The Play Store is great. When you compare it to the alternatives out there (mentioning no names) the Play Store is so much better, looks better and feels better. That said, you can only download apps from an android device. That might sound a bit obvious, but there are many reasons you might want to avoid directly downloading apps to your device. The most prevalent reason could be internal storage. As devices get bigger we all seem to be downloading more and maybe you would prefer to download android apps to your desktop as APK's. This way you can install whenever you like or have the room available. This is one particular area where the Amazon appstore is slightly better than the Play Store. As on Amazon you can download apps from your desktop (albeit to a sort of cloud storage) without sending directly to your device and therefore not consuming memory
If this sounds like you, then you might want to check out a new tool by Onyxbits, dubbed Raccoon. This software is a desktop client that emulates an android device and effectively allows you to downloads apps (as APK's) directly onto your desktop. Now, you do have to sign-in through your Google account to be able to download, but this is probably to be expected with the Play Store. If you are concerned about the security of offering your Google credentials to a third party then you should be aware that Onxybits have made the source code available. So you can check it out by clicking here to make sure nothing untoward is going on.
In short, there is nothing special about what the software does. To make the APK's available, the software simply tells the Play Store that it is an Android device and as such has access to the apps. Interestingly, the software seems to tell the Play Store that it is an android 5.0 device and so it will also download the newest and latest versions of the apps. If you want more information then click here to head over to an XDA page about the software. Alternatively click the source link below to head directly over to the main Onxybits Raccoon site.