Buy a new Samsung Galaxy phone? Nice, you can enjoy it at once. To get started, download interesting games and applications. Many of them are free.
But how do you install apps on Android? Here are instructions.
The Google Play
The Google Play is pre-installed on your phone or tablet. Firstly, you should sign in with a Google account (actually, you did it when you first set up the phone). Haven’t done yet? Add a Google account to your phone (and even sign up for one at the same time): Go to Settings > accounts to do so.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll be able to browse the browse apps, purchase apps, or download free apps and update apps. Purchasing apps is done a couple of ways. One is through Google checkout. You give it a credit card number, and it manages the transactions for you. Another way is through carrier billing. If you’re on Sprint, AT&T or T-Mobile you can charge apps to your phone bill.
It’s funny that you can download it onto as many phones as you have once you’ve purchased an application. Need more space on your phone? Uninstall an app and put it back on later if you need it again, at no additional charge.
To install from the Google Play on your phone
- Open Google Play app and choose an app.
- To install, tap “Free” (If it’s a paid app, you’ll tap “Purchase”).
- You’ll be asked to accept permissions — this shows you what the app can access on your phone. Hit yes, and the app will download and install.
Note: You can cancel a download when it’s happening. For paid apps, you can request a refund within 15 minutes.
To install apps from the Google Play on Web Browser
- Go to https://play.google.com/store from a web browser.
- Pick an app. Hit the install button.
- You’ll be asked to accept permissions, and choose which device you want to install on (if you have more than one).
- Look over the permissions and hit the install button again. The app will magically be downloaded and installed on your phone.
The Amazon Appstore
A relative newcomer is the Amazon Appstore. You’ll have to have an account with Amazon to use it. Firstly, you need to download Amazon Appstore.
Once it’s on your phone, you can download apps directly from it or, like the Google Play, from a web portal. App downloaded through the Amazon Appstore will be updated through the Amazon Appstore.
How to install apps from the Amazon Appstore
- Go to Amazon.com/apps to download the Amazon Appstore on your phone.
- Choose an app in the Appstore, and hit the install button.
- Same goes for the on-device Appstore app. Choose an app, and install.
The Appstore app remembers apps you’ve purchased, so you can install them again if need be.
Note that as of this writing, phones on AT&T cannot use the Amazon Appstore.
Android allows you to download apps from third-party app store. Installing an app from outside Google Play is known as “Sideloading.”
To sideload apps, you’ll first need to change an option in your phone’s settings menu to allow non-Market apps. Check the “Unknown sources” box, and to allow sideloading. Do note that while “experts” will tell you this potentially presents security concerns, you can turn it off and on at your leisure. So you can sideload an app and turn it right back on, no worries.
So how to sideload? If in a web browser you tap on a link that goes directly to an Android application (identified by the .apk suffix), it’ll automatically start to download the app, and then ask if you want to install it. Another way is if an app is e-mailed to you, which some developers do. Or you can install apps via the Android software development kit and the command line.
Oh, and because the Amazon Appstore is outside of the Google Play ecosystem, it, too is actually sideloading apps. Same goes for other publishers, such as GetJar and Gameloft. You download from them and then sideload onto your phone.
AT&T and the Sideload Wonder Machine
Android smartphones on AT&T do not have the option to allow non-Market apps to be installed.
There are a couple ways around this: One is to install via the Android SDK. But we’ve made things even easier. No command line. No SDK. Just a simple Windows (or Mac or Linux) program we’ve dubbed the Android Sideload Wonder Machine. It installs apps just as if you were doing so through the Android SDK, only it’s all packaged up nice and neat. It’s a must-have if you’re on AT&T.
Bonus Tips: Uninstalling apps
If you can install apps, you can uninstall apps. And there are a couple ways to do it.
From your phone’s applications manager
This works for all apps that you’ve downloaded. It will not apps that are loaded into your phone’s ROM.”
Go to Settings > Applications > Manage applications, then tap on the app you want to uninstall. Tap the Uninstall button, and follow the prompts.
You’ll need this method if you installed either via the Amazon Appstore or the Sideload Wonder Machine.
From the Google Play
Go to “My Apps” (Hit the menu button to find it). Tap on the app you want to uninstall, then tap the uninstall button.
Drag and uninstall
Some custom ROMs (and Android 3.0 on tablets) give you the ability to drag, drop and uninstall. Look for a trash can.
And that’s it, folks. You’ve now mastered the basics of installing and uninstalling Android applications. What if lost data on Android, you can resort to Android Data Recovery. It can recover contacts, photos, text messages, videos and call history on Android phone and tablet.