If you are into tech, you are undoubtedly aware that Android is an open source platform, giving its users a lot more flexibility compared to iOS.
One of those flexibilities, which is actually quite useful, is the ability to install third-party apps, reducing reliance on the Google Play Store. This is not technically recommended, considering that the Google store has endless applications and is much more secure, but if your phone does not support Google services or if you just don’t want to use the Play Store, we will list some alternatives.
For the curious, there are two main ways to install third-party apps without using the Google Play Store. One is to use third-party app stores, such as Amazon’s app store, while the other is to install APKs from websites for your favorite apps. We are going to list the two ways to install apps in this article.
Here’s how to install APKs
The first method is to install APKs through websites. This might not be the best method as it comes with some security risks, but as long as you download the app from a reputable site, say APKMirror, you will be fine. The process itself is pretty basic and will be easy even for newer users.
The first step is to navigate to the website of your choice for installing the APK, where you will have a choice of several different apps.
Choose a specific app and download it. Go to your Downloads folder and click on the downloaded file to start the download process on your smartphone.
After that, the operating system, Android will ask you to grant permission to the file browser or web browser. Once you have granted permission for the same, you will be returned to the installation screen.
With this the application will be installed. You can go and check the app in your app drawer, where it shows up as a normal app, appearing in the app drawer by default and starting up fine.
However, some apps may also not install on your smartphone for compatibility reasons. Many apps with internet permissions may also continue to require the installation of the latest version from the Google Play Store in order to function.
Method 2: third-party app stores
The second method to install third-party apps without relying on the Play Store is to use third-party app stores. Some of the most popular include the Amazon App Store and F-Droid.
The former is used in Windows 11, which increases its security and reliability since a company like Microsoft uses it. To download an app through such a store, follow the given steps.
First, install the store of your choice. Once done, surf the app to choose an app to download. After that, download and install the app in the same way as the Play Store.
You’ll need to grant app permissions to do this, so if you get a prompt, check the same. Older versions of Android will need to enable the Install from Unknown Sources option to ensure a proper download.
Once done, you should be able to open your new app and enjoy it just like you would on the Play Store. Most of these apps are available on the Play Store, but if for some reason you don’t like Google’s option, then these two methods will replace you.