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Alternatives to Google's Marketplace - Where can I download an...

Alternatives to Google’s Marketplace

If you are one of the thousands of people who have purchased an Android Tablet without Google’s Marketplace, you know how frustrating it can be. Access to Google’s official Marketplace makes it a breeze to be able to download and update your apps. The Marketplace is a major feature that quite a lot of people want on their tables. It’s one of the biggest selling points for the Apple iPad. This is all fine and dandy unless you do not have access to Google’s Marketplace. At this point a lot of people do not know what to do, or how to download apps. Below is a list of alternative market’s that you are able to download apps. Plus I will explain how you can install an APK, and what an APK is.

The SlideMe Market

SlideMe is an alternative market that has been around since 2007. It hosts 1,000’s of apps, that are able to be download via their own app that you can download through their website, or by directly downloading and installing their own APK (which I’ll explain at the end of this article). This is a unique market as it not only has popular apps, it also focuses on lesser known, and independent developers. Therefore you get access the biggest and badest apps, plus access to very good lesser known apps.

GetJar

GetJar has proclaimed itself the “Second largest app website” on the Internet just behind Apple’s App Store. That is because GetJar doesn’t just host Android apps, but apps for the Blackberry, WindowsOS, iPhone, and Symbian platforms. It’s very easy to just filter down just Android apps by typing in Droid2 under the search. Due to GetJar being so populuar it was one of the first places that you could download AngryBird from even before it was released on Google’s Marketplace. There is a good mix of free and paid apps and games on GetJar.

1Mobile Market

This is a 100% app driven market just like Google’s Market. Their website is only setup so you can download it app. Once the app is installed you will have access to 1,000’s of free and paid games/apps at your finger tips. This is a very easy and quick app to navigate and download from.

AndAppStore

Not one of the best markets on the Internet, but it does come installed on a lot of Chinese tablets. They host roughly 500, most free apps, and some very basic games. I only include this market, as it does come pre-installed on quite a lot of tablets.

AndroLib

AndroLib has been around about 2 ½ years, and claims to have over 103,000 games and apps for Android. The best thing to do is visit their website, register, and then you get access to all of the apps and games that they host. You are also able to use a QR Code Scanner app to download games from your camera to your tablet.

AndroidTapp

At first this was strictly an Android Review Website, but it has expanded to hosting android apps. They bost over 100,000 apps and games that you can search their website for specific ones. AndroidTapp will allow you to download the apps via their website through QR Code, Google Marketplace, AppBrain, and AndroLib’s application.

The Android Arcade

This is a newcomer to Android apps, and what makes it very interesting is it’s FaceBook integration. They host roughly 40,000 apps that FaceBook users are able to rate, review, and download. If you have a FaceBook account (who doesn’t?) I recommend checking out their application and see what they have. Instant download is very easy to setup.

What is an APK and what do I do with them?

An APK is an Android Package file, which is the official format of Android apps. Any type of app or game that you install will be in this format (i.e .apk). Even the apps that you download from the market’s above, all these files are downloaded in .apk file format. The problem happens when you cannot find a certain app in any of these markets, but do find the APK file hosted on another website. When this happens you have install the APK file directly from a website, or download to your computer and load it from your SDcard.

From a website is quite easy actually… you simply download the APK file from the website and Android will automatically install it. There really isn’t much involved here, as simply as clicking on the link, and once downloaded install.

The other way is to download the file to your computer, then transfer the APK file to your SDcard on your tablet. To do this simply connect your tablet to your computer via its USB-mini, or USB cable. Once connected, simply move the file on over, then disconnect the USB-mini or USB cable.