The vast majority of Android users only ever install applications from Google Play. However, the potential of Android goes way beyond the Play Store and Google services. There’s a plethora of APKs that Google doesn’t offer, and we've prepared a list of the best Android APKs and apps you can't find in the Play Store.
Best for gaming: Humble Bundle
The legendary Humble Bundle recently received a few updates, meaning it's no longer available in the Play Store (maybe Google now sees it as a competitor?). For the uninitiated, Humble Bundle lets you pay whatever you want to download bundles of high-end games for your Android device (and PC).
The money you pay gets divvied up between charities, the developers and the website. Using this app, you can manage your Android Humble Bundle games library easily, and receive updates on when the next Humble Bundle is available.
Best for streaming: VideoMix
This app is a fantastic resource for streaming your favorite TV shows and movies online. Be aware of your country's laws regarding streaming copyrighted content, though, if you don't want to land yourself in trouble.
Once you've found the show or movie you want to watch, just tap it, pick a site to stream it from, then you'll get an option to choose which video player app you want to play it in. In addition, there's a button that integrates IMDB into the app so you can view the cast and find related torrents.
Best for YouTube ripping: Videoder
Videoder is probably the most functional YouTube ripper around. You search for the YouTube video you want, and the app displays a variety of formats you can download it in, including 1,080p and MP3 (although both of these are in beta, so may occasionally mess up). You simply set a download directory and get ripping. TubeMate is another app that has similar functionality.
Best for modders: CyanogenMod Installer
The CyanogenMod Installer had a brief stay in the Google Play Store (just two weeks), but hasn't lost popularity since being booted out. It seems that the reason for the app being withdrawn was that it didn’t follow Google guidelines for developers because it ''encourages users to void their warranty''.
This APK is actually just software that guides users to activate an ADB, i.e. a debugging tool, to install the CyanogenMod ROM. This app complements a program that transmits this data to the smartphone.
Best for functionality: LMT Launcher
LMT Launcher is another APK that's very interesting, but doesn’t require root. The app offers a detachable menu, which opens into a fan shape and displays various shortcuts.
To open this menu, simply swipe from any edge of the screen toward the center. It is a customizable menu to which you can add your preferred options.
Best for downloaders: Transdroid
For all the keen torrenters out there, Transdroid provides a great way to manage your torrents remotely. It supports home servers and seedboxes. From within the client, you can, among many other things, add torrents, start and stop them, and set priorities.
It supports all the big torrent clients out there, including uTorrent, Deluge and Vuze. You can download a cut-down version from the Play Store, called Transdrone, but, to get the full experience, including integrated torrent search and RSS feeds, make sure to grab the Transdroid APK. Again, be aware of the laws surrounding torrenting in your country.
What's your favorite APK? How do you feel about downloading apps from outside the Play Store? Let us know in the comments.