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Sponsored App Review: 1Mobile

April 6, 2014 - Written By Tom Dawson

Description: Thanks to Android being an open platform, we don’t always have to get our apps from the same place, Google’s Play Store. We have many options for download apps on Android, like Amazon’s App Store for instance. 1Mobile is another one of these app stores for Android and it allows you to download from over half a million apps and games to your Android smartphone or tablet. In fact, tablet users can download a special version of the 1Mobile store designed for a more pleasing experience on tablets. 1Mobile fits in with Android by offering a polished curation of apps and games as well as content you might not find in the Play Store.

How it Works: While this is a little different to other apps on Android, getting started is much the same process and first requires that you download the APK file and install it on your device. All you need to do is download 1Mobile to your device and then install it. After that you’ll be in the store on your device.

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You can see right away that there are some of the most up-to-date apps and games available, like Cut the Rope 2 in the 1Mobile store. There are different sections of the store, such as featured, hot deals and more. A lot of lists (such as Johnny’s lists featured in the below screenshot) are carefully curated by developers of 1Mobile, and they are personal picks that everyone should try. Instead of being told what to install by a computer, you can see what other, knowledgeable users, have chosen for themselves.

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When you select an app to download, it’ll download much the same way it does when using the Google Play Store, and the layout of pages here is familiar, too.

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Once an app is downloaded, you’ll be prompted to install it. Root users don’t need to do this however, as 1Mobile can automatically install apps on rooted devices.

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When paying for apps or games in the 1Mobile store, you’ll need to “charge” your account with a virtual currency. This works much like the Xbox Live points system used to work on the Xbox.

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It’s not an ideal solution of course, but it works just fine. You can even pay for MCoins through SMS, which could work like a sort of carrier billing for a lot of users.

Opinion: It’s really quite nice to be able to choose where we download our apps and games from, and as Android users, we have that luxury, which is really quite nice. 1Mobile feels much like the old Play Store app used to, with some tweaks here and there and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it would be nice to see something a little more original being used here. It’s not a major issues of course, and what really matters is the apps and games that 1Mobile features. There’s a pretty decent selection of apps and games on offer here, and it’s nice easy to download them on to your device. I will admit though, not being able to pay for something straight away, and having to charge an account with a virtual currency is a little annoying, but there’s plenty of free apps on here. For someone like myself, the curated app selection is something I can really get behind, as I know that apps in a certain list or section are featured because someone feels they should be there, not because it’s been downloaded more times than anything else

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) – With quick app downloads and a slick and smooth interface, 1Mobile is a speedy application.
  • Features (4/5) – As alternative stores go, 1Mobile fits in well with Android and offers pretty much everything you could ask, and a lot of the featured lists are put together by real, honest human beings.
  • Theme (4/5) – A familiar-looking store, 1Mobile looks much like the Play Store used to look like and it works well on modern Android devices, taking advantage of the extra screen real estate available.
  • Overall (4/5) – 1Mobile is a solid offering for an app store on Android devices and while it’s not the best out there, it’s a good option for those looking to try something new and find some offbeat apps and games.

Pros

  • Easy to setup and get started with, not many will have an issue using 1Mobile on their device.
  • Lots of apps and games available, and put front and center that might simply get lost in the Play Store.
  • Curation is done by real humans, not algorithms or what will make Android look good.
  • You can pay by PayPal, SMS and more when purchasing apps or games.

Cons

  • Does feel a little dated overall, but some of the latest games have crept their way in.
  • You need to pay for MCoins before you can purchase apps or games, but this might not bother many.

Conclusion: 1Mobile is a nice alternative to getting apps on your Android device, and the ability to download a tablet-specialized version of the store is a real nice touch and one that a lot of stores simply forget is needed, even the Play Store looks bad on tablets. With a decent selection of Apps and Games on offer, 1Mobile has a good level of curation and a lot of the apps in the store are free and of good quality. Where things fall down however is in the missed opportunity to charge simple payments and the slightly dated appearance of the whole app. Still though, these are minor issues and if you’re simply fed up of Amazon and Google’s App Stores on Android, then this is a good place to try. You can download 1Mobile from their website, here.