide is a popular choice among majority of users because chances of finding a paid app is more in this app store when compared to others. It is one of the most complicated app store among all Play Store alternatives as the platform is distributed across different store providers. The user interface on both the website and the app is clean and user-friendly as it was designed according to Google standards.
With over 700,000 apps and over 3 billion downloads, Aptoide has been used by more than 150 million users worldwide.
Aptoide official app: https://en.aptoide.com/thank-you
Aptoide app detects installed applications and offers updates if available. Browse apps according to the categories: top apps, stores provders, trending apps, editor’s choice, followed stores, recommended apps etc.
7. Amazon Appstore
Official Website: https://www.amazon.com/mobile-apps/b?ie=UTF8&node=2350149011
When coming to legally downloading paid apps for free nothing beats the Amazon Appstore. This app store hosts around 330,000 apps that includes both free and paid apps. To enhance discover-ability, these apps are organized into various categories. The store has a vast collection of apps, movies, music, books etc priced lower than Play Store.
One Amazing thing about Amazon Appstore is that it gives away a paid/premium app for free everyday. This is useful for those who checks app stores daily for such offers that lets them download premium apps for free without even spending a penny. This feature is available only on Amazon Appstore app having an Amazon account. So, if you want to avail the offer then you have to download and install the official app and sign-in to your Amazon account. Amazon also offers free bundles of paid apps.
Amazon Appstore official app: https://www.amazon.com/gp/mas/get/amazonapp
8. 1Mobile Market
Official Website: http://market.1mobile.com
1Mobile Market also makes its way into our Play Store alternatives list. It has a beautifully designed official app that has a huge collection of free and paid apps just like Play Store. The apps are organized into well structured categories and sub-categories like featured, local top, local new, global top, global new etc for better app store experience.
1Mobile Market app also notifies about the updates available for your installed apps just like Play Store and the download process is also similar to Play Store.
1Mobile Market official app: http://market.1mobile.com
Note: I have decided to remove Mobogenie Market from this list because Mobogenie app is no longer available for download. In fact, the official website of Mobogenie Market is no longer accessible.
Official Website: https://www.getjar.com
Remember GetJar? Its the same app store that once ruled J2ME and Symbian based mobiles. GetJar has been around for a very long time, infact longer than Play Store. It hosts a variety of free apps that can be installed in various platforms that includes Android, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile.
Despite the huge selection of apps, the apps are properly organized into various categories and sub-categories making discover-ability easier. The update frequency of the apps is very less, the apps may not always be up to date. This is something the maintainer has to look at. There’s also an official app for GetJar.
GetJar official app: https://www.getjar.com/categories/search-apps/GetJar-Apps-16914
Official link: https://github.com/rumboalla/apkupdater
This project does not hosts any apps and thus is not considered as an app store, but can be counted as one of the Play Store alternatives for one reason. The reason is, it informs about the updates to your installed apps faster than any app store, including Play Store.
If you are among those who want to try new features of the apps included in the updates sooner than your friends then you should have this app installed in your mobile. It not only notifies about the update but also displays clickable links for you to click and download the update.
You can also set frequency for the app to check for updates. The new versions of apps are downloaded from either APKMirror, or APKPure, or Evozi (which infact downloads apps directly from Play Store).
APKUpdater official app: https://github.com/rumboalla/apkupdater/releases
Google does not recommend downloading apps from other app stores. That’s the reason you will not find any of the secondary app store official apps in Play Store. Before downloading any app from them, consider verifying app signatures and encryption information against the original data. This will protect your device and your privacy at the least.
That’s it for today! Hope you found the best app store according to your needs from the above Play Store alternatives. Post your suggestions in the comments below. Do subscribe to our newsletter for post updates directly in your email inbox.