I'm new to development and trying to get a sense for the obstacles to publication

If I need to circumvent the Google Play app store, can I publish a game to a website that people can visit in a mobile browser and download and install like any other app?

How does publishing "around" Google Play work? Are there any particular success stories, best practices or problems I should be aware of?

Apologies if there is an obvious answer. I believe I found the answer at one point, but I don't remember and can't find the link.

edit: Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the help. Definitely answers my questions. Looks like I have some options!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I guess I just want to confirm that an APK is all that is needed... there is nothing to prevent someone from downloading an APK and installing simply because they didn't go through the Google Play store (no authentication or whatever) \$\endgroup\$
    – WebPillar
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 18:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There are a myriad of alternate "app stores" you can use, like SlideMe. \$\endgroup\$
    – ashes999
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 20:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found a list of a bunch of other Android app stores. If anyone has experience with them, make a community wiki answer so we can pool knowledge. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anko
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that if you release your app on using a website, it won't be auto-updated unless you add code to do so. Normally google play will push new versions of your app to devices. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 19:31

4 Answers 4


Android is an open platform, so you are free to exchange APKs by other means—for instance by email. The Android Development Center discusses this.

The caveat: App installation from non-marketplace sources is disabled by default in the security settings of most Android distributions. Users must manually enable the option first.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I believe some devices also lock this out all together which completely stops users from sideloading. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vality
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 23:41
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Vality The first year of AT&T-branded phones hid the "Unknown sources" checkbox, but not any modern Android phones or tablets that I'm aware of. Besides, everything with Play Store supports adb install over USB. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 4:04

Yes there are other platform where you can publish your game and they have huge market there.

Amazon App Store

Samsung Galaxy Apps


Apart from the usual communication methods (such as email, and just downloading it from a website) there are places you can upload an APK (like an alternate store. For example, Aptoide).

Naturally, these are (most likely) less well known than the Google Play Store, and probably get less traffic.


I'm using the Amazon App store, SlideME store, Aptoid, etc. and there are a lot of users doing the same. Uploading on one of those could be an option for you.


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