Any app that is not developed by the owner of your smart device and you download from other sources is called a third-party app.
Generally, all apps such as Facebook, Netflix, Snapchat, Instagram, and WhatsApp are considered third-party apps until the app’s owners make their own smartphone devices and offer them as first-party apps. The First-party app is a term used for the apps made by an owner of a device, such as messaging apps, built-in web browsers, calling apps, gallery apps, etc.
There is no risk associated with downloading third-party apps, as long as the app is trusted and downloaded from a trusted source like Google playstore. The apk files you download from non-trusted websites, such as apkpure, may contain viruses. Therefore, only use official app store to install apps or games.
However, the fact is that we get many apps on our mobile devices pre-installed. Apps that can also be installed from official app stores. For instance, the Facebook app is found on many mobile devices by default. Does it mean the first-party app then? No! it’s still a third-party app for a device.
What are third-party apps?
The term ‘third-party app’ refers to any app that is created by a developer who isn’t connected to the manufacturer of the device.
To know specially which apps are third-party apps for an android OS or Ios OS. I’ve given an example below to understand the concept in a better sense,
A good example of a third-party app for Android is if you download a camera app, although there is an existing camera app that is a first-party app. But the one downloaded from the official google play store will be considered a third-party.
Apple’s iPhone comes with its own messaging app, created by them which we call a first-party app, but the apple app store has thousand of messaging apps with advanced features. Whatsapp for instance, it’s called a third-party app.
Such apps can be downloaded from the official iPhone store or any official website and will be considered a third-party apps.
Some examples of third-party apps.
Below are some examples of popular third-party apps.
Facebook, a social media platform, is a third-party app as you install it on your phone to add extra functionalities. Similarly, the Facebook app has built-in third-party apps like Facebook games, which further adds value to the Facebook social media app.
Snapchat is also a third-party social media app you can install on your phones, including iPhone and android OS.
Instagram is also a third-party app, developed by Kevin Systrom. With downloading this app, additional features are given on a phone.
Netflix is also a third party, by installing this app you can stream thousands of movies. Unlike Netflix, you can watch videos on the youtube app which is a first-party app as it comes pre-installed on mobile phones.
Opera or UC browser
Web browser apps such as Opera and UC browser, both are third-party apps. However, both IOS and android phones have their built-in web browsers, for android it’s chrome, and for iPhone it’s Safari. In case you don’t want to use third-party browsers, Safari and Google chrome are good first-party web browsing apps.
U-Dictionary is also an example of a third party, it gives additional features to a device such as translating on-screen words to any second language is possible with this app.
Screen Recorder apps
Screen recording apps are also a good example of a third-party app. Such apps are useful when a phone does not come with a built-in screen recording functionality.
Games are also third-party apps. Popular games like Pubg mobile, Fortnite, Call of duty, and all games that we download from the google play store are developed by a third person. These days mobile phones don’t come up with built-in games so with this being said, there is no first-party game.Fortnite
Third-party apps vs first-party apps: What’s the difference?
It’s very understandable the difference between these terms.
Android and Ios both are simply two operating systems, they support and need apps to function properly. All Mobile manufacturers like Samsung, Apple, Oppo, Oneplus, and Vivo, create some basic apps to make their devices functional with certain basic features. For this purpose, they create apps that we call first-party apps.
Simply take a look at apps on your mobile phone, there you can find an app for every purpose like messaging app, camera app, contact app, gallery app, and so on which all make together a mobile device functional.
So, basic apps available in a device, created by the manufacturers are first-party apps. On the other hand, apps we download external to get some advanced features such as I myself don’t prefer using Samsung’s built-in browser instead of this I like using opera or UC as a default browser.
So these are what we considered third-party applications.
How to identify third-party apps on my phone?
To identify which apps on your device are from a third party, follow the steps given below for both android and iPhone devices.
Open the setting and navigate to the folder where all downloaded apps are listed. Now tap on any app’s gear icon and check if it shows the uninstallation option.
If you see it, then it’s a third-party app since it can be uninstalled from the device. First apps don’t get removed unless you root your mobile phone.
On android devices navigate to the app folder from the settings. You can see the list of apps “installed apps” which all are third-party apps and can be uninstalled.
Whereas, you can see their system apps that are first-party don’t show any uninstallation option there.
Should you download third-party apps?
There is no denying we all need such apps to get advanced features. Without these apps, a device has (for me at least) no use at all since I cannot use any device without Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, and so many other apps.
So according to my personal view, yes everyone needs and should download these apps to get done more functional things.
Are third-party apps safe?
About safety regarding such apps, to put any words on that, first, we need to look at the source where you are getting the app. As more than an app, the source tells the most if the app is safe to use or not.
Official app stores like google play store and iPhone app store provide apps that are completely safe. Their store has strict requirements for publishers to meet before publishing their apps live on these platforms which is, for users like us, a good thing.
That’s the reason why these app stores are popular and have thousands of apps.
Unofficial stores like apkpure, apk mirror, apktoide, and many more similar stores have almost every app’s apk file. These can be safe to download apps but not always because of their low-strength algorithm and no official support.
Sometimes apk formats downloaded from this store can have virus patched- once in a year or two, there is always a bad story that comes up about them.