Google Play has been the popular app market for Android phones and tablets for a long time, but it is not the only Android App Market around. A number of startups and some popular websites too, have launched their alternative app markets for Android. Some of these app markets even give away some popular paid apps for free.
Before you want to go on and install apps from third party marketplaces, you need to allow your device to do so. By default, Google prevents installation of apps outside Play Store on Android devices. Do the following to allow third party app installations on your device.
Go to Menu >> Settings >> Security.
Check on “Unknown Sources” (Allow installation of non-Market apps).
You will now be able to download and install apps from third party App Markets and other apk packages. Here are a few alternative places to Google Play, where you can look for a free version of a paid Android app.
Aptoide: This app store does not host Android apps themselves but rather let other users upload application. Apps can be downloaded from app repositories created by Aptoide Uploaders. Users can also follow some of the top app repositories. Here you can find some paid apps for free as well as a number of other apps which have been discontinued from Google Play Store. It is quite easy to install Apoide on Android devices. After enabling the third party installation sources, download and install the “Bazaar News and Aptoide” app from Google Play. The app then lets you download both Aptoide Marketplace and the Uploader.
Download paid apps for free from Aptoide
1> Download Bazaar News and Aptoide from Google Play.
2> After installation is complete, launch the app. You will get two links at the bottom. Tap on Install Aptoide to download the Aptoide App Store on your Android device.
3> The Package Manager is launched to install the downloaded app. If you have alternative applications associated with application (.apk) files, a menu pops up asking you to select an app. Select Package Manager in this case.
4> Now open up Aptoide App Store. You might be prompted to add a store (repository) to your collection. Go on and add a store if you like. (It is however not necessary) .
5> Tap on the Search icon on the top right corner. Type the name of the app and hit search.
6> A new page now appears with a button to search the app on all available repositories.
7> On the search results page, select the particular app. A dialog box appears prompting you to confirm the app installation. Click on OK.
8> You will further be prompted to add the particular app repository which contained the searched app. Add it if you want to (not required).
9> The Package Manager now installs the app. Finally, click OK to finish the installation.
Alternative App Stores
Amazon App Store: This store, available for only users in US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, lets you download and install free and paid apps for Android devices. To download apps, you need to have an Amazon account from one of the above mentioned countries. Amazon App Store has a special feature that gives away a particular paid app (generally a game) daily for free to its users. The very first “free app of the day” on the store’s US launch was the Ad-free version of Angry Birds Rio. On the European launch day, it was Angry Birds (the original game – ad-free). The store also includes a Test Drive feature that allows users to try thousands of Android apps on virtual Amazon cloud browsers. See this guide on how to install and use the Amazon App Store (only in supported countries).
Download Amazon App Store for Android (apk)
Antiroid: Antiroid is an alternative app store that takes a very different approach. Instead of offering paid apps for free, this app store provides freely available alternatives to paid apps. After you select an alternative app, you are automatically directed to the official Google Play Store to download the app. Antiroid is a good option if you want to download free alternatives to a number of paid apps from Google’s own Play Store.
Visit the Antiroid Website.
Other alternative Android App Stores include GetJar, AppBrain, SlideMe and many more.
There may be legal issues regarding how these stores make the paid apps available for free. Some of the app stores allow users to host their apps while others can download them. Also, these apps are stored in servers which may not have been verified, so there’s a big security concern. So please make sure that before downloading apps from these alternative app markets, you are clear with the official terms and conditions and that you are well aware of the risks involved.