A Guide to 22 Leading App Stores in 2022 | Launchpad (2023)

Written By Linda Hinds

If you know anything about App Store Optimisation, you’ll know about the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. They both launched in 2008 and continue to be huge successes to this day.

While the App Store and Google Play Store are still the leading app stores in terms of popularity, there are many other growing app stores that you should have your eyes peeled on. Depending on the type of app you’ve built and your demographics, branching into other stores can open your app up to a whole new world of users, which will aid you in meeting your goals and objectives.

Today, we’re taking you through every single app store you need to know about in 2022 to help your app reach new heights!

1. Google Play Store

A Guide to 22 Leading App Stores in 2022 | Launchpad (1)

Let’s start with the Google Play Store. It was one of the first to launch back in 2008, and the giant doesn’t just limit itself to applications. You can find movies, books and other content, making it one of the most diverse stores out there.

Although iOS may be the most popular operating system in the US and UK, Android is the preferred mobile operating system for 72.2% of all smartphones in the world. With Google Play Store being the official Android app store, apps that want to go worldwide really need to get on it.

2. Apple App Store

A Guide to 22 Leading App Stores in 2022 | Launchpad (2)

The Apple App store is the official iOS application store, and it’s the only source to download apps on Apple devices, like iPhones and iPads.

There are over 2 million apps on the Apple App Store and around 26% of smartphone users globally use iOS. Although the number of users is far lower than Android, in 2020, the annual iOS app revenue was $72.3 billion, and for Google, it was $38.6 billion. This is indicative of the fact that apps on iOS are usually much more profitable, and there are a couple of reasons for that:

iOS users are limited to the Apple App Store — they can’t download their applications from elsewhere. Therefore, paid applications are more popular, and users are willing to pay.

The average price of an iPhone is higher than for an Android phone, and, generally, those with an iPhone have a higher income. That translates into being more willing to spend money on apps and in-app purchases.

iOS is most popular in North America, Japan and the UK, three countries with high purchasing power.

The key takeaway? If you’re serious about monetisation, you’ll likely want your app at least listed, and then fully optimised, on the Apple App Store to get the most out of your app’s potential.

3. Samsung Galaxy Apps

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Among other device manufacturers, Samsung offers its own app store. In a bid to strengthen their end-to-end user journey, provide a more branded experience, and increase revenue, they launched the Galaxy Store in 2009, just a year after the Apple Store and the Play Store.

Samsung is a direct competitor to Google, since it is targeting Android users. Not all applications that are available on the Google Play Store, however, are available on Samsung as well. That said, more and more developers are discovering the power of branded app stores and uploading their apps on them.

4. LG SmartWorld

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LG is another example of a device manufacturer that’s seen the benefits of having its own app store. However, it’s considerably smaller, with way less apps available. Why? There just aren’t many developers uploading their apps yet, since the LG SmartWorld app store isn’t just meant for smartphones. A lot of apps offered are only available on LG TVs and LG appliances.

5. Huawei AppGallery

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Secretly waiting for this one? There’s a lot of buzz around the Huawei app store, since Huawei is no longer allowed to use Google services. This automatically means that Huawei users are limited to their device manufacturer app store, similar to Apple users.

Huawei’s market presence has been growing exponentially for years and still is. They are gaining a lot of customers by offering cutting-edge technology and innovations. Their phones operate on Android, so Google Play Store was their main app store, but since the ban, every Huawei phone with a GMS certification after May 2019 doesn’t support the Google Play Store. In order not to lose the millions of Huawei users worldwide, many developers have uploaded their apps to the Huawei AppGallery.

Huawei is also working with top app developers to bring more apps to AppGallery. They support smaller app developers too, helping to get their apps out to a global audience. Huawei is a new player on the global map and someone that we will keep an eye on. We are excited to see what will happen with this new app store!

6. Sony Apps

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Following the example of other big brands, Sony launched its app store. The difference here is that it is meant mainly for entertainment, so it’s mostly populated with games and content to play on your Sony TV. Sony, just like LG, is a smaller app store that not a lot of developers are considering. But, if you hit Sony’s target entertainment market, it’s worth uploading your app, and optimising its listing specifically for the Sony app store. Especially for up-and-coming apps, the smaller competition means your app is easier to discover.

7. Amazon Appstore

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Another competitor of Google is the Amazon Appstore. This eCommerce giant is targeting Android users, and since it is a very well-known name, they have a very high chance of making their store the preferred one for many users. Since they are offering cross-platform services, it is considered one of the top alternatives to Google Play.

On the whole, users take the easiest, most obvious path to download an application. So, even though you can install the Apple App Store on Amazon devices, like the Kindle Fire and Fire Stick, most people don’t. Since Amazon devices come with the Amazon Appstore preinstalled, the store has ensured itself a large base of loyal customers. Since its launch in 2011, the Amazon Appstore has shown very promising growth. They have a very different moderation process to most other app stores — to publish your app on their store, it has to meet specific quality standards.

To make up for those specific quality standards, the Amazon Appstore offers a bunch of helpful functionalities to developers, like an app compatibility test, a cross-platform analytics service, and Appstore Developer Select (a rewards program for developers).

8. SlideMe

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SlideMe was also founded in 2008 as an alternative app store. This store is allowing users that don’t have Google Play pre-installed to have access to apps. The best part? SlideMe has almost as many applications as Google Play!

SlideMe is a solution that offers a workaround to developers, allowing them to reach markets and devices that they otherwise couldn’t reach. There are both free and paid apps, so it is pretty similar to the Google Play Store. They are working with some device vendors that are selling phones with SlideMe preinstalled. In this way, they can reach niche markets where other app stores are not available. And something great for developers — there is no service fee to upload your application on SlideMe.

9. Aptoide

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Aptoide is an open-source Android app store that offers a unique solution, allowing developers to create and manage their own branded stores. Currently, Aptoide hosts over 200,000 stores and over 790,000 apps.

For users, Aptoide opens up possibilities for those who are limited by Google Play — like location restrictions or when an app only offers a paid version. For developers, Aptoide is an easier method to get an app to market, since Aptoide’s approval process is less rigorous.

10. F-Droid

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F-Droid is the only Android mobile app store to offer free and open-source apps in a marketplace. It is not the preferred choice for many brands, because the apps listed have to make their source code available.

Apps targeting tech enthusiasts and amateur developers can reach a great niche audience by uploading their app to F-Droid. It offers super functionality for users, who can create repositories with apps that enable features like user tracking with no pushback from a user base.

11. GetJar

A Guide to 22 Leading App Stores in 2022 | Launchpad (11)

GetJar is an app store with more than 2 billion apps downloaded to date. That number isn't surprising, when you consider that GetJar is available on Android, iOS, Windows and more. It was founded in 2004, and there are over 395,000 registered developers uploading apps. Since it’s free to upload your app, many developers have added GetJar to their app store portfolio.

GetJar isn't perfect, granted. It’s big problem? There are a significant number of apps on the store with viruses. It’s important to do two things to protect your device’s safety before you download an app from GetJar: install a robust anti-virus software and check the app’s credentials.

12. AppBrain

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AppBrain is a browser app store launched by former Google employees, targeting — you guessed it — Android users. AppBrain allows brands to make their apps more visible in various mobile app stores, including its own, and drive more traffic to their app listings. There are over 1 million applications currently available on AppBrain.

AppBrain has recently had a facelift to now include sophisticated features which allows organisations to promote their app to relevant audiences, track the performance and ranking of the app, as well as utalise AppBrain App Intelligence. These elements aid apps in stepping up their game to the next level and allow organisations to learn from analytics which is critical to any growth strategy.

13. 1Mobile

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1Mobile is an up-and-coming app store, targeting the games and entertainment app niche. It’s already got a super loyal customer base, mostly made up of Android users. Feature-wise, they follow in the footsteps of popular app stores like the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, with top chart categories and other content formats available.

Expect 2 days to receive approval or feedback, once you’ve uploaded your app to 1Mobile for verification. 1Mobile is following the same revenue model as the leading app stores: 70/30. 70% of revenue to the developer and 30% of the revenue to the app store. However, stay tuned — lots of app stores are reacting to recent changes from the Play Store and the Apple App Store.

14. Opera Mobile Store

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In 2011, Opera Mobile Store launched and offered apps for all major platforms, such as iOS, Android, Windows and Java. They follow the same basic format as other major app stores — new users will find the categories, features and store listings familiar.

The Opera Mobile Store is very appealing to certain developers because it guarantees them a reach in many countries where the Google Play Store isn’t available. It also offers free and paid apps, plus a promotional platform to make your app even more successful. So, if you’re launching in a location where the Play Store isn’t available and Android usage is high, the Opera Mobile Store is a great option.

15. Appszoom

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Founded in 2011 in Spain, Appszoom is a discovery platform for mobile users to easily find and explore new apps. It allows users to gain insights into how other users feel about apps by checking up-to-date reviews and it also gives personalised recommendations so that users can find apps they love even when they aren’t looking for anything particular. Having your app listed on platforms such as Appszoom is an awesome way to boost awareness of the app, as well as increase visibility. Nowadays it is super important that organisations can meet the needs of customers, even before they know what their needs are - this is where personalised recommendations come in. if your app is being recommended to mobile users and is being perceived as “unmissable”, you are on a great track.

16. Appolicious

A Guide to 22 Leading App Stores in 2022 | Launchpad (16)

Appolicious is a mobile app discovery service that helps consumers and organisations alike, to find iOS and Android applications.

Using algorithmic-based app technology Appolicious provides a sleek platform for members to interact and engage with the world of apps. The Appolicious community can leave reviews on apps they love (and of course ones they didn’t love), they can also create curated lists of apps which are most relevant to them and share them with friends. Users can also discover new apps in lists such as “Hot Apps”, which is a great place for your app to be, as well as apps that are on sale in lists like “Price Cuts”. Appolicious is perfect for users who are sociable online and love to shout from the rooftops and iOS and Android apps that they love.

17. Appland

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Looking for a way to showcase your new app? Appland, for Android, may be the answer you have been searching for. Created in Sweden, Appland helps users find the best games in the world, including awesome kids’ games, entertainment, and more. Appland is both an app store and an app-store manager that distributes apps and generates revenue. The store is maintained by Appland developers meaning less heavy lifting for you. Users can also launch their own app stores and club subscriptions on Appland making their app journey effective and manageable from one place.

18. CodeNgo

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If you are looking for a way to complete bulk Android app submissions, CodeNgo allows you to do just that. In one simple form, you can submit your app to over 30 stores, including the most popular ones such as Google Play, Apple, Samsung and many more. This self-publishing service for Android developers can save you lots of valuable time as you manage your submissions from one place, and ensure that your great app is available in the most popular places, meaning it can be found by anyone who may be interested.

Being discoverable is super important when it comes to launching an app, and CodeNgo will help you to do just that - get in front of the people that matter the most and enjoy the success of being listed in multiple stores.

19. Cydia

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When launching an app, it can be easy to overlook your jailbroken customers. “What are jailbroken customers,” you ask? Well, phones and other devices that have gone through a “jailbreaking” process are free of any manufacturer restrictions, meaning these customers have access to lots of extra apps and features that were not approved by iOS.

Cydia is considered the unofficial iOS app store used by jailbroken iOS devices, with almost 5 million users a week, getting your app front and center on Cydia is a must. A variety of apps can be found here, from free to paid, and in every genre you can imagine.

20. Uptodown

A Guide to 22 Leading App Stores in 2022 | Launchpad (20)

Uptodown is an Android mobile app store that specifically hosts free apps for Windows, Mac, and Ubuntu OSs. We all know that everyone loves a freebie, so Uptodown is a great app store to be listed on if your app is free. This app store has taken off in recent years and now rivals the top spot champion Google Play in many reviews, as well as specific apps and app descriptions.

If you are concerned about malware, viruses, and issues with fake descriptions, Uptodown’s human element eliminates these concerns. This is considered a popular USP for the app store, seeing as apps need to be submitted and approved for listing, there are rules in place to ensure everything is above board.

Uptodown is available worldwide which means your app can reach great, wide audiences, including countries that normally can’t access the likes of Google Play. Uptodown is a great option for free to install apps that are ready to be visible far and wide!

21. Itch.io

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Creative game and app developers tend to love Itch.io as it is the perfect place to let their unique, niche apps shine. This particular app store is specifically for both paid and free indie-style games for users who are after a different experience. As an app owner, you can create and design pages for your apps, keep track of app performance and run sales whatever way you like, all while reaching your particular demographics.

22. MyApp by Tencent

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China’s largest app store is somewhere your app should definitely be listed if China is part of your geographical market. Although the screening process is rigorous, if your developer’s submission is approved, you have access to a whole world of potential users.

Mobile App Stores Strategy

Even with all the information in the world on each app store, it can still be tricky when thinking of how to develop a mobile app store strategy. So, here are a number of factors to consider when coming up with a strategy that will work best for your app;

  1. The Awareness Stage

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This is the first phase in creating your killer app store strategy. Here the focus will primarily revolve around building brand awareness (surprise, surprise!), as well as visibility and pre-launch hype. It is super important at this first stage to be really clear about your brand’s identity, including the position and every little detail about the target audience.

At this stage, aspects like market research, competitive analysis, websites, and buyer personas should all be complete, so that everything is set up to move forward to the next step in the strategy process.

2. Acquisition Stage

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Here, a number of different marketing techniques can be used to attract and engage app users, depending of course on your demographics. Some worthwhile marketing activities might include paid ads, organic social media posts, influencer marketing, and newsletters… the options are endless. App store optimisation is also a critical part of this stage, which ensures that your app lands a top spot on search results aiding in increasing visibility and installs.

3. Retention Stage

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As you probably already know, retention is all about keeping the app users you managed to attract, which is a critical factor that contributes to the success of the app strategy. Knowing how to engage users enough so that they keep using your app is a skill that will be useful at this stage. Again, there are countless ways to do this all depending on not only the app itself but the audience and your overall objectives. Some aspects might include using push notifications, user experience, personalisation and A/B testing.


Do you still have unanswered questions? Have a look at come of these commonly asked questions to get the answers you are looking for;

1. How do I decide what App Store to use?

Making a decision regarding which app stores to list your app on isn’t a black and white answer, unfortunately. As we’ve seen, there are a number of app stores to choose from, but some are more popular than others, and some are only relevant to specific, niche markets. With this in mind, try to match up your app with a couple of app stores based on particular elements such as genre and audience etc.

2. Can my app go on more than one store at one time?

Sure it can! You can list your app on more than one app store at one time, in fact, this is the way to go. By doing this, you are able to reach more relevant potential users. For example, imagine you couldn’t list on Google Play and iOS at once… there would be some very unhappy Apple and Android customers out there!

3. Is it free to list my app on app stores?

A lot of app stores will require a once off, or yearly fee for using the platform. The prices are all different, and there is something to suit every budget. Depending on where you want to list your app for visibility, the fee is most likely worthwhile. You can check out more about fees here.

The Round-Up on App Stores

Of course, there are dozens more app stores out there, offering applications for various platforms in almost every country in the world. Each app store has its pros and cons, and it’s important to consider which app stores are right for your app and your target demographic. Uploading an app to a new app store requires a fair bit of time, resources and expertise: you need to develop your app to pass the app store’s regulations, and you need to optimise your app listing for that specific app store.

If you have the resource to cover more app stores, you will benefit from reaching very different user types, with specific niches of loyal users. Some limitations that apply to the two giant app stores, Google Play Store and Apple App Store, don’t apply to, say, 1Mobile or Aptoide.

At Launchpad, we’re watching the app stores in the Asian market super closely — especially in China, since the Google and Apple changes. Stay tuned for further articles, where we’ll be diving into the marketing apps in Asia!

Contact us today if you want to take your app game to the next level! Discover more at Launchpad.

Discover more at Launchpad

Linda Hinds

When I am not writing articles and handling client queries I like to drink good coffee and do hot yoga, or beach yoga, or really any yoga. Namaste!


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