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There are well over a million apps in the Play Store, covering just about every topic imaginable. But there are others that haven’t made it into Google’s app store for one reason or another, and some of them are well worth investigating.

These apps are easy to install How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android How to Manually Install or Side Load Apps on Android Sideloading a file onto your Android device is easy, and we can show you how to do it. Read More , so long as you know where to find them. Remember that in most cases you won’t be alerted when they are updated, so it’s a good idea to check back with the download location from time to time to ensure you’re always running the latest version.

Now, let’s take a look at the best apps you won’t find in the Play Store.

Amazon Underground

The official Amazon app is one of the most popular shopping apps on the Play Store 5 Amazing Amazon Shopping Tips You Probably Haven't Discovered 5 Amazing Amazon Shopping Tips You Probably Haven't Discovered These great Amazon features aren't used every day, but they should be. Read More , with tens of millions of downloads. But if you’re still using it instead of the Amazon Underground app, you’re missing out.

amazon underground

Download Amazon Underground direct from Amazon instead, and you’ll get the real deal. This app gives you all the usual shopping features along with access to the Amazon Appstore. More importantly, it includes Underground Apps, a selection of $20,000 worth of apps, games, and in-app purchases available for free.

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With choice picks ranging from some of the best Android games 10 Best Free Android Games of the Year 10 Best Free Android Games of the Year Did you miss out on an Android game that you should be playing? Our end-of-year roundup is a handy checklist to know what your thumbs should be tapping on. Read More like Monument Valley, Threes!, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, to powerful productivity suites like Office Suite Professional (normally $14.99), Amazon Underground is essential for all Android users.

Amazon Video

Once you’ve got Amazon Underground installed, you can also download Amazon Video.

amazon video

This enables you to watch your Amazon Prime Instant Video subscription 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More on any Android phone or tablet. Without it, access to the streaming service is limited to Amazon’s own Fire tablets and Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

Humble Bundle

Another way to get paid games on the cheap, Humble Bundle offers regular bundles of games at a price that you set yourself.

humble bundle

Each bundle consists of ten games. You get three if you pay more than a dollar; seven if you pay more than the average price across all users; an eighth for paying more than $6; and two more get unlocked once the total revenue for the bundle reaches a certain level.

When you make a purchase, you also get to choose how your money is used — you can split it between the game developers, a charity of your choice, and Humble Bundle itself.

You can download the Humble Bundle app direct to your device, which you can use to download and update your purchased games, but you must buy them through the website first.

Real Money Poker Apps

If poker’s your thing 7 Best Casino and Poker Games for Android 7 Best Casino and Poker Games for Android Looking to play poker or other casino games on Android? You've come to the right place. Read More , you won’t find it on the Play Store. Or, at least, none of the official apps from real money services. While they’re prevalent on Apple’s App Store, Android users need to sideload them.

Virtually all popular poker services have mobile apps, including PokerStars.

pokerstars

They’re not always easily found on their respective websites, but a simple Google search will help you locate the Android app for your chosen service. Just be sure to only download it from the official site, and not anywhere else.

Xposed Framework Installer

The Xposed Framework Installer is the must-have app for rooted Android phones Customize Your Phone Without Flashing a ROM With The Xposed Framework Customize Your Phone Without Flashing a ROM With The Xposed Framework It is common knowledge that the best way to customize your Android device is to flash it with a new ROM. It is also wrong. Read More . It gives apps — or modules, as they’re called — the ability to make system-level changes to your device, of the kind you would have previously needed to flash a custom ROM to achieve.

xposed

Installing Xposed on Android 4.4 (or lower) devices is as simple as installing an APK file; on 5.0 Lollipop and higher it requires an extra step.

tasker

Xposed Modules customize, tweak, and enhance your phone in pretty much every way imaginable. Some of the best Xposed Modules 12 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Android 6.0 Marshmallow 12 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Android 6.0 Marshmallow These Xposed modules can seriously customize and improve your Android phone or tablet, even if it's running the newest Android 6.0 Marshmallow! Read More , including the permissions manager XPrivacy, can be downloaded through the Play Store. Others, such as the awesome GravityBox GravityBox Vs XBlast: Which Is The Best All-Purpose Xposed Module? GravityBox Vs XBlast: Which Is The Best All-Purpose Xposed Module? Out of the two great all-purpose Xposed modules for customizing your rooted Android device, which is the best? Read More , need to be installed separately.

Tasker (Extended Trial)

Tasker is one of the most powerful apps available for Android, and it is available through the Play Store. However, this automation tool has a very steep learning curve and isn’t something you can properly evaluate within Google’s 2-hour refund window.

So, before you choose to buy it, head over to the Tasker website and grab the trial version. It lasts for seven days, and you can even uninstall and reinstall it to extend your trial period further.

For a head start, check out our guide to using Tasker Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim Tasker For Android: A Mobile App That Caters to Your Every Whim When it comes to device automation, there's just one 900-lb gorilla in the Android space, and that's Tasker. True, Llama is an awesome free automation app, but it doesn't aim for Tasker's full power. Tasker... Read More .

MiXPlorer

MiXPlorer is a true hidden Android gem.

It is as comprehensive a file explorer as you can get, with a powerful search function, support for compressed file formats, integration with 19 cloud providers, built-in image and media players. Plus it has a text editor, full root capabilities, and lots more — all wrapped up in a customizable, Material-inspired design Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More .

mixplorer

It’s completely free, and must be downloaded from the official support thread at xda-developers. The app continues to get updated on a regular basis too.

CF.lumen

If you struggle to get a good night’s sleep, there’s a chance your smartphone use is to blame. Phone and tablet screens emit blue light at a frequency that tricks our brains into thinking it’s still daytime.

Short of not using your phone after sunset, the solution can be to use an app that filters the harmful blue light. It should help you sleep better and will reduce eyestrain as well.

cflumen_red

The best blue-light filtering app for Android Get a Good Night's Sleep by Filtering Your Phone's Blue Light Get a Good Night's Sleep by Filtering Your Phone's Blue Light Your phone's screen is keeping you awake. Don't let it. These apps will help you rest well. Read More is CF.lumen, as it works in both root and non-root modes. You can download the app from the Play Store, through which you can unlock the advanced features via an in-app purchase. But if you download it straight from the source you can activate the Freeload mode, which enables you to unlock the Pro features without paying. Of course, if you like it, you should probably pay for it to support the developer.

That link also has versions that work on older devices — the Play Store one is Android 5.0 and later only.

Viper4Android

Viper4Android is a very powerful audio equalizer app 4 Equalizer Tools to Get The Best Out of Your Android Audio 4 Equalizer Tools to Get The Best Out of Your Android Audio Nearly every premium Android music app comes with a working equalizer (e.g., n7player, doubleTwist) and there are a few free music players with working equalizers as well (e.g., Shuttle Player, Rocket Player). However, if you... Read More for rooted devices. You can use it to create and customize audio profiles for your phone’s internal speakers, as well as your headphones and Bluetooth audio devices.

v4a

It isn’t the easiest to use, but if you’re willing to invest the time to learn it, it can produce great results. The official version of this open source app can be downloaded from here, while a thread with more information can be found over at xda-developers.com.

The version of V4A found in the Play Store is not the official one, by the way.

BlackBerry Priv Keyboard

It’s common for Android device manufacturers to install exclusive extra software on their phones. A lot of the time, this is a bad thing — it’s annoying bloatware that you’d rather remove How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting How to Remove Bloatware on Android Without Rooting Did your phone come with a bunch of crappy apps pre-installed? Let us show you how to get rid of them the easy way. Read More  — but occasionally, the apps are worthwhile and even desirable to users of other devices Replace Samsung Apps With These Better Alternatives Replace Samsung Apps With These Better Alternatives Whether you have a Samsung device and want to avoid the built-in apps, or you just want some of those cool Samsung features, these are apps you should check out. Read More .

In these cases, you can trust the developers at Android enthusiast site XDA-Developers to pull the apps and make them more widely available.

blackberry keyboard

The best recent example is the rather splendid keyboard app for the BlackBerry Priv. It’s fast and intelligent, very cleanly designed, and comes packed with the kind of shortcuts and tricks that were the hallmarks of the classic BlackBerry devices Would You Ever Buy Another BlackBerry? [Poll] Would You Ever Buy Another BlackBerry? [Poll] Reviews of the BlackBerry Priv suggest that while it's a decent enough handset, it's all too little, too late for BlackBerry. So, we want to know, would you would ever buy another BlackBerry? Read More .

Remember, this is all very unofficial, so it’s liable to disappear, and you may encounter bugs with the software. Download from here.

Other Apps

Many of the apps that aren’t in the Play Store are absent for a reason. This usually means that they breach the Store’s terms of service in some way.

Sometimes this can be for innocuous reasons, such as the ban on third party app stores. Other times, it can be because they sit in a legal gray area. There are plenty of apps like this, some of which are pretty good. Videoder is a YouTube downloader that clearly breaches YouTube’s ToS, but may be legal under “fair use” laws. Transdroid is a stylish torrent management client, and Mobdro is a video-streaming app that works along similar lines to the controversial Popcorn Time.

Just remember that downloading from unofficial sources Is It Safe to Install Android Apps from Unknown Sources? Is It Safe to Install Android Apps from Unknown Sources? The Google Play Store isn't your only source of apps, but is it safe to search elsewhere? Read More doesn’t give you the protections you get when when getting apps from the Play Store, and if you venture too far from the mainstream, you should be sure you know exactly what you’re downloading and where it came from.

Have you tried any of the apps we’ve listed here? Or do you have any other favorites that aren’t in the Play Store? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Larry Virden
    October 23, 2016 at 1:09 am

    My fav android app not on Google store is droidtv. My Droid tv provides a dvr like environment on your phone or tablet.

  2. Jouni "rautamiekka" Järvinen
    October 14, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    -Never- list a commercial product in a list of free products !

    • JR
      October 15, 2016 at 5:37 am

      Maybe learn to read, genius. The title clearly says "10 Best Android Apps Not in the Play Store." Do you see the word Free in there? No, I didn't think so.

  3. sai
    April 13, 2016 at 2:30 am

    If there aren't present in the Google Play Store, then where can I find them?

    • Alla Jagat Kiran
      April 28, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      google the app name

  4. Harald Stoll
    March 18, 2016 at 5:47 am

    You are missing adaway. It blocks all ad sources at host level, the ads never even load whatever the app or browser you are using.

  5. Tad
    March 17, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    I want to mention F-Droid. it's a Free and open source app store as well as the amazing "Newpipe" app within. Newpipe is a YouTube client that lets you search, download videos and listen to them without having to be in the app.

  6. Pravin
    March 13, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Xposed Framework and Tasker Pro are my favourite apps. Calling these as apps is an understatement. I can't imagine my phone without these. Using these for more than 3 years and there is not an app that could replace Tasker or Xposed. Rovo and Pent are exceptional developers.

    Viper4Android is not my favourite but it's a good one.

  7. Paul Werner
    March 11, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    Nice, glad you guys are showing MiXPlorer some love. Great file management app

  8. b_fizzle
    March 11, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for a great list and I want to add...Viper4Android is truly amazing...I can't say enough about it. I have found that different phones may have some extra hoops to jump through. It's worth the time to explore the thread here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/android/software/viperaudio-viperatmos-3-8-sq-driver-t3289075

    I cannot say enough about @guitardedhero, the maintainer of that thread. He's one of the most helpful, kind and thoughtful individuals I've encountered on the net. The OP is dense, but very helpful, if you need further assistance; he's very quick with a response and if for some reason he isn't, someone else normally is. The thread is filled with very helpful folks, a culture clearly set by the OP.

  9. alvrtsnchz
    March 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Nice list. Thanks.

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