If you’ve ever downloaded an app to your smartphone or tablet, it’s very likely that you downloaded it from Google or Apple. And why wouldn’t you? Both companies offer great app stores that are easy to use. And since each has over one million apps in its inventory, these two giants have a little something for everyone. But for those app fiends who want to mix it up—business owners, developers, consumers, and others—alternative stores offer you some awesome opportunities.
There are enticing reasons to dip your toes into the alternative app store pool. If you have your own app, these stores can help you maximize its exposure, attract new customers, and bring your business into more markets. And for consumers, they offer a cool way to discover apps you might not otherwise find.
For those of you interested in exploring the mobile world beyond the shores of Google Play and Apple’s App Store, here are some alternative stores worth checking out:
Amazon Appstore for Android: It’s possible you’ve heard of this cute little company. Its app store is the go-to location for Amazon’s Fire tablets and phones. This store offers fewer apps than Apple or Google, but every app is up to Amazon’s quality standard. In addition, Amazon has the whole retail thing down pretty nicely, so the store is very intuitive. Amazon also offers a free App of the Day, as well as a Test Drive service that allows users to try out an app before buying it. If you have a premium Swiftic app, Swiftic’s submission team can submit your app to the Amazon Appstore for you for free.
Opera Mobile Store: Almost one million people have downloaded the Opera browser to their smartphones. Within each of those Opera mobile browsers, there is an Opera Mobile Store icon in the Speed Dial area. This store offers over 200,000 apps on just about every platform. Once you choose your platform, the Opera store’s interface is easy to use. Opera also allows you to download an APK to your desktop or laptop and then transfer files to your phone.
GetJar: This store offers a lot of free and discounted apps across various platforms, and it stands out for letting users earn rewards as they download apps. Through GetJar Gold (“the largest virtual currency on Google Play”) and the GetJar Rewards app, users can find the apps that appeal to them and earn rewards by generating traffic.
SlideME: This app store with a vaguely provocative name is an Android alternative. SlideME provides developers with a global audience and appeals to users who want only top-notch apps (or who don’t have access to Google Play for some reason). This store houses around 30,000 apps and is very particular about which apps it carries—some 60 percent of the apps that try to slide onto SlideME are rejected. It’s easy for users to filter their app searches, and the store offers high-quality descriptions of its apps.
AppsLib: This is an alternative app store dedicated specifically to Android tablets. Created by ARCHOS, AppsLib comes preinstalled on many tablets from smaller manufacturers. With just under 40,000 apps developed, it’s worth a browse for developers and users who are into that sort of thing. This store also has a PIN-protected adults-only section, and it accepts PayPal payments.
A note of caution for consumers before you dive into the world of alternative app stores: Security varies from store to store. If you want to keep it simple, you may want to stick to Google Play, the Apple App Store, or the Amazon Appstore. If you do want to try out alternatives, you’ll want to make sure your phone is up to date with the best available security apps, especially if you’re running Android. Developers and app owners should also study the terms and conditions of each app store, as they vary from site to site and not all of them are as favorable as those at the largest app stores.
But whether you have your own mobile app or you’re just looking to find some interesting apps to download, alternative app stores provide opportunities that their larger counterparts don’t. Between the narrower selections of apps to choose from, the promise of reduced competition, and the exclusivity of a smaller app market, you may find that the benefits of these alternative stores are worth your time. At the very least, they can serve as a helpful reminder that there’s more to the world of mobile apps than Google Play and the Apple App Store.
How do you use alternative app stores? Share with us in the comments below or tweet to us @SwifticMobile!