Personal Finance

Alternatives To 4 Banned Apps In India

The Government of India recently banned 59 Chinese origin apps, citing data security concerns. These apps belonged to many different categories like browsers, social media sharing, games, antivirus and phone maintenance apps, media sharing apps and even newsfeed apps. In this article we look at four of the most popular of these banned apps and their free alternatives, which are available in India.

As of 29 July 2020, the Government of India has banned 59 apps of Chinese origin. Previous users of those apps are now searching for replacements, and we've gone ahead and gathered some contenders for the ones we think are most relevant to you: TikTok, UC Browser, Cam Scanner and Clean Master.

TikTok Alternatives: Chingari and Triller

TikTok is currently a global powerhouse for content creators.

Its rise to prominence comes in part from the ease at which the app lets users create and share content from their smartphones. This ease of use and low barrier to entry has allowed the app to rack up an estimated 611 million downloads in India.

One alternative to TikTok is Chingari: an Indian app that allows users to create and share short videos, much like TikTok. The app is free to use, which it achieves by including ads between videos.

The app has a point system that rewards creators for the number of likes, comments and shares per video

On the flip side, commenting and viewing videos allows viewers to receive prizes (such as example). Chigari features basic video editing tools: live filters, stickers and other virtual effects to help users make unique content.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
  • Available in multiple languages - English, Hindi, Oriya, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil and Malayalam.
  • Content creators can earn more as their videos become more popular.

Triller is another great alternative to TikTok. It’s free to download, but it does feature in-app purchases.

Triller is already popular on Android; it has been downloaded more than 10 million times worldwide as per the Google Playstore. It, like Chingari, features various filters that let users make unique and entertaining videos.

Something that sets it apart from Chingari, though, is its auto editing feature, which allows users to make and post videos on the fly with minimal video editing skills. It also contains a rapidly expanding library of music, which users can utilize to add music to their videos

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
TrillerFreeINR 65 – 6,600 per item
  • Quick editing options
  • More than 100 personalization options like filters, texts and emojis
  • Library of popular tracks to add to your video
  • Ability to collaborate with content creators around the world in group videos
  • Social sharing on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Text and Email

Regardless of your choice, if you decide to make any in-app purchases for any of these apps, you will save money by using a ValueChampion-approved top online shopping credit card. We recommend the Kotak Mahindra Essentia Platinum Card, which gives you 10% cashback on purchases of INR 1500 and above.

UC Browser Alternatives

While UC Browser is not the most popular mobile web browser in India, it does come preinstalled on most Chinese-branded phones, which makes it the default browser for those users.

One alternative to UC Browser is Google Chrome. According to Globalstats Statcounter, Chrome has a market share close to 81%, which makes this browser the most popular mobile web browser in India.

The biggest selling point of Chrome is that users don’t just get the browser; they get the entire Google ecosystem. Users can sync contacts and accounts across multiple devices, which creates an easy and efficient transition between computer and phone or what have you.

When it comes to online safety, Chrome has a built-in safe browsing setting, which is completely free to use. It also features a mode popular that was on UC Browser: a data saver mode. This helps cut down on data consumption if you have slow internet, which ultimately saves you money.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
Google ChromeFreeNone
  • Data saver mode for slow speed internet connections
  • Safe browsing option to protect you from dangerous sites
  • Google voice search option
  • Personalized content recommendations

DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is another alternative to UC Browser.

Something to note: DuckDuckGo is not a fancy, feature-rich browser. It does one thing simply, and it does it well--it protects your privacy.

It efficiently protects user privacy in a few key ways:

First, it has an integrated private search engine that never records your data or tracks your online traffic.

Second, it blocks most third-party trackers present on most websites. And it even shows a privacy grade from A to F for each website you visit so that you can be aware of that site’s security.

Third, it contains an option to quickly clear all your browsing data and tabs that, as mentioned above, the company does not store in their servers.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
  • One tap delete to clear your entire browsing history
  • No tracking by third-party software
  • Your search data is not recorded anywhere.
  • Sites rated for privacy giving you the option to stay or leave

Cam Scanner Alternatives

Cam Scanner is a document-scanning and digitization app that allows users to quickly scan documents with their phone camera and convert them into JPEG or PDF files. The two alternatives to this app we suggest are Adobe Scan and Microsoft Office Lens.

Adobe Scan, like Cam Scanner, is free and uses your phone’s camera to take photos of documents. It also saves those images as JPEG or PDF files and contains an intelligent crop feature that crops your photos to show only the document and not its surroundings.

Adobe Scan also features various image enhancement modes that allow users to manipulate color and saturation to make documents as legible as possible.

Something unique to Adobe Scan is the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature, which translates scanned documents into plain text rather than a JPEG or PDF file. This is super handy for users who want to transfer the document information rather than the document itself.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
Adobe ScanFreeNone
  • Intelligent Crop
  • OCR

Microsoft Office Lens is another good alternative to Cam Scanner, and it’s completely free to use.

While useful on its own, its full potential isn’t unlocked until it’s used alongside other apps in the Microsoft Office Suite. Lens allows users to scan documents and import them directly into Word documents or Powerpoint presentations, which completely streamlines the document transfer process.

Documents scanned with Lens are saved in the user’s OneDrive, which is useful if you’re accessing and working on documents across multiple devices.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
Microsoft Office LensFreeNone
  • Ability to export to different MS Office file formats.
  • Auto Crop

Clean Master – Cheetah Mobile Alternatives

Clean Master by Cheetah Mobile is a phone maintenance app that helps users manage their apps, RAM and extra files to boost performance. The alternatives we recommend are CCleaner and Files by Google.

CCleaner is a free application that gives you straight-up information about the RAM and storage space on your phone. This information helps you gauge the immediate health and storage efficiency of your device. With this information, you can accurately determine which apps to uninstall and which files to delete from your device to boost performance.

CCleaner offers a feature that allows you to uninstall apps in bulk. This means you don’t have to manually go through and uninstall each app by itself, as most competitors do.

For phone speed improvement, CCleaner monitors app cache, RAM usage, clipboard content and informs you if your phone is overloaded.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesPremium Features
CCleannerFree version with no premium featuresINR 169 per year subscription plan that comes with premium features
  • No in-app ads
  • Photo optimization features
  • 24-hour technical support
  • Automatic phone maintenance routines
  • Clean application cache
  • Uninstall unused applications in batches
  • Clean up junk files and residual data
  • Locate unused apps

Files by Google is not exactly a phone management app. It is more of a free-to-use file manager app with phone management features added on. This means you won’t get as many options to improve your phone performance as you would with CCleaner, but you will get the same access to storage maintenance.

Something special about this app: It notifies you of any duplicate photos on your phone. You can use this to quickly get rid of redundant images that eat up your memory.

Files also detects unused apps, junk files, leftover data from app uninstalls and things of that nature. It has a clean and simple user interface, which gives it a low barrier to entry for less experienced tech users out there.

App NameCostIn-App PurchasesMajor Features
Files by GoogleFreeNone
  • Manage files.
  • Identify and delete duplicate images.
  • Clean up junk files and unused apps.
  • File sharing across devices.

Things To Keep In Mind

While these are really good alternatives to a few of the banned apps, there are others out there that may be better for you. Feel free to try these apps and explore your options.

When using these apps, keep in mind which ones offer in-app purchases and upgrades. These purchases can transform the app from an easy-to-use application to a next-level program that can truly streamline your digital life.