The Google Play Store is home to most apps you could ever need on Android. Whether you want to get the latest games, productivity-enhancing apps, or just download a social network’s app, Google Play has it.
But sometimes the app you want isn’t on Google Play. Android thankfully allows you to sideload apps and directly install APK files without going through Google Play if you like. You might need to sideload an app that was removed from Google Play for violating its terms of service, or maybe you want to completely eradicate Google from your Android phone.
Did you know that you don’t have to manually check updates for apps that you’ve sideloaded? The free app APKUpdater from XDA user rumboalla provides a free way to check for updates for any app, not just those from the Play Store. Grab the APK file from the downloads page and place it on your device. Open it to install the app and you’re all set.
APKUpdater checks multiple sources for updates, and lets you schedule update checks so you don’t forget to. It supports every version of Android back to 2.3 Gingerbread, and provides notifications when it finds an update. If you want to ignore updates for some apps, you can just add them to a whitelist.
Using this app, you can effectively manage your apps without ever touching Google Play. Combined with a custom ROM, you can free your Android device from Google completely. It’s also great for rooted users who keep a lot of apps installed from outside the Play Store. Give it a try if you fit any of these profiles!
Do you install lots of apps outside Google Play? Let us know if this tool is useful for you down in the comments!
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