As the name suggests here in this article we would be discussing about Android App Stores.
The functionality of Android Mobile Devices is extended using apps-special software applications that are designed to offer users the means to use their devices for certain additional purposes. These apps are compiled in the Android-native APK file format, allowing the easy redistribution of apps to end-users.
Most of the apps are distributed through Google’s Play Store, but a lot of alternative app stores or alternative software repositories also exists on World Wide Web.
These alternative app stores make use of the “Unknown Sources” option on Android devices to install APK files directly via the Android Package Manager.
Google Play Store
Operated and developed by Google, it serves as the official app store for the Android, that allows users to download apps developed using Android software development kit (SDK) and published through Google. The store has both free and paid apps.
Apps that exploit hardware capabilities of a device, target device users with specific hardware components like :
- Motion sensor (for motion-dependent games) or
- Front-facing camera (for online video calling).
It had over 50 50 billion app downloads in 2013, that reached over 2.7 million apps published in 2017. Google Play Store is only available on devices that are certified within the “Android Compatibility Program”.
Third-party app stores
App stores do not rely on being pre installed by a manufacturer exist as well. Some of the third party app stores are:
- Droidapk Store,
- Mobogenie Market,
- Uptodown and
- AIO Downloader.
These app stores are more often used by developers to distribute apps that are not allowed in the Play Store. Like they allow users more access to the system or to offer apps to niche users like free and open-source software (F-Droid) or indie games (Itch.io).
Reasons to use alternative app stores
Most users prefer alternative app stores to avoid using Google services as a part of their interest or philosophy. These alternative app stores are easier to navigate but more often prone to malware or viruses, in the absence of a reliable governing authority.
So, take a wise decision before you download apps from alternative app stores.