Android is a big ecosystem, rounding up at millions of user, it’s no surprise that there’s one too many variants of Android. Whether it is the software or the hardware that is changed, the possibility is near-endless.
One possible variety of Android is those that doesn’t supply themselves with Google Apps. Now, to level ourselves, what exactly is Google Apps? If the name isn’t obvious enough for you, it’s the suite of apps that Google provides to OEMs and manufacturers of Android phones. However, to be provided of this seemingly exclusive suite of apps is that the phone needs to be certified by Google themselves, this certification can take a lot of time and yes, that also means more money spent.
There’s also users of customized system firmware that decides to not use Google Apps with various valid reason, one of the reason being that they prefer open source alternatives to the Google Apps, and another famous reason for not including Google Apps is that the bloat and possible performance drop when using the complete list of the Apps themselves.
The common workaround (or the so-called “fix”) to the disappearance of Google Apps is to use various alternatives provided by third-party apps, one known example is using microG, an open-source replacement for Google Play Services. It’s not perfect for sure, but many have reported that it fits their needs.
But even with microG and other third-party replacements, you’ll be missing on one thing: a repository on which you can update your apps. Yes, I’m talking about Google Play Store. The chance of third-party app repository replacing Google Play Store is slim to none, while some alternatives such as Amazon Appstore exist, the amount of apps being hosted there is little compared to Google Play Store.
So, instead of replacing Google Play Store, why not do it like microG? Replace it with that of (almost) the same caliber. This is where our tiny yet capable app comes in. Yalp Store (Yalp being a backward-spelling of Play) is an app that uses Google Play Store repository of apps to update the apps that you have installed. This means that you’ll be getting the exact same version akin to the version you would have if you update from Play Store.
But that’s not all, Yalp Store also fetches the list of apps you’ve bought from your Google Account. This effectively means that you can’t just download things that you don’t have. It’s a win-win for you, the user that misses Google Play Store, and the app developers that posts their apps on Google Play Store.
Additionally, for the security-aware users, the apps in Yalp Store is exactly the same as in the one provided by Google Play Store, no reupload or modification was done by anyone whatsoever. This can be proven by updating over the apps you have installed from Google Play Store, if the app were tampered, the update will fail.
However, that doesn’t mean everything is candy and dandy here. Yalp Store is still in its early stage of development, it works but that’s about it. The interface here is still rough around the edge and it lacks the polish you’re used to in a finished app. There’s also a risk of your Google Account being banned by Google themselves since using Yalp Store means you’re violating Google Play Terms of Service, so be careful while using it!
If those risk don’t scare you by any means, then you’re free to hit the download button in Yalp Store download page. It’s completely free and open source, so you’re only a download away from replacing Google Play Store. You can download it via Fossdroid or F-Droid.