15

I'm searching for an alternative Google Play Store app/client.

Don't get me wrong: I don't want an alternative "app market", I want an alternative Play Store client for Android.

That means I want to have the same app collection as in Google Play Store. And all apps come from / load directly from Google Play Store. All apps have to come from Google servers. And the app has to do the same things as the Google Play Store app.

A similar example would be: I'm a customer from GMX Mail, but I don't want to install the GMX Mail app client on my phone. So I install another e-mail client app. Now I receive the same GMX emails from the same GMX server with an other e-mail client.

My problem is: I want to use my Android phone without a Google account, so I have disabled all my Google services. Now I'm installing all apps via an APK downloader, which is very hard, especially for daily app updates. So is there an app which downloads, installs, uninstalls and updates all my apps/APKs, like the Google Play Store app?

P.S.: The alternative store does not have to work with apps which cost money. I only need it for free apps.

6

There are several alternative clients available. Like unique_id in his answer, my first recommendation would be AppBrain App Market.

But speaking about Android without Google, this probably won't work at all: AppBrain depends on the Google Play Store app when it comes to download the *.apk and install the app.


As I've pointed out in my article series on this topic (linked above), this is where the NOGAPPS project comes into play. It offers e.g. the BlankStore app, which is a "naked" variant of the Google Playstore App – stripped down to the essentials: You can search the Playstore, you can install free apps and those you already have bought (you cannot, however, use it to buy apps – that you'd have to do e.g. via the Web frontent of the store itself), and you can check for updates to apps you have installed (actively; there are no update notifications).

In addition to that, I'd recommend to install StripSearch – which offers additional features when searching for apps: you can tell it what permissions the searched app should not have, and it limits the result set accordingly:

StripSearch StripSearch StripSearch StripSearch
StripSearch (source: Google Play; click images for larger variants)

And not only that, as the screenshots show: you can modify filter presets and create your own, you also can set a price limit, and more.


That's the combination I use on my "Google-free devices", and it works perfectly: license validation for payed apps included (via BlankStore that is), installing/updating apps, all that. Additionally I'm using F-Droid, and download *.apk files from the safe "Apps" repository on Aptoide (see How safe is it to use Aptoide? on our sister-site Android.SE). Only thing I miss on those devices is Google Cloud Messaging – as without that the Stack Exchange app doesn't notify me of events like new answers to my questions, or a comment addressed to me. For accessing the Google Play Store without using any of the GApps, to my knowledge there is no better combination. Though, as you've already figured, you could also use AppBrain as front-end: I've not tested this, but I guess it would then use BlankStore for installs/updates – as BlankStore poses to be PlayStore (all NOGAPPS apps emulate the Google APIs, so this should work).

  • Really a usefull one, I've downloaded BlankStore app and created play store id using the method mentioned in the NOGAPPS thread in XDA (right now my mobile is not in my hand), So just an Installation and applying the credintials are enough in BlankStore or what ? – w͏̢in̡͢g͘̕ed̨p̢͟a͞n͏͏t̡͜͝he̸r̴ Apr 18 '15 at 7:21
  • @unique_id yes (including the ANDROID_ID used by GServices – not to confuse with the "normal ANDROID_ID). Looks a bit barebone: when started, you see an empty screen and might thing it's not working – but that's why it's called Blank Store :) You've got to search for something, or let it show your apps already in use. No introductional ad screens etc. But as it even uses the package name of the Playstore app, it should play well together with AppBrain. Have you tried? – Izzy Apr 18 '15 at 9:35
  • not yet, am at work now btw does it work with Android 5.0.1 ? – w͏̢in̡͢g͘̕ed̨p̢͟a͞n͏͏t̡͜͝he̸r̴ Apr 18 '15 at 9:45
  • I can't tell – don't have any device running Lollipop yet. But I don't see why it shouldn't. – Izzy Apr 18 '15 at 9:52
  • ok well am using a device running 5.0.1,I'll try to install and tell you – w͏̢in̡͢g͘̕ed̨p̢͟a͞n͏͏t̡͜͝he̸r̴ Apr 18 '15 at 9:54
2

Am using AppBrain App Market as an alternative for Play Store

because

The best way to find new apps in Google Play (Android market). Make the Android market usable, and find your next favorite app, live wallpaper or widget:

  • App recommendations
  • New and hot apps of the day
  • Find top Android apps with a price drop
  • Share your best apps (eg twitter/facebook)
  • Tracks market update: notifies of updates available
  • Fast uninstaller
  • Browse "my apps" on www.appbrain.com and install apps with a sync instead of barcode scanner
  • Keep your list of installed apps as a backup on AppBrain.com AppBrain is the best way to discover top Android apps in the Android market and to manage your apps. The recommended apps helper provides recommendations based on what you already use. We also have recommended games. It does not work with the Amazon app store. The manage apps is like a killer file explorer / task manager for your already installed apps:
  • Start app, Quick uninstaller, share to Facebook
  • Fast sync widget to access AppBrain from the desktop and backup your apps to the cloud
  • app2sd functionality to move apps to sd (app 2 sd)
  • Find market update: notifies you of any updates available Discover cool apps and top games in the Android market:
  • sort by hot apps today, hot apps this week, highest rated apps, price drops etc
  • Filter apps by free apps, paid apps, price reduced apps, app2sd enabled apps, new apps
  • Fast search over the entire Android market
  • Unlike applanet or black market, these are only legal apps.

AppBrain is the best app market and app discovery tool for Android apps from the Android Market. It allows you to easily find the best apps in the Market, the free apps and downloads, the price drops, live wallpaper, widgets and much more.

  • @User43983 I was just writing my answer while you've posted your comment. Thanks for pointing out search indeed works without GServices – but in fact, AppBrain relies on the Google Play Store app to install/update apps. Working alternative in my answer :) – Izzy Apr 17 '15 at 10:36
0

Times are changing, and 3 years have passed – so let me add another candidate: YalpStore. Fits all your criteria:

  • no need to have a Google account configured on your device
  • can access Play Store anonymously for free apps (using a pre-configured account)
  • can access it with your credentials (if you provide them) for free and paid apps
  • no need for another app to download/install

YalpStore YalpStore

You need once to install the app from F-Droid, as well as get its updates there, though. I'm using it on my Google-free devices for a while (as BlankStore stopped working and is no longer maintained), it works reliably.

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