10 Best Android Apps Not in the Play Store

Andy Betts 11-03-2016

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, 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, 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.


With choice picks ranging from some of the best Android games 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 10 Awesome Amazon Prime Benefits You've Probably Overlooked Free two-day shipping is just the beginning. Here are some notable Amazon Prime subscription benefits you may not know about. 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, 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.



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 a must-have app for rooted Android phones. 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.


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.


Xposed Modules customize, tweak, and enhance your phone in pretty much every way imaginable. Some of the best Xposed Modules The 13 Best Xposed Modules for Customizing Your Android Device The Xposed Framework is one of the best reasons to root Android, and these Xposed modules add awesome functionality. Read More , including the permissions manager XPrivacy, can be downloaded through the Play Store. Others, such as the awesome GravityBox, 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.


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.


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.


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.


The best blue-light filtering app for Android What Is a Blue Light Filter and Which App Works Best? These blue light filter apps for Android will help you get a better night's sleep, even when using your device at night. 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 is a very powerful audio equalizer app 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.


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

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 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 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 classic BlackBerry devices.

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? 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 getting apps from the Play Store. (Recently, the third-party app store 9Apps was the main point of infection for the Agent Smith malware How to Spot and Remove Agent Smith Malware on Android The Agent Smith malware is infecting Android devices across India and Asia and is now spreading to the west. Read More .) If you venture too far from the mainstream, you should be sure you know exactly what you’re downloading and where it came from.

Explore more about: Amazon, Android Customization.

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  1. Nwachukwu Excel
    July 18, 2018 at 9:04 am

    Really Amazing Apps with a huge list of surprises to go. I remember using Humble Bundle App for all my choicy Apk's, it's really that cost less and crucially handy especially for someone on a budget.

    I recently did a review of 'Popcorn Time' on Trillionclues another handy App one can use to watch any movie immediately they are released; I really see them as best in the business and definitely worth checking out.

    Would really love it if you will write a DIY post on how Smartphone users (asides Infinix) can make use of XHide App without having to run the XOS Launcher!

    Great list once again MUO!

  2. Namey
    February 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    What about showbox

  3. Vinay
    December 25, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Wat about terrarium tv I got its real version from aptoide

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Anonymous
    March 11, 2016 at 6:47 pm

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

  11. 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:

    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.

  12. Anonymous
    March 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Nice list. Thanks.