Google’s Android Market doesn’t necessarily have the market cornered for droid apps anymore. If you are one of the masses who prefer Android technology over the iPhone… listen up! Here are just 5 alternatives to Google’s Android Market… and more are springing up every day.
If you decided to explore these markets you must first ready your device to accept applications from new sources. The factory settings for most Android devices block you from installing apps from other sources than the Android Market. Inside the device settings you must open “Applications” and enable the “Unknown Sources” options; this will open your device to a world beyond Google’s control.
Not even a year old and yet, this is probably the best know alternative to the Android Market. Know for offering one super “free” app a day – however, some of these freebie apps expire after time – it is packed full of both paid and free apps. When the top 100 paid apps between Google and Amazon’s platforms were recently compared by the analytics firm, Distimo , it was revealed that apps on Amazon cost about 40 percent less. Google’s average price was about $3.76, while Amazon was a cheaper $2.24. The biggest drawback for Amazon’s Appstore is that it is only available in the United States.
GetJar is available everywhere and touts itself as the world’s largest free app store, with over 2 billion downloads served. GetJar’s “Gold Apps” sections add new apps on a weekly basis; many of the apps on their Gold list would cost you money at other venues.
AppBrain takes a social approach to the app business. It recommends apps based on what you already have loaded on your smart phone and lets you friend people to discover what their favorite apps are. You can even view what apps are hot this week, today or what is currently popular in the United States.
Lesser know SlideMe’s philosophy is simple: one app store can’t reach everyone, everywhere. They focus on niche markets based on geographic locations, payment methods or even the type of applications that users can’t find on traditional platforms.
After purchasing the app store Handster in 2011, Opera built a link into their browser that takes their users directly to their app offerings. The store not only supports Android, but also Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian and Java applications.
With so many different offerings out there for the Android it will be interesting to see how Google reacts to all these alternative markets as they continue to battle Apple for smartphone dominance