A List of Mobile App Stores
At some point, social media was made up of just a few sites. However, over time, several specialty and niche, social media platforms have developed, offering the consumers a wider range of choices. Mobile application stores have also gone through similar transformations. App consumers and creators are no longer confined to the Play and Apple App Stores. Plenty of other options exist, and since they are much less visible than the mentioned two, apps usually are more discoverable through these platforms.
Mobile app stores made for specific industries and niches or specific markets deserve one’s attention if he/she wants better visibility and more downloads. No matter what type of app a brand possesses, it wants people to utilize it in interacting with the brand. Unfortunately, several mobile application stores have closed over the past few years, creating some confusion among consumers and brands. That is why a list of the present mobile app stores is necessary to know where to get to customers in 2020.
Android Versus iOS
It will be apparent that the majority of the app stores in the list below have an exclusive focus on Android gadgets. Several reasons can be given for the imbalance between iOS and Android. Firstly, as of 2019, the market share controlled by Android stood at slightly over 84%. Secondly, Android is much more open platform and is installed in gadgets ranging from the Google Pixel Motorola and LG to Samsung. Moreover, Google Play has specific restrictions and limitations that other stores do not have, making the alternatives more attractive to certain consumer groups. Cydia, one of the few exceptions, is an online app store created primarily for jailbroken iOS gadgets.
App Submission and Listings
Every app store that is about to be shared in this article has different procedures for submitting applications and having them listed in the marketplaces. Some have more limitations than the rest, and a number more concerned with hyper-specific app categories like games. Before one submits their application to an online app store, it is crucial that they read the submission guidelines keenly. Working with experienced developers will make sure that a brand’s app meets all the requirements and can compete well with others of its kind.
The Ultimate App Store List
With the above details clarified, let us get into the list of mobile application stores. We will begin with the big and famous two – Play and Apple App Stores. Afterward, we will talk about the smaller but quite viable alternative for your mobile app.
Google Play Store
Other than apps, this site hosts movies and separate content. It was one of the very first app stores to be created for the mobile platform. It started operating in 2008 and specifically targets Android users. As of December 2008, the platform had at least 2.6 million apps. Even though this store has a strong search engine that makes finding applications easy for users, brands at times lament that their applications get buried in the tons of search results.
Apple App Store
For users of iOS, the Apple App Store is usually the first destination when searching for interesting new apps. According to data from Lifewire, the Apple App Store has more than 2.1 million applications. However, this figure incorporates apps created particularly for the Apple Watch and Apple TV as well as other Apple products. Creating an app that is usable on both iOS and Android devices gives the app a greater discovery potential. Nevertheless, there are about 5.1 million potential competitors in these two app stores. That is why you might want to have your app listed elsewhere.
Samsung Galaxy Apps
Several manufacturers of devices have noticed that they can more fully integrate their customers into their brands by having their own mobile app stores. This app store is one example. Since Samsung has the ability to preload its app store on its manufactured devices, customers always have the applications they need at the touch of a button. This market place has far fewer applications that the Apple and Google Play stores. Therefore, apps in it are more discoverable.
This store is quite similar to that of Samsung Galaxy and is automatically installed on every LG phone that can support it.
Huawei App Store
This mobile app store primarily targets the Chinese market, with a majority of the app descriptions and names done in Chinese characters. It is installed in many Huawei devices and makes it possible for people in nations that cannot reach the Play Store to obtain the apps they need.
Like many of its rivals, the Sony Apps market place is made for individuals with Sony mobile gadgets who desire to make native searches on their devices without having to turn to Google Play. It is geared toward entertainment, but one can find many brand apps that perform other functions.
It is not surprising that Amazon, an e-Commerce giant has ventured into the app space. This app store holds Android applications and is preinstalled on gadgets like the Kindle Fire and the Fire Phone instead of the Play Store. It is vital to acknowledge that consumers take the easiest road to acquiring whatever they need. As such, if the Amazon AppStore is already in their devices, then, they will only download another app store if the Amazon app store does not contain what they are seeking. When customers find the apps of particular brands appealing, they are saved of the trouble of having to download additional stores to their devices. That can help build brand recognition and loyalty. What is more, consumers with any device powered by Android have the ability to download the Amazon AppStore. Going by Amazon’s record in all the sectors it has infiltrated, app developers with listings in this store should expect increased downloads.
Many users of Android prefer Aptoide to the bigger app stores because of its mode of displaying app listings. It is simple to navigate and highly intuitive, making it an appealing option. Moreover, it is just as broad as the rest of the mobile app stores. One can find productivity apps, games, and store apps etcetera in it. Due to its niche-specific nature, it is an excellent choice for a brand with apps.
Consumers with an appreciation for open-source programs feel strongly drawn to this app store. Presently, F-Droid is the only Android app store to provide open-source and free applications in the marketplace. Most brands do not find it ideal because it eliminates any commercialization prospects of the app once in the store. Nonetheless, this store enables users to make personal repositories that might include applications from bands that facilitate features such as tracking of users without pushbacks from the base of users. Assessing the different repositories might take time but it is worth it if a brand wants its app to be available to the maximum possible number of people.
This store’s interface might look a bit dated, but its website’s simplicity makes it popular among both app consumers and developers. It is an open market place that provides applications for Windows, iOS, Android, and other OSs. This special approach makes it dear to many consumers; particularly those who have devices with more than one operating system. For instance, an Android user might have an Apple TV or iPad in his/her home. Over time, the store's open policy has opened it up to individuals who upload virus-infected applications. Provided one has anti-virus software on his/her device and investigates apps before downloading them, he/she should be safe.
Whether you are planning to have your app hosted on this store or not, you should know that it exists. It is specifically meant for moded, hacked, or cracked apps. That means that the applications on this store have been altered to eliminate undesirable elements. If you are worried that your app is on this store, you can launch investigations into the matter and warn your base of users should there be the need.
This is an Android app marketplace. It is undoubtedly the Play Store’s most popularized alternatives and contains both premium and free applications. When it started operating, users lamented about terrible download and installation procedures. Over time, those complaints have declined dramatically. Creators of apps can avail their apps here to hundreds of thousands of users who prefer this store to Google Play.
This store is also specific to Android and hosts apps for the Mac, Ubuntu, and Windows OSs. Regarding mobile applications, it rivals the Play Store in some applications, editorial reviews, and app descriptions. One of the unique selling points of this store is that humans filter all the submitted apps, reducing viruses, malware, and problems of false descriptions. Uptodown only provides free applications; a fact that might make users more likely to look up apps here than on Google Play. Moreover, this store is available worldwide, including in countries like China that cannot access the Play Store.
Although this store mainly offers games, it is totally worth the mention. Several brands have noted that gamification increases their app’s appeal and likelihood to be used, and integrating gameplay into an application can increase its popularity. The amazing thing about Itch.io is that it was made for both consumers and developers; therefore, it beautifully caters for both. Even though it does not have the level of intuitiveness that other stores have, it has some clarity of purpose that makes users like it.
As stated above, this store is different from all the other stores in this list. That is because it is created specifically for jailbroken iOS gadgets. Such devices are unable to access applications from the Apple App Store, thereby leaving Cydia as the only alternative for users of jailbroken phones.
This store was built primarily for developers who wanted to regulate how their content was distributed among users. Therefore, it is a significantly beneficial part of any strategy to market mobile applications.
This store was initially named the Opera Mobile Store and is specific to the Opera browser. It provides mobile application downloads through the web browser instead of through a self-contained application. As a result, it is more beneficial to consumers who exclusively use Opera and are trying to avoid loading their devices with other apps.
This is a browser-based app store and a collection of app promotion devices. Brands can use it to increase the visibility of their apps in various stores as well as increase traffic to their applications.
This store is Android-specific and has existed for many enough years to amass a cult-like following. Even though its main focus is on entertainment and games, it supports a wide variety of applications.
One of the main selling points of this store is that it has rather stringent requirements about the particular apps that are admitted. It aims to offer the highest-quality paid and free apps. Therefore, getting one's app listed on Appolicious can significantly improve its visibility.
This is among the several mobile app stores that focus on entertainment and games but still has a strong selection of applications in other groups. A large number of users make their way to app stores to find games but notice brand-associated and other helpful apps in the process.
This store is structured for both app downloads and launches, which makes it an excellent part of popularizing any mobile application. It provides functionality for iOS, Android, and Windows.
Chinese Market Mobile App Stores
Several app stores have been developed exclusively for the Chinese. Even though people living in China and other states that have no Google Play access can obtain mobile applications through VPNs, many prefer using the Chinese app store. If you intend to use these online app stores, then, developing Chinese-language variants of your application will be necessary. Below are the most popularized app stores in the Chinese market:• Baidu
• Tencent Myapp
• PP Assistant
• Anzhi Market
Of all these, Tencent is arguably the most popular, offering its large user base with hundreds of thousands of excellent-quality applications from all around the globe. Nevertheless, the rest of the app stores have consolidated over time, and even though they are still accessible individually, they actually form part of other markets. This is the part where marketing an online application gest dicey because one does not want his/her app on many competing listings. To avoid this, when looking up app stores, one needs to verify that the parent firm owns any other stores in their list. Many of the Chinese app stores support Android, a few allow for the downloading and distribution of iOS apps, and even fewer are compatible with Windows phones.
Piecing Together a Strategy for App Stores
One does not have to put their app in all available stores. However, distributing it widely can significantly increase download margins. Moreover, when users switch OSs or phones, they would most probably take your app with them since there will be no entry barriers. All the same, it is significant to remember that all the submissions in the universe will not make an app discoverable. The owner has to optimize it for the search for consumers to find it easily.
To do that, one needs to begin with the app's description and app. After that, he/she needs to think about the keywords that users might type on the play store to find the app. Next, they should make sure that they fill every available field through the chosen app store. Specific app stores allow a brand to attach key phrases to the app. As such, one needs to customize the description and create fields specific to the targeted store. A brand can request people who make use of its app through particular app stores to review and rank the app. Many app stores factor in rankings when generating search results. Therefore, one should try not to miss this chance. Lastly, one needs to optimize his/her mages and thumbnails for the chosen app store. Specific ones publish the ideal image ratios to ensure that a brand’s images render appropriately. Stretched or pixelated images turn off clients due to their unprofessional look.
Building a mobile app is just a start. One needs to keep sight of the back end, upload the app to online stores, and adjust it as technology advances. We at Mobirink help eliminate the guesswork from the app creation process and offer an affordable method to have your app availed to the world. Knowing which online app stores are more appealing to one and making sure an app is submitted to the best will help the application spread far. Eventually, a brand wants people to use its application for many years to come. Therefore, they have to make their app unique and easily available to users, and regularly make changes to it.
Which mobile app stores appeal to you most and why?