Play Store has always been our go-to app to install Android apps onto our mobile devices. However, did you know that Android apps without Play Store is still possible? There are in fact many Android apps that do not get listed on Play Store for several reasons. And there are other alternative store apps to install apps if you are not happy with Google bloatware on the system. Let us explore your options together!
One way of installing Android apps without Play Store is the Aurora Store. Aurora Store is an unofficial FOSS (free and open-source software) client that is a great alternative to Google Play Store with a nice and elegant design, ability to download, update and search for apps. It works on all Android devices running Android 4.4 and above.
Aurora Store has:
- Free/Libre software — GPLv3 licence
- Beautiful design — Aurora Store follows the Material Design guidelines
- Anonymous accounts — Unlike in Play Store, you do not need to login with your own account, you can log in and download apps on this store with anonymous accounts
- Personal account login — Paid apps can be installed with your personal account and your wishlist on Play Store can be accessed through your Google account
- Exodus integration — Certain apps have trackers in its code, Aurora Store can show you which apps contain them
You can download and install Aurora Store through channels below:
- GitLab: Releases
- AuroraOSS: Downloads
- AuroraOSS: Stable
- F-Droid: Link
- Telegram: Channel
- XDA Forum: Thread
Aptoide is another open-source Android app store that contains over 700,000 apps in its collection. The App design aligns with Google’s standards, offering a decent experience with its well crafted user interface. While you can use an account in the app, you will don’t need to use one to download and install apps. It is quite a straight-forward app in which you can track updates, search and download apps and it is a safe alternative that you can use with peace of mind to install Android apps without Play Store bloatware.
There are several versions of the Aptoide app store:
- Smartphones and tablets edition
- Smart TVs and Set-top Boxes edition
- Aptoide VR and Aptoide Kids for children’s devices.
You can download and install Aptoide app through its own official website.
F-Droid is another way to install Android apps without Play Store and the highlight of this app is that it solely focuses on free and open-source apps, meaning only free apps are available. It has a vast collection of apps and these apps are well categorized. F-Droid is quite popular among Android developers as the apps are open-source, which means codes are easily accessible. They can inspect and learn from the codes of other apps to make their own apps.
F-Droid website and the app is managed by volunteers, therefore it heavily relies on donations. You may consider donating if you like a certain app in order to provide support to Google Play Store alternatives. The apps do not have a rating system and cannot always be as stable as those found in Play Store however this is quite a developer friendly alternative and if you are one, this should be your go-to app.
You can download and install F-Droid through its official website.
There are a lot of websites such as APKMirror, APKPure, APKCombo and so on that stores and even archives many apps that are found in Play Store. And one great addition of these websites that even Google Play Store does not offer is the access to the older versions of the apps. Apps found in these websites, of course based on the reputation of the website, are safe and they are a nice alternative to install Android apps without Play Store.
In order to be able to use the apps that you download from these websites, you need to enable Unknown Sources option in your Android device. Location of this setting can vary depending on your Android version however a quick search in your Settings app should locate it easily. If you are on the later versions of Android, you do not need to look for it in the Settings app.
Click on the APK file you have downloaded and it will prompt you to grant access to installing from unknown sources. This way, you can install Android apps without Play Store’s restrictions. Looking for APK files through Google search is so far one of the best ways to find and install any kind of Android apps you are in the market for. You can also install APK files through PC as well, follow Install Android Apps From PC – How to install apps with ADB? to know more!