Top 5 Alternative App Stores: Pros and Cons
For every app owner it is very challenging to launch the app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store, the main mobile app markets with over 5 million apps on both stores as you can see in the chart below published by Statista a couple of months ago. But what can you do? You have to be where your users are. Wait! There is something you can do when you want to reach more users than the ones that already search on the above mentioned stores to refresh their app list. In addition to the steps required for uploading your app on Play Store and App Store try to make a little effort and to publish your app also on one of the alternative app stores. Maybe they aren’t as popular as the main markets but there are plenty of reasons to consider them for reaching more users than you have right now.
5 Of The Best Alternative App Stores
There is a plethora of app stores where you can upload your app, but we will present only 5 of the most well seen platforms available at the moment.
SlideMe is one of the most appreciated app markets besides the standard ones.
Platform – it is an alternative for Android developers;
Price Info – you can upload the app for free but it takes 20% for each purchase inside the app;
Key Stats – it is considered the second largest market for Android apps after Google Play Store and it features on more than 20 million Android devices;
Pro And Cons – the advantage of this platform is that it can be a good solution for paid apps since you can use PayPal or Amazon for financial transactions. The back drawn is the long period developers have to wait until the app is approved.
1Mobile Market can be the right choice for you if you are a game developer.
Platform – it accepts only Android apps;
Price Info – it was created only for free apps and you don’t need to spend anything for uploading your app here, but in case you are setting in-app purchases the revenue split is 70 / 30;
Key Stats – it has more than 800 thousand apps and over 100 million installs;
Pro And Cons – the main advantage is the rigorous process of selection for all the apps so it has only high quality apps. Moreover, the apps are listed according to a popularity system so you need to promote your app in order to make it visible on this market.
Mobile9 is similar to a real community where all users comment and share impressions about the apps installed.
Platform – it is an alternative for Android developers;
Price Info – it costs nothing to publish on Mobile9;
Key Stats – it has 40 millions of active users, 30 thousand developers and more than 200 million installs every month;
Pro And Cons – the advantage is the big number of customers and the low number of developers registered on the platform; the disadvantage is that your app will generate many discussions.
F – Droid is a site for publishing free apps managed by volunteers and it accepts donations.
Platform – Android developers can publish their apps on F – Droid;
Price Info – it is free to upload an app;
Key Stats – F – Droid counts more than 100 thousand users;
Pro And Cons – the main benefit is a big user base but the disadvantage is that it doesn’t allow apps with ads so if you want to monetize it than it is not the right platform for you. Also, you should know that you have to offer your app as open source if you want to be published on this platform. Another difference from the main markets is that it doesn’t contain screenshots and the app descriptions are written by platform owners, not by developers.
GetJar is considered one of the biggest alternative markets available.
Platform – this market is suitable more for Android apps but it accepts also iOS apps.
Price Info – it doesn’t charge for uploading an app;
Key Stats – GetJar has at least 350 thousand apps uploaded by 395 developers for 30 million users;
Pro And Cons – the main advantage of using Getjar is that it offers virtual currency for users who download apps and they can use GetJar Gold for buying premium apps or even in Google Play Store and in Amazon. Another benefit is the recommendation service for choosing an app. The bad part is that many bad apps were observed on this platform.
Benefits Of Entering Alternative App Stores
As we were saying there are some big advantages provided by alternative app stores. We are making a list and writing it down for you.
- Wider Distribution: Some markets are focused on specific regions where Google Play Store and Apple App Store don’t provide their services.
- Niche Audience: Other app stores like the ones built by great companies such as Samsung or Lenovo offer special advantages for their own products. Each platform has its own characteristics and many users are loyal to those sites.
- Testing Opportunity: If you want to be sure about the success of your app, a soft launch is the solution of your concern. Of course, the place where you can find your first users can be considered one of the secondary markets.
- Better Discovery: Even if the number of users is a lot smaller on alternative markets you can be sure that your target audience will observe your app in its category.
How To Choose The Right Store?
There are many app stores all over the internet but not all of them are suitable for your app. Let’s see some criteria when it comes to choosing one alternative market that fits your interest.
Always keep in mind that not all platforms are correct and there are many hidden interests beyond the fact that you present your app to a group of users. Don’t upload your creation on any site before studying each market to avoid any risk.
There are more app stores that accept Android apps than the ones created for iOS developers. Furthermore, some markets offer different advantages for programmers. This way their work is a lot easier.
It is important to check the prices before anything else even if many of the available markets allow app owners to showcase their work for free. You should also consult the agreement for revenue split in case you want to release an app with in-app purchases.
There are platforms concentrated on games; others are created for adult apps or some sites are focused on creating a community for mobile apps. There is room for everybody and you just have to find your niche.
While some platforms are more user-friendly, others want to help developers and provide more solutions for them. You need to make smart decisions because you don’t want to struggle with some conditions imposed by different sites.
The fact that alternative markets aren’t so known can be seen as an advantage for app owners who want to make their app visible for their users. After you follow the official guidelines and you launch your app on big stores you should also consider the opportunities offered by smaller markets for increasing its discoverability.