5 Best Alternatives to Google Play Store Every Developer Must Know and Target
As all Android mobile application developers will tell you, the Google Play Store is the entry point for anyone who wants to generate substantial revenue from their applications and games. Indeed, the Google Play Store has the advantage of being installed by default on almost all Android smartphones in the world. There is a very simple reason to that. Indeed, for having the Android license issued by Google, smartphone manufacturers must highlight the Google Play Store on their devices.
With this monopoly position, the Google Play Store can now boast more than 2.7 million applications for Android users. Thus, many developers only focus on the Google Play Store when they publish their applications or games. This can be a mistake. Indeed, it is very difficult to stand out from the crowd when your application or game is lost in an ocean of applications.
Even the best ASO strategies in the world will not be enough in most cases. Thus, it often happens that developers publish excellent applications but that they remain unknown to the general public. Of course, this results in an obvious loss of revenue for these developers.
Under these conditions, it seems important to remind these developers that if the Google Play Store is the mandatory point of passage, there are other application stores for Android that can allow them to enjoy a great success. In addition, these blinds have the advantage of offering users fewer applications, which makes it easier for them to be noticed as well. My advice is therefore simple: as a developer, you should not hesitate to publish your application or your Android game on several application stores in order to maximize your chances of generating revenue.
To this end, I present you the 5 best alternatives to Google Play Store every developer must know and target.
The Android application store of online retail giant Amazon was launched in March 2011. It is accessible in more than 200 countries, which is no small feat. Based on the model chosen by Google or Apple, Amazon pays 70% of the selling price of applications or in-app purchases to developers. At the end of the first quarter of 2019, the Amazon Appstore lists just over 475K applications.
Amazon’s application store thus offers almost 6 times fewer applications for download than Google’s. This gives you a better chance of being noticed. On a personal level, I have noticed that the Amazon Appstore works particularly well for games. So, if you develop games under Android, the Amazon Appstore is a must. Users of this store are very fond of games and it is no coincidence that major studios like Rovio have chosen to publish some of their games on the Amazon Appstore.
Samsung Galaxy Store
You probably know that Samsung is the world’s leading seller of smartphones. However, do you know exactly how many Samsung smartphones are sold each year? By looking at the graph below, you will discover that Samsung has been selling more than 70 million smartphones per quarter for more than 6 years now!
This figure is simply colossal. Even better, most of Samsung smartphones run on Android. And as if that wasn’t enough, I have better news for you as a mobile application developer. Samsung offers its own application store on all its Android smartphones: the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Launched in September 2009, the Samsung Galaxy Store offers significantly fewer applications than the Google Play Store because many developers do not even think about publishing their games and applications there. By making the effort to publish your application on the Samsung Galaxy Store, you will already have an advantage over your competitors.
Besides, the Samsung Galaxy Store offers a huge advantage over other Android application stores. Indeed, the team in charge of validating published applications performs real functional tests on the Samsung smartphones you target when publishing an application or a game. These quick functional tests are performed taking into account the functionalities you describe for your application.
After these quick functional tests, the validation team can reject your application. The good news is that it will provide you with a complete report on the reasons for this rejection with possibly screenshots of the problem, see a video or even better dumps of the logs of the target smartphone on which the application to crash. This is something quite amazing for a mobile application developer who doesn’t have a big budget to spend on testing on a wide range of smartphones. For this reason alone, you should publish your applications and games on the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Finally, Samsung often highlights applications and games on its store, which will allow you to quickly win users for your creations.
Aptoide is a special Android application store because, unlike the Google Play Store, it does not offer a single, centralized application store. Instead, each user will be able to manage his own application store. Thus, Aptoide is generally presented as an application marketplace software allowing the installation of mobile applications on mobile systems running Android.
Anyway, Aptoide is the largest independent Android application store. More than 1 million applications are available for download, which can take away the benefit of greater visibility for developers. Nevertheless, other advantages should be considered with Aptoide, for example with a potential target of more than 200 million users worldwide. Its independence also allows it to propose innovations frequently to better highlight the work of developers. Thus, the company behind Aptoide launched AppCoins its own cryptomonnaie with the aim of disrupting the Android application awning market via the Blockchain.
AppCoins can be used by users to buy applications or make in-app purchases in applications published on Aptoide. This is something very promising and for that reason alone, every developer must try the Aptoide adventure in my opinion.
Opera Mobile Store
The Opera Mobile Store was launched in March 2011 as a platform-independent browser-based app store for mobile-phone owners and a digital application distribution platform. The application store is used by more than 40K developers around the world, which clearly shows that it is easier to make a place for yourself. In addition, it is widely used in some African and Asian countries, which can allow you to reach a new target with your applications and games.
The Opera Mobile Store also allows you to link to your application on the Google Play Store directly from the application published on its store. So you can also consider a publication on the Opera Mobile Store as a solution to make your application better known on the Google Play Store. In any case, it doesn’t cost much to publish your application on this additional store. So, make it!
SlideMe is an independent Android application store that highlights the work of independent developers like Aptoide. Nevertheless, SlideMe’s approach is somewhat different since SlideMe has a very selective process before accepting a new application on its store. Thus, SlideMe states that more than 60% of the requests published on its store are rejected.
This difficulty to enter the SlideMe store can be seen in two different ways. At first glance, you may think that it is not necessarily worth making the effort to try to be selected if the percentage of rejections is so high. On the other hand, you can see this as an opportunity by telling yourself that because of this high rejection rate, if you pass the selection process, your application or game will be better highlighted among the just 30K applications offered to SlideMe users.
SlideMe therefore remains to be considered for any Android application developer.
F-Droid as an Extra Bonus
As an extra bonus, I would like to mention F-Droid which is the free application store for Android open source applications and deserves to be supported because the initiative is great. If you want to publish an open source Android mobile application, you should publish it on F-Droid to gain visibility.
As a mobile application developer, your work is not just about creating great applications or games. This is only part of your work. Indeed, if you want to generate revenue with your applications and games, you will have to reach as many users as possible. To do this, you will have to work on the ASO part of course but also promote your work.
However, a part too often overlooked by developers is maximizing the exposure of their applications by publishing them on application stores other than the Google Play Store. In this sense, I hope that this article will have enlightened you on the need to also target the 5 other major Android application stores on the market.