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The Best of 2020 — A List of App Stores for Android Apps

The Best of 2020 — A List of App Stores for Android Apps

Is There a List of App Stores for Android Apps?

In a word, yes! While in the earliest days of the mobile app economy — way back in 2008 — you could only find Android apps on Google Play, today, you can download them on a variety of app stores. Here are some of the most popular:

 

  • Google Play
  • Amazon Appstore
  • Samsung Galaxy Apps
  • Sony Apps
  • Aptoide
  • F-Droid 

In this article, we will provide brief descriptions of each store on the above list of app stores for Android apps. While this is by no means an exhaustive exercise, it is nevertheless a great place to start as you investigate the Google mobile footprint.

Moreover, because mobile app stores are subject to the same economic forces as all other businesses — that is, some will go defunct, others will grow in popularity, and new contenders are likely to emerge in the future — we thought it prudent to forgo comprehensiveness and stick to an investigation into the Android app standard-bearers as they exist in 2020.

So, with that said, let’s begin!

1. Google Play — (Learn More)

At this point, it’s safe to say that Google is a household name — like Disney, Coca Cola, or Cristiano Ronaldo. Indeed, as one of tech’s “Big Four,” the company is one of the most influential establishments on the planet, specializing in a variety of Internet-related services and products.

 

While they are perhaps best known for the world-class Google search engine, one of their most lucrative products is Google Play. Launched in 2008 as the “Android Market,” it was a direct response to the Apple App Store, which had been announced just a few months earlier. It serves as the official app store for the Android operating system, enabling users to browse and download mobile apps and games developed with the Android software development kit (SDK).

 

Anybody can submit an app to be published on Google Play. And, while Google has final say on which apps can and cannot be distributed on their platform, their publication standards are quite transparent and easy to maintain. For more on how to publish an app on Google Play, click here.

 

How does Google Play compare to the Apple App Store? Check out our side-by-side analysis.

2. Amazon Appstore — (Learn More)

Like Google, Amazon is also part of tech’s “Big Four.” Like Google, Amazon is also one of the most successful tech companies in history. And, while they ultimately come from different backgrounds — with Amazon known first and foremost as an e-commerce site — they once again converge on the mobile app economy.

 

In 2011, following the success of companies like Google and Apple in the digital entertainment and mobile application space, Amazon launched the Amazon Appstore. Serving Android- and Fire OS-enabled devices, such as the Kindle Fire tablet and a host of BlackBerry products, the Amazon Appstore now boasts a catalog of nearly half a million mobile apps and games.

 

As with Google, Amazon allows anybody who has developed an app to publish it to the Amazon Appstore. This can be done via the Amazon Apps Developer Portal.

 

To learn more about the Amazon Appstore, check out our breakdown on our store stats pages.

3. Samsung Galaxy Store

Leaving the land of the “Big Four,” many device manufacturers have also gotten in on the app store game. By building their own stores, companies like Samsung are better able to control user experience while simultaneously promoting their own branding standards.

 

Launched in September 2009, not long after Google Play and the Apple App Store, the Samsung Galaxy Store was among the first of these manufacturer-specific app stores. While it offers relatively few apps, it nevertheless enables Samsung to preload its own app store onto their Android devices, thus creating a more streamlined experience for consumers. That said, while there are potentially ways for non-Samsung device holders to download apps from the Samsung Galaxy Store, it was not built to support non-Samsung devices.

 

In order to publish an app on the Samsung Galaxy Store, developers must register in the Seller Portal and submit their products for review.

4. Sony Apps

In the same vein, the Sony Apps market was built to facilitate a better app experience for Sony device-holders. By preloading their Android phones and tablets with their own app store, Sony has been able to create a more elegant user experience for their consumers. Moreover, Sony Apps is primarily geared towards entertainment; a fact which itself highlights a critical benefit of manufacturer-driven app stores — namely, the ability to curate experiences based on market-specific demands and the unique interests of consumers.

5. Aptoide

Another popular choice among Android users is Aptoide. Unlike Google Play, Aptoide offers a more decentralized approach to the app market wherein each user manages their own store. It’s highly intuitive, easy to navigate, and not at all niche-specific. Aside from catering exclusively to the Android operating system, Aptoide offers a wide variety of games, productivity apps, store apps, and more. As such, it provides users with an experience on par with those generated by tech and manufacturing giants.

 

In order to publish an app to Aptoide, developers must first create an Aptoide “store” and upload their app via the Aptoide Uploader. For more on this, click here.

6. F-Droid

Last, but certainly not least, F-Droid! For consumers who are more technical, or who merely appreciate open-source software, F-Droid is the only app store that provides free, open-source Android apps.

 

F-Droid is community-maintained and flags any app that leverages what it calls “Anti-Features” — i.e. commercialized aspects, such as advertising, user tracking, or dependence on non-free software. So, while it may not be ideal for commercial brands, it is a truly unique alternative to the likes of Google Play and the Amazon Appstore.

 

Anyone can publish to F-Droid, here’s how.

 

For more insight into the most popular mobile app stores, check out our store stats pages.

 

More App Store Insights from 42matters

At 42matters, we provide app data, insights, and analytics via a host of useful APIs, file dumps, and the 42matters Explorer. These provide a variety of app store insights, including:

 

  • Top Charts
  • Developer Details
  • App Insights
  • And more

The Explorer, which is free for 14-days, is an app market research tool that provides a comprehensive look at app store trends and statistics. This includes data on both iOS and Android apps.

 

Moreover, our APIs facilitate programmatic access to app intelligence data from both Google Play and the Apple App Store, as well as the Amazon Appstore, Tencent Appstore, Apple TV App Store, Fire TV, and the Roku Channel Store. 

 

To learn more about mobile app analytics from 42matters, schedule a free demo with one of our experts. We’ll show you how they can improve your business!