We have already talked on several occasions about the alternatives to Google Play as an application store, where to get – legally or not, that is another question – the applications that escape from Google’s hand.
But there are times when we just want to install an application or a version that, for whatever reason, we cannot find on Google Play. This is common when, for example, they are updated in a staggered way, or they are not marked as available in our country or “they are not compatible with any of your devices”. What options are there?
In search of the lost APK
We are not talking here about application stores as such, where the Amazon Appstore would enter, due to the fact that what we find there does not have to be exactly the same version of what we are looking for. Here we limit ourselves to those applications that have arrived, but for whatever reason they have not made it for us.
If it is not available in your country, don’t worry, it is available on the internet
The official Reddit app has just arrived, on both Android and iOS. The problem? It is not available in our country. What a chore. If we go to Google Play, the application “not compatible with any of your devices”. At some point it will undoubtedly be. But I don’t want to wait so many hours / days / weeks or even months, who knows. Well, I download the APK and try my luck.
It is possible that a given APK is not really compatible with your device for whatever reasons. But even when we want to install an application on a tablet and it is available only for mobile phones, it is very likely that it is. The only way to know for sure is find the installer and try it yourself.
Of course, we want to avoid running into him softonic of the APKs. As you know, an application can be modified before being posted on the internet, with layers of annoying ads or other types of adware or malware. Let’s see the most reliable ones.
APK Mirror is the most famous web or application repository. There you will only find APKs signed by the application developers. That is, you are sure that the applications have not been modified. Returning to the previous case, if you look for the Reddit application, you can verify that it is signed by Reddit and cannot be modified.
Here many of the most famous applications and used by everyone are even updated many times before Google Play makes them reach your region. From Spotify to Dropbox, or even Google Play itself.
This website – managed by the guys from Android Police – is, therefore, the best choice to search for these new or updated apps that are not available on Google Play. Of course, do not look for payment applications here, since their policy in this regard is clear.
More info | APK Mirror
Uptodown is a Spanish application repository – very similar to Google Play, yes – where we can also find a good amount of them, selected by their editors, and analyzed by a good amount of antivirus.
On Uptodown we can also see the signature of the APK, although it seems that they do not perform their own verification of it. We must also take into account that it is free of free paid applications, since we have not come to that, right ?.
More info | Android Uptodown
Evozi’s APK downloader isn’t new, but it’s still just as useful. We look for the application that we want to download from Google Play, copy the link in your search box, and it will generate a download link. As simple as that.
This solves the ballot when we have a device without Google Play, or we simply want download the APK because Google Play does not allow it due to region or format issues. Of course, if the application we are looking for is not in Google Play, this option does not work for us.
More info | APK Downloader
Suppose we have an application that is compatible with one of our devices, installed. But we also want to install it in another with which it is not compatible. Why go to third parties if I can extract the application myself from one device and install it on another?
For this we have ML Manager, a delightful app developed by Javier Santos. It is very simple to use, basically as easy as pressing a button to extract the APK or share it directly. It has a Pro version that also allows you to perform root tasks such as uninstalling manufacturer applications.
In Google Play | ML Manager | Pro
‘All you can eat’, or download everything you can, for a fee.
But not so long ago, another way of consuming applications has become popular. This is the ‘All you can eat’ model, subscription services for payment applications that come to bring the user closer to the massive consumption of payment applications from a different perspective.
Amazon Underground is one of the great exponents of this method, which brings you many paid applications for free modified with an advertising layer from which all parties benefit … if you were not willing to pay, for example, Monument Valley at three euros of its original price on Google Play:
Users have access to more quality apps and through a different model, more widespread and successful, loved by some and hated by others: Free to Play. Of course, you expose yourself.
Amazon gets users to pass more time in front of your applications, with an advertising layer from which you earn income.
Developers expand the scope of their applications, and of course get a percentage of ad revenue through the Amazon platform.
More info | Amazon Underground
Coming soon: Opera Apps Club
Opera Apps Club is very similar to Underground, with the difference that they replace part of the advertising revenue with a subscription payment. We could say that it is about Spotify or Netflix of paid applications.
At the moment Opera Apps Club is only available in some Latin American countries such as Brazil, but its focus is to distribute highly selected applications from large developers with a subscription model. They have some partners in operators and manufacturers as relevant as Telefónica or Samsung.
More info | Apps Club
Daily selection of applications
Getting paid applications for free is almost a discipline of its own. There are many methods and many of them many are ‘legitimate’. Among them, there are several applications that offer another payment per day, which serves as a shuttle and gives them the opportunity to promote themselves. The most famous:
AppGratis: a daily paid application, free.
App of the day: free or heavily discounted apps.
FreeApp: daily selection of applications.
In Engadget Android | Alternative stores to Google Play: these are the best today | The business of mobile applications wants to reinvent itself, and the “all you can eat” is the new motto | So you can get paid apps on Android for free (or almost) legally