How to download and use TapTap instead of Google Play, and does it make sense?

There is no Google in China. For sure, this is not a shock to most of you, but for many, the inability to watch YouTube during a trip to China sounds like nonsense. This is all the more strange because Android is the most common mobile operating system in all of China.

But for the Chinese, Android is not synonymous with the Google Play Store and Google in general, so China does not necessarily have to like Google. And they do not feel a special need for it.

China has its own apps, trading platforms and virtual stores for the Chinese market: QQ and WeChat messengers for instant messaging, AliPay service for payments and, of course, TapTap-the equivalent of Google Play for downloading new apps and games. All this is quite enough to not wonder about the need for Google and other Western services.

Well, if you're interested in finding out what life is like for a mobile gamer without Google, let's start with TapTap. What happens if you abandon Google and switch to using TapTap? Let's conduct an experiment...

Where can I download TapTap?

The process of downloading TapTap itself will be more complicated than what you are used to using Google Play. First, TapTap is not available in Google Play, you will need to find its. apk file elsewhere.

Let's start by searching for TapTap on Google. The first result - which looks promising. Immediately, a prompt appears at the top of the screen to download the app. But after that, Chrome shows a red screen and warns me that you can harm your device. The URL that you wanted to download .apk looks suspicious, so you should trust Chrome.

As a result, the TapTap app was easy to download from UpToDown, another third-party app store. It is unusual to make so much effort to download the app, but the goal is already close. After all, TapTap is downloaded, installed, and running.

How to use TapTap?

The expectations from TapTap were met. A ton of apps that we've never heard of, a huge amount of Chinese characters, a slightly confusing interface for a beginner-all this was predictable. But what you could hardly expect from TapTap is the communication and information exchange functions that are most often present in social networks.

Go to any game in the app store and you'll be able to view gameplay videos and images uploaded by the TapTap community, share your gameplay and your achievements, just like you do with "Share" on modern consoles for posting on Twitter or YouTube. This turned out to be a surprisingly interesting and useful option.

This is similar to how the "What's New" tab works on the PS4 home screen, except that everything works much faster quickly and is more user-friendly. There is a small nuance: most often, Android smartphones do not allow you to record audio from the device, which means that community videos are mostly accompanied by superimposed third-party music or silence. But in general, this is a very good idea.

Then the problems begin. Attempts to buy the game in TapTap were unsuccessful, despite numerous attempts on several devices. The error message was, as you understand, in Chinese, so it was not possible to understand it. And no, changing the language settings doesn't help here. Finding an error is frustrating in itself, but not being able to figure out what's going wrong is even more so. Currently, TapTap is not yet optimized for those who live outside of China, which means that they cannot speak and read in this language.

TapTap - do I need it?

But despite the problems, there is a good argument for using TapTap. The Google Play Market may be a bit of a constraint for some developers and publishers, and TapTap gives them access to a whole new audience.

In addition, for a truly enthusiastic gamer, it would be convenient not to join the Discord community, not to mess with the built-in game chat, as well as all sorts of settings. Instead, you can simply log in to TapTap, view your latest apps, upload videos and screenshots, and chat-easily, you'll agree. This experience is somewhat similar to Miiverse.

Unfortunately, there is a language barrier. Even if your app is set to English, you will see a lot of Chinese characters. And it's not just about error messages and system messages - the vast majority of the community is naturally Chinese, so most of the comments you'll see will be in Chinese.

Yes, it can be a great tool for learning a language. If you're already learning it and need some hands-on reading experience, the TapTap community is one of the few places you can easily access. The online community of Chinese people in TapTap is huge, on Twitter, YouTube or Facebook, of course, you will not find them.

It's clear that learning a language is an unlikely scenario, and if you're just looking for a place to download games, TapTap is certainly not ideal for people who don't speak even a little Chinese. Sites like TapTap offer a fun and potentially rewarding experience of interacting with the gaming community, as well as a ton of ways to support and promote your games, but if you can't easily join and interact with that community, it can all be for naught.