So you’ve bought an Android tablet, but it doesn’t come with the official marketplace. The manufacturer has a less than stellar collection of apps in a lackluster “app store”, and you’re looking enviously at your friends with their Android phones and their awesome app collections.
Luckily for you, there’s more out there than just the official marketplace. As I mentioned when I talked about speeding up your Camangi with an alternate launcher, you can directly install an APK, or app file, right onto your device. You do not need an app store to act as a middleman.
Hunting for APK’s is a pain, though. Some developers don’t make them readily available, and playing the Google search game gets old fast. In that case, give SlideMe a shot. While it holds a far cry from the 20,000 or so marketplace apps, it still holds hundreds of apps, giving you a much bigger selection than you may have had natively on your tablet. Best of all, you can download a native app for it!
Not everything is available, but the staples you need to get your tablet up and running are. You can download Aldiko (my personal favorite ebook reader), Dolphin Browser, social networking applications, various useful widgets, and several hundred games! Both free and paid apps are available (you can opt to pay through a credit card or Amazon Payments).
SlideMe is not perfect, but it is certainly better than hunting manually for program files! The ability to download from your browser or an on-device app makes it a must-install for anyone with a non-standard Android device.