Why Opt for Alternatives to the Google PlayStore and how to download applications without Google in a world where digital privacy is becoming a growing concern. Many Android smartphone users are looking for more virtuous alternatives to the services offered by Google PlayStore. We’ll explore why you might consider moving away from Google’s app shop, how you can effectively replace it and safe ways to download apps without relying on Google services.
Why replace Google Play Store?
The vast majority of Android handsets come with a version of the Google Play store pre-installed. The interface works well, the shop catalogue is comprehensive and the system is already on your smartphone, so why choose another application to download your apps?
Protection of Privacy : Google Play Store collects data on application download and usage habits. For users concerned about confidentiality, this can be worrying.
Diversity and Freedom of Choice : Some applications, particularly those that are open-source or niche-specific, are not available on the Google Play Store due to its strict policies.
Support for independent developers : Alternative app shops can offer better conditions for independent developers.
Ethical concerns : Users may have reservations about Google’s business practices and seek to support companies that are aligned with their values.
Safety and reliability : Although Google Play is secure, it is not immune to malicious applications. Some people prefer sources they consider more secure or transparent.
It sometimes seems difficult to take the plunge and change your habits by using a new application from a developer less well-known than Google. But asking questions about Google’s services is the first step. And we’re going to see that a number of more virtuous alternatives exist for your mobile.
How to replace Google Play Store?
There are several alternatives to the Google Play Store for downloading applications to Android devices. Here are some of the most popular options:
Amazon Appstore : Provided by Amazon, this Appstore offers a wide range of applications and games, sometimes with exclusive offers.
Samsung Galaxy Store : If you have a Samsung device, the Galaxy Store is a direct alternative, offering applications specially designed or optimised for Samsung devices.
Huawei AppGallery : With the withdrawal of Google services from the new Huawei devices, AppGallery has become their official app shop, offering a growing variety of applications..
SlideME : Another popular alternative marketplace for Android, offering a sorted selection of applications.
GetJar : One of the oldest app shops, GetJar offers a wide range of applications for Android.
Uptodown : Uptodown is an international application shop offering a large catalogue of applications, with earlier versions available.
If your search for alternatives to Google Playstore focuses on more virtuous options that prioritise confidentiality, ethics and support for free and open-source software.
Here are a few app shops that meet these criteria:
F-Droid : Free and Open-Source Software. F-Droid is run entirely by volunteers and offers only open-source applications, guaranteeing total transparency. It does not track users and is not dependent on advertising..
Aurora Store : Confidentiality and Anonymity. Aurora Store is an open-source client for Google Play Store, enabling you to download applications without Google Play Services. It offers features for browsing anonymously and avoiding tracking.
APKMirror : Application Security and Authenticity. APKMirror offers a wide range of Android applications, all verified to ensure that they are authentic and secure. It does not host malicious applications or spyware.
G-Droid : Interface conviviale pour F-Droid. G-Droid propose une interface utilisateur alternative pour accéder aux applications F-Droid. Il se concentre sur une meilleure expérience utilisateur tout en conservant les avantages d’F-Droid.
APKPure : Wide Selection of Apps, Including Those Not Available in Certain Regions. APKPure is known for offering applications that are not always available on Google Play, particularly in certain geographical regions, while ensuring security verification.
Fossdroid : Open-source applications with an interface inspired by Google Play. Fossdroid uses the data from F-Droid but presents applications in an interface that more closely resembles that of Google Play, making the discovery of open-source applications more accessible.
Aptoide : Independent Marketplace. Aptoide is an independent platform where users can create their own app shop. It offers a wide variety of applications, including older versions or applications not available on Google Play.
Each of these alternatives has its own particularities and offers unique advantages, whether in terms of privacy, support for open source software, functionality or security. However, it is important to remain vigilant in terms of data security and to ensure the reliability of sources when downloading applications outside the Google Play Store. It is important to always be cautious, check the authorisations requested, make sure the source is reliable, find out about the developer and the compatibility of the version before pressing download.
How to download applications without Google?
If you want to take the plunge, here are the steps to follow:
1. Enable Unknown Sources : Go to your device’s security settings and authorise the installation of applications from unknown sources. 2. Choose a Reliable Source : Select a reliable alternative source for downloading applications. 3. Download APK File : Find the desired application and download the corresponding APK file. 4. Install the Application : Open the downloaded APK file and follow the instructions to install the application. 5. Manage Updates : Bear in mind that applications downloaded from outside the Play Store do not update automatically. 6. Security considerations : Be careful with the permissions requested by applications installed outside the Play Store. Install a good antivirus on your device for extra protection. 7. Use alternative app shops : There are alternative app shops as seen in the previous section.
Some alternatives can also be offered directly in a system. This is particularly the case with the App Lounge in /e/OS. App Lounge is the application installation program for /e/OS, offering millions of applications. Applications can be accessed from the Google Play Store (commercial applications), from F-Droid (open source applications) and also from Progressive Web Apps, all in one place. App Lounge offers a Privacy Score for each application, calculated from the number of trackers found by Exodus Privacy in each application, and the number of permissions.
Doing without the Google Play Store can increase your privacy and freedom of choice. By choosing safe alternatives and following good download practices, you can enjoy a wide range of applications while protecting your personal data. Remember to always prioritise security and check the permissions of downloaded applications.