According to Google, there were 65 billion app installs from the Play Store in the last one year. The Google Play Store has grown to be what Google envisaged and more. It keeps on getting better and the quality of applications on the Android platform is much better now than it was say four or five years ago. While that is the case, there are still a couple of really awesome applications that are noticeably absent from the Play Store.
Most of these applications are not present on the Play Store because they violate the laid terms and conditions. This may be because of either the permissions they require to operate, their mode of operation or the nature of their content. Google has strict guidelines that are meant to ensure quality apps make it to the Play Store while at the same time not breaking any laws. As such, applications that are popular for streaming content ranging from movies, TV shows and live TV broadcasts are likely not to be on the Play Store unless they are published by the owners of such content.
Below, you will find several applications that come in handy for various tasks ranging from streaming live TV to downloading YouTube videos to getting other applications. Do note, however, that using some of these applications may be in violation of some local laws. Also, rooting, which may be necessary for some of the applications below to work as intended, should only be done when one knows exactly what they are doing. We won’t take any responsibility for bricked devices and any other aftermath of such actions.
By downloading content from places other than Google Play, you are at risk of having your Android device infected with malware. While the Play Store is not 100% immune from malware as has been revealed time and again, it remains the safest place for downloading and installing applications without having to look over your shoulder. Google scans over 8 billion apps on the Play Store for malware on a daily basis remember? User discretion is advised when accessing content from third party stores, sites and portals like the ones referenced in this article.
Mobdro is the one application that everyone who loves live sports or live TV of any kind should have installed on their Android device. NBA conferences, La Liga, the English Premier League, Formula 1, Wimbledon, MTV Base, CNN… name them. They are all easily accessible through Mobdro.
Tubemate provides access to video content on various websites including YouTube and makes it easy to download the same.
Videoder is much like Tubemate and does pretty much the same thing.
In the case of YouTube video downloads, apps like Tubemate and Videoder have been necessary over the years since there was simply no official way to access content while offline. Today, there is a way. A lot of YouTube content bar the obvious like music videos, can be saved for offline viewing.
Videomix is the Tubemate and Videoder of movies and TV shows only. Content is picked from a variety of sources and made available for streaming from any Android device.
5. Adblock Plus
While you can get the Adblock browser on the Play Store, you can’t get the main Adblock application (though one that works with the Samsung browser is available). It used to be available until it was pulled by Google because, well, it was blocking Google ads as well as violating several Play Store terms. The same is the case for other ad blockers like Ad Away.
However, Adblock and other ad blocking applications are rather controversial since even for us some of the compensation we get is as a result of the adverts you see on this site. Then again everyone accessing websites deserves some peace without having pop-ups everywhere. It is a tough balancing act but until we have better ad models in place, the likes of Adblock Plus will still exist and there’s no way we can run away from that fact.
6. Amazon App Store
The Amazon app store is a great place for getting free premium apps though, unlike the Play Store, you won’t be in the fast ring to get all the updates that other users are getting directly since most application developers prioritize the Play Store.
The Amazon app store used to be available on the Play Store (baked inside the main Amazon app) but Google kicked it out in December 2014 because it violated its terms (app store in an app store? LOL).
Amazon offers a free premium app daily and once in a while it has huge juicy offers so having the Amazon app store installed is almost a no-brainer.
Amazon app store is being replaced by an even better app, Amazon Underground. Underground is the Amazon app store on steroids with even better deals and it is what Amazon will push to you when you go looking for the old app store app package to download and install. Sadly, though, Underground and the many free premium apps it comes with is only available in a few countries so its content is pretty much restricted in most regions. Your best bet at accessing quality apps outside the Play Store still lies with the old Amazon app store.
F-droid takes pride in being the largest free and open source software (FOSS) app store. By being an alternative avenue to get apps, it most certainly can’t be in the Play Store.
Alternative app stores like Amazon’s, which we have just looked at above, will try to sell you some content. What if you just want free apps that are open source? F-droid provides just that. As a result, you will still get popular free open source software like the Firefox browser while still getting other apps. F-droid’s content is still limited at the moment but it is sure to grow since it has been around for a while and users are discovering it daily.
8. Xposed Framework Installer
The Xposed framework is every root power user’s heaven. Up until Xposed came in place, you needed to flash different custom ROMs in order to experience the different features and functionality they offer. Today, thanks to the framework, you don’t have to flash custom ROMs just to get a handful of features that could be simply incorporated in your current firmware by use of modules.
9. Lucky Patcher
Lucky Patcher is an application that allows users to modify already installed Android apps to achieve different goals. These can be bypassing Google’s strict Play Store license verification check that app developers often invoke to make sure that pirated apps can be detected and blocked or even removing Google ads from apps. Now you know why you will never see it on the Play Store don’t you?
Early last year, WhatsApp started cracking the whip on unofficial third party clients. That resulted in several WhatsApp users losing access to their accounts after being banned for using applications like WhatsApp+ and others. That has not deterred fans of WhatsApp+ from using the application. Newer versions of the app even promise not to get users banned.
WhatsApp+’s main attraction is the several features like themes that it adds to the standard WhatsApp experience. Even though WhatsApp is trying so hard to be cool lately, its standard application is still not a match to some of these third party apps which you can’t find anywhere on the Play Store.
What apps do you use on your Android device(s) that are currently not available on the Google Play Store?