Rubab's blog

The world of smartphones and PC from my angle

Alternatives to Google apps on Android

Each one of you may have surely heard about the anti-Islamic video that was posted on the Internet. As a reaction to that video, the government of Pakistan along with the Muslims from all over the world demanded the removal of that video from YouTube but Google refused that demand claiming that it’s a matter of freedom of expression etc. This raged the people more and finally as a protest the government of Pakistan (also Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Sudan etc.) banned the entire YouTube site including all the videos.

Google hated this act of banning one of its service so it blocked most of the other services too like Google Drive (formerly Docs), Google Play Store, Google Plus, Google Analytics etc. while other services are down due to conflict in the IP. Fortunately, Google Search and Gmail are still up because it would have been a disaster without these two extremely important Google products. I have also noticed that Google Plus and Play Store are having fluctuations: sometimes up, mostly not.

That is the story on a PC but on a mobile device such as Android smartphones and tablets, most of the Google apps aren’t working. These currently non-functional apps include Play Store, Gmail, Maps, Translate, YouTube, Google+, Drive, Books etc. In addition, the synchronizing of Calender entries, Notes, Contacts and other stuff with the Google account has also become impaired. Search, Talk and Play Music on other hand are running smoothly on Android. I must inform here that I haven’t checked the other Google apps than the above mentioned apps.

Anyway, this is why we are in great need of some alternative apps. Most of the Google products are really amazing and it is very challenging to find apps that can entirely replace our dependence to Google apps. Even though there are a hundreds of apps that have nearly the same function, only a few of them are worth installing.

Best Alternatives to Google Play Store app:

The most efficient and feature-full app for searching, downloading, installing and updating the Android apps on your device is the Google Play Store which is unfortunately down at the moment but it is not a big deal when others are already around.

Perhaps the most popular competitor considered up to date is the Amazon Appstore although, I find it as a garbage app since

  1. it’s only available in US, Germany, UK, France, Spain and Italy
  2. it requires a US Amazon account for using
  3. it requires a real working US debit/credit card even for downloading free apps.

Another one is Aptoide App Store which doesn’t require a login to download apps. It’s free to use. Since it includes a number of app stores which are unofficially created by the users, there are also paid apps available to download free of cost.

Others are GetJar, AndroidPit, SlideMe etc. which are not only available as websites but also as Android apps.

The market app that I found as the best and worthy competitor to the Google Play Store is the 1Mobile Market app since:

  1. it’s free and easy to use
  2. it checks, notifies and updates the installed apps like Play Store
  3. it lets you save the apk files of the downloaded apps for offline installation.

The Mobogenie Market app is also similar to the 1Mobile app.

Best Alternatives to Gmail app:

For having the Gmail like experience, Mailbox is the best alternative. Besides this app, there is one called Blue Mail, which is quite an impressive universal email client.

The K-9 Mail is also a good free alternative to check mails, though its icon is pretty hideous. Another great e-mail client for Android can be the MailDroid app (as free and paid) which has more functions, cleaner UI and is pretty easy to use.

Best Alternatives to Google Maps app:

The best alternative so far is the Nokia HERE maps and it’s all free. With offline maps you can search and navigate without Internet.

MapDroyd lets you to download all the maps of the world for offline usage and the best part is that it’s completely free to use. One thing this app lacks is the ability to search places on the map, a feature which is available in the paid NavDroyd app. It lets you pin your favourite places too.

Best Alternatives to Google Hangouts app:

You can use WhatsApp Messenger not only sends messages and media (photo, video, audio) on the cost of Internet but have live calls function as well. Skype is good for making live video calls. Evolve SMS is the best replacement for the stock messaging app and it comes with several themes to choose from.


Best Alternatives to Google Drive app:

There is a lot of competition in the Cloud sync apps. OneDrive is the closest alternative. The most popular cloud storage service is probably the Dropbox app; however, it doesn’t provides much free storage as the OneDrive. Another app called CM Backup has also been gaining popularity these days.


Best Alternatives to Google Keep app:

Evernote is an all-in-one app no matter on which device you are on, with its attachment and reminder functionality. I like the interface and features of OneNote app as well. For sticky notes, ColorNotes is also a good app.


The list is surely not completed yet and the hunt for the perfect alternative is still going on. I will definitely update it when I will find more cool apps.


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This entry was posted on September 30, 2012 by in Android, Internet and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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