The Apple app store is slated to have 5 million apps on its digital shelves by 2020.This means that even the best apps will have to work really hard to stand out from the competition. Increasingly, developers are pursuing app store alternatives for marketing their apps.
Just like Coke and Pepsi aren’t the only drinks on the market, Apple and Google aren’t the only shops in business. There are some great alternative markets that put developers first. They help to promote those truly great apps that don’t have huge financial backing.
What’s great about app store alternatives is the possibility to build a community with other developers and cross-promote. Some stores also give developers a bigger cut of the pie than Apple or Google, with all their spending on redesigns and ads.
If you’re looking for new channels for publishing your content to apps, try these 10 marketplaces that are giving Apple and Google a run for their money.
1. Amazon Appstore
Amazon has gotten into the app market with their Appstore. Just like Amazon has done in every other industry, they’re sure to take a piece of the market from competitors Google and Apple in no time.
If you have a Fire Phone, Kindle Fire or any Android device running Fire OS, you’ll see a lot of options on Amazon’s store. In just a year or more, you’ll start seeing a version of just about every major app that runs smoothly on Fire OS.
For developers that create HTML5 or web apps, there’s the option to publish apps through the store. With constant exponential growth, Amazon’s store is zooming past the Windows store on its way to hosting a million apps.
2. 1Mobile Market
If you’re trying to build a big customer base for your free app, this is the market for you. They only host free apps, making this store all about the users.
Developers can also use 1Mobile to test out betas and free versions of paid apps. Each app is required to meet security and code test criteria to gain a place on the site. This keeps malware at a minimum and quality at a high level.
They have a built-in recommendation system which helps apps to gain an audience as soon as they hit the marketplace. There are hundreds of thousands of apps on this site, making it a great place to see what other developers are up to.
3. Samsung Galaxy Apps
Android’s number one manufacturer, Samsung, now has its own app store. While there aren’t as many available apps as other stores, it means that apps that make it to this store can get a lot more attention.
If you have a Samsung Galaxy phone, likely the app store is automatically installed. That means the Galaxy App Store has one of the biggest potential customer bases on the planet.
This is an app store that operates a lot like a social network. They’ve got millions of users who comment and share their apps just like Facebook posts. You can publish here for free.
With interconnectedness of the users, you can build a great brand authority on Mobile9 very fast.
There’s still a relatively small number of developers using this site, so getting in now means that you’ll definitely get your app noticed. This can be big for a new company or an app that you’re not yet confident in.
5. Opera Mobile Store
This is one of the biggest marketplaces for apps in Russia. The Opera Mobile Store is linked to Yandex, with all of their apps offered there. This makes it one of the most heavily trafficked app store alternatives out there.
They get millions of downloads a day, all without charging developers a penny for listings. They take 30% of your sales but for the number of sales your app could see, the Opera Mobile Store could definitely be worth the cost.
Mobango is one of few app store alternatives that have a customer base numbering into the millions. While it has a small number of apps currently listed, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
With little competition, you could get to the front of the pack very quickly. And if there are sales, you lose no percentage at all.
On top of that, uploads are 100% free.
7. Soc.io Mall
If you’re looking to list a wide range of different kinds of apps, Soc.io Mall is the place for developers like you. It’s a bit of a catch-all for all kinds of apps that will soon include music, video, and audiobook apps.
Uploads are totally free for developers. They have a deeply dedicated base of customers although still relatively small. This is why they only take a 20% cut in your sales.
8. Getjar Apps
Getjar has been in the app store world for years. Because of this, it’s super well known and trusted. They offer free listings but also offer a lot of apps that have ads and annoying notifications.
Because of the number of gems still kicking around this site, you should definitely publish here. Building a following here is important because of the years of trust built into the company.
9. Slide ME
This is another one of the older app store alternatives with a dedicated and huge user base. Slide ME allows for browser-based as well as mobile apps.
They offer a great opportunity for Android developers to really see how their apps move out there in the marketplace. Don’t expect to make millions but expect useful feedback.
AndAppOnline is one of the boutique app store alternatives with apps offered by independent producers. They mostly host free apps, though you see paid ones listed from time to time.
This is another great marketplace to test out betas and see how users respond.
App Store Alternatives Are Booming
With so many potential places to publish your app, you should probably use as many as possible.
Each has a unique kind of user base and you could benefit from getting feedback from them all.
If you’re still trying to figure out which store is best for your app, contact us. We want to see your app succeed as much as you do!