The limited functionality of the App Store has me looking for an alternative view on "Apple-approved" applications. I appreciate the vetting that occurs as part of inclusion in this catalog, but I'd like to see a set of features that are common in nearly all digital purchasing interfaces: sorting and filtering by price, number of reviews, user rating, whether or not there are in-app purchases, et cetera.

Sites such as appcuity.com and AppsOnSale appear to have died. There was an iTunes-like client called Bodega, but it is now defunct. The iOS version of the store has AppApp.io.

What alternatives to the App Store exist?


There is no equivalent to the App Store and some functionality of macOS requires you be on the App Store to use it so there’s no competition really.

Historically however MacUpdate has a really good library.


Setapp is an App-Store-like subscription service. They charge you 10USD a month and you can use a ton of apps they have contract with. It does contain a lot of useful apps.

I personally use 9to5mac to check on useful apps and buy them separately on each developer's website.

They are not necessarily alternatives to the App Store, but buying apps separately usually gives the app developers higher privilege than buying them on the Mac App Store (in the example of Commander One).


Have a look AppShopper.com. Their 'About' statement says,

“AppShopper is one of the largest iPhone, iPad, and Mac app directories attracting hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per month with millions of page views to the site. Our audience is interested in app discovery.”

It’s exclusively iOS and Mac apps. You can register, if desired, but not doing so does not seem to limit searching. The advertising seems minimal and non-intrusive.

The Chartbeat sidebar graphic claims 335,291 apps in the Appstore. Their Appstore, I presume, the almost identical spelling with Apple’s App Store is a bit confusing.

Also confusing is an alert banner stating that a certain app has been removed from the App Store (I presume this time they mean Apple’s per the spelling.?) The oldest app in the Graphic & Design category is one such app. SketchMee was introduced in Jan 2011. The App Activity sidebar relays this app’s version progress, pricing fluctuation and other expected details. However, clicking the ‘Buy’ button brings up the Mac App Store preview in iTunes followed quickly with the App Store app opening to that app’s page on your Mac. So the app then has not been removed from the App Store. Also, just searching the App Store produced the app's App Store page for purchase. So I do not know why the alert banner says it has been removed or what it is referring to. (?)

Despite this, it is a nice app-searching alternative to the App Store. This should give you the general flavor it.

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