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The Uptodown app market has more than 130 million active users per month and more than 450 monthly downloads of more than 4 million APKs. The company operates worldwide, and it is localized in 15 different languages. The Spanish-based company was born in 2020 in Málaga and founded as a University Project in 2002. Recently we interviewed Luis Hernandez Garrido, CEO of Uptodown, to hear more about Uptodown joining the Unity Distribution Portal.

Why having a variety of app markets is essential for app developers?

Until recently, Android has operated de facto as an industry monopolized by Google services. The lack of global options and large enough audiences to publish and sell their apps put the developer at a disadvantage when freely offering their product on their terms and conditions. 

We believe that a more open scenario, which guarantees users and developers the right to choose where to get their apps and games, fits better with the Android philosophy. The alternative to this is the Apple model with iOS.

Why would a user choose Uptodown among all the App markets available? And why should a developer make sure their App is available there?

From a user perspective, Uptodown offers a more straightforward solution – a direct browser experience, if that’s what you’re looking for. We provide better privacy, there’s no need to open an account or enter your payment information from the get-go, and you can use any device in any region of the world without limitations. You don’t need a store (not even Uptodown’s), Google Play, or other third-party services.

From the developer side, Uptodown is the only stand-alone solution that allows you to monetize your game or App by simply distributing your APK through the browser. This feature, alongside our global reach, large user base (130M MAUs), and our editorial content to improve your SEO and visibility, make us a powerful alternative to Google Play.

What does Uptodown in terms of safety for the user? It is a crucial topic among App markets. What measures do you take to guarantee the security of your applications?

Garrido: One of our biggest challenges when competing with Google Play is providing security. As we’ve continued to grow, we’ve discovered that our processes (which require our in-house editors and, at times, the use of automatization) are safer than Google

VirusTotal thoroughly scans all the content in Uptodown. This service analyzes all of Uptodown’s content with over 60 antiviruses. 

In terms of maximizing transparency, we classify this information according to whether it provides a real threat, which is how we deal with apps that show up as false positives due to adware or apps that don’t pose any danger. From there, we provide that information to our users. All the information we receive about viruses or potential threats is published and available on our site for them to use as a resource. 

Uptodown: An alternative to Google Play

Our users decide what to do with that information and whether or not they ultimately download an app. Providing this security information to our users allows us to publish a widely diverse set of apps in our catalogue, including apps that toe the line in terms of censorship due to their content but that is, in effect, legal and safe to download. 

Due to the 100% legal nature of our content, we do not have to take on the role of policing censorship; instead, our users are the ones who decide which apps they want to download.

How and why was Uptodown created, and how has it evolved over the years?

The issue is as relevant now as it was 19 years ago; how do we make it easier for the user to access software (either desktop or apps), and how do we offer better and more powerful tools to those who develop them?

We keep working with this idea in mind, adapting to the trends and platforms chosen by the community, as in the case of Android since 2010.

To achieve this, we continue to believe in the web as a more accessible and straightforward platform. We also have our native App (Uptodown App Store), but as I mentioned, it’s not even necessary to use the IAPs system included in the APK. Also, if the user doesn’t require other more powerful features such as the automatic update of their games and apps, they can access the content with a simple browser.

Where is your traffic coming from? Which are the countries you see as expansion potentials?

The 450M monthly downloads are distributed worldwide, our high volume countries being Europe, Asia, and America. 

Some key players are precisely those experiencing a phase of economic development: India, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, or even Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey. The only country pushing back is China because of our policy of openness and transparency in content.

What were the most downloaded apps and games in 2020 through Uptodown? Did you detect some trends in in-app use during the pandemic year? Which categories are the most downloaded?

Undoubtedly, lockdown over the first few months of the year due to COVID-19 caused the numbers of certain types of apps to skyrocket. The Zoom video call app has been one of the most downloaded, and as far as video games are concerned, the battle royale genre, and in particular, the different versions of PUBG Mobile and Free Fire, have topped the download charts throughout these months.

On 23rd March, you announced an essential agreement with Unity. Can you explain what it consists of and how it can benefit users and developers?

 For the first time, users will have a global and independent alternative to obtain and access any game and all its features (paid or not).

Until recently, you either needed Google Play Services and a major manufacturer’s device, or you could only have the complete experience using local distribution (specific markets where there is a store with a particular distribution capacity). Uptodown will break this global dynamic thanks to the connection between Unity and the developers.

Unity (NYSE: U), the world’s leading platform for creating and managing 3D content in real-time (RT3D) and the most crucial game design tool available, contacted us two years ago. Since then, we have been working on this project together.

Through them, we offer the developer a fast, one-click, and instant way to incorporate our payment system (SDK) while ensuring that the user-side experience is also quick, secure, and accessible. 

By combining Unity’s access to developers with our audience, we have a solution that connects both communities in the most direct way possible.

What can we expect from Uptodown in the future?

 There is a growing demand for simple and transparent access to mobile apps. Users don’t need to understand or care about the device they’re using, where they’re using it, or whether they need special access from a third party such as a Google account.

For us, it’s not just about improving the user experience. A considerable amount of information and entertainment is being consumed through mobile apps. We cannot leave this channel exclusively in the hands of the big tech companies whose interests sometimes don’t align with those of the people. 

Uptodown will always be an independent tool designed to improve our privacy, guarantee freedom of choice, and free access to content for users.

About Luis Hernandez Garrido

Luis Hernandez Garrido

Luis Hernandez Garrido, CEO of Uptodown, continued his studies at Harvard University (Harvard Business School, 2014), where he expanded his training in sustainable product development to then apply it to this project. He also participated in various initiatives to connect students and the technology industry via University and Schools (speaker at Google Activate) and promoted events such as the Barcamp

to boost the local technology industry.

Uptodown also includes an R&D area that the launched in 2015 through the Harvard Innovation Lab for students of this prestigious institution to publish their Apps, as well as to facilitate collaboration between this university and private enterprises in the U.S. It also collaborates with different projects such as Puppy Cube, which transforms any surface into a touchscreen, bringing Android to multiple devices and new form factors.


The main purpose of itupdown is to Answer Different Popular questions searched by millions of users online daily.

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