Last summer the Google Play Store surpassed the Apple App Store in number of apps, with over 1.6 million apps available for download. That’s impressive by itself, but even more impressive and surprising is the fact that there are many awesome Android apps that aren’t available in the Play Store.

So if you’re looking for a secret app that none of your friends have discovered yet, here are 5 that you won’t find in the official Play Store. 

Get your device ready for greatness

Since these apps aren’t installed from the official store, you need to enable installing apps from Unknown Sources on your phone. To do that go to Settings > Security and make sure this option is turned on:

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unknown sources

By default, “Unknown Sources” is turned off, like in the screenshot above.

Once you do that you can enjoy these awesome apps:

5 must-have Android apps not on Play

#1: Ad-Away

adaway

I’ve been using ad blockers on my PC browser for so long that I forgot how the internet actually looks.

Now, whenever I browse a page with ads I’m constantly shocked how little space for actual content there is on websites and how difficult it is to find the freakin’ download button among all the phony ones.

If you’re like me and you want a clean browsing experience for your phone, Ad-Away is the app to get.

For some reason, ad blockers aren’t allowed on Google Play, so you have to get Ad-Away from elsewhere, preferably the official site here. Be warned that the app requires you to root your phone if you want to use it.

Get it here, requires root.

#2: Amazon App Store

amazon store for apps

 

Store-ception! It’s not hard to figure out why the Amazon App Store isn’t available on Google Play: they just don’t want any competition.

Amazon’s store contains many of the apps that you would normally find on Google’s app market, but they have frequent offers that give you free or discounted stuff.

In fact, Amazon has a daily spotlight for free apps, and you can use them just like you’d use your other apps, no strings attached.

Get it here, doesn’t require root.

#3: TubeMate

tubemate

 

The official YouTube app is awesome, but it has its fair share of flaws. For one, you can’t listen to a song on YouTube with the screen off, which is a recipe for battery drain that’ll leave you without a phone at noon.

Also, you can’t download movies or save them for offline view – that’s fine as long as you have your phone connected to the internet, but if you want to save some videos for a non-WiFi zone then you might as well use your phone as a paperweight.

TubeMate is a better YouTube alternative. It used to be available in the Play Store but it was taken down a while back. Now, you can get it here and enjoy all the features YouTube is missing, like saving videos to your phone.

Get it here, doesn’t require root.

#4: Humble Bundle

humble bundle for android phones

 

The Humble Bundle is a bunch of apps mostly made by indie developers (although not limited to them), where you pay what you want to get the bundle.

There are a couple of thresholds –  for instance, paying more than the average will unlock even more games – but all in all you’ll pay a couple of bucks for 6-8 games, depending on the current offer.

You have the option of getting the .apk files individually from the Humble Bundle site, or get them all from the dedicated app.

Get it here, doesn’t require root.

#5: QuickLyric

quicklyric

I don’t know why some apps aren’t in the Play Store, especially since they don’t seem to be breaking any rules. QuickLyric is the perfect example: it’s a simple app that shows you the lyrics to songs. That’s it.

QuickLyric has a great design, it’s simple to use, lightning fast and it does one job well. It’s worth picking up and having it on your phone when you need to know a lyric and are too lazy to Google it.

Get it here, doesn’t require root.

What’s Next: The death of app stores everywhere

Technophiles are shying away from the same old apps everyone else has. That’s why in the future we’re going to see more and more apps available from smaller indie developers and vendors.

Any apps downloaded from mainstream outlets like the App Store or Google Play will be hidden in secret compartments on your device where no one else can see them and make fun of you for them.

What’s your must-have app that’s not on Google Play?

Image sources: nullmag.com, engadget.com, osmdroid.net, techtweetz.com, drippler.com

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