Third-party app stores are widely available for Android users to use.
One of the benefits of using an Android device is the freedom to install any app that you want. While normally all apps are readily available from the Google Play Store, you also have the option to manually sideload apps to your convenience. This open-source concept for Android also allowed third-party app stores to be available on the platform, giving you an alternative if the app you’re looking for isn’t available on the Play Store.
You probably may have noticed that some third-party app stores already reside on your smartphone – devices from Samsung, Amazon, and Huawei have all touted their own respective app stores as an alternative. Even Epic Games has its own app store, and it’s the only place at the moment where you can easily download Fortnite.
A blog post by Google highlighted the fact that Android will always be an open platform even if the developer or Google doesn’t agree with the terms. “Each store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features. This openness means that even if a developer and Google do not agree on business terms the developer can still distribute on the Android platform. This is why Fortnite, for example, is available directly from Epic’s store or from other app stores including Samsung’s Galaxy App store,” that company said in a post.
This is why Google is planning to make changes to the next version of Android that would help make it easier for the user to install another app store. “Some developers have given us feedback on how we can make the user experience for installing another app store on their device even better. In response to that feedback, we will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place,” the company said.
Google didn’t go into much detail about these new changes, but you expect Android 12 to highlight this as a new feature when it eventually gets announced next year.
Do you use an alternative app store on your Android device? How is it different from the Play Store? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!