Installing Non-Market Android Apps

There are times when you might want to install an application that did not come from Google's Android Market onto your Android device. Or you may be using one of the many Android tablets that don't even have access to the Android Market. Here are a couple of ways to do it:
Note that Android applications are distributed as files with ".apk" extensions, and are typically called "APK files"
First: You will probably have to bring up your device's Settings menu, select Applications, and enable the setting entitled "Allow installation of non-Market applications". This setting is generally disabled by default, either as a security measure or to promote Google's Market, depending on who you ask.
Now do one of the following:
  • Web Download to Device - This is the simplest option. If the application is on the Web and you can download it from the browser on your device, installation is generally as simple as waiting for the notification that the download is complete and then clicking on the listing of the file in the notification. PocketSat3 can be installed this way.
  • apkinstall.com - If you have an APK file that you have downloaded to your PC or Mac, you can upload it to this site which will then display a QR code that you can scan with your Android device and the file will be installed on it. I've never tried it, but it seems straightforward and folks seem to like it.
  • USB transfer - If you have a USB cable for your device, you can download the APK file to a computer, connect your device to it using the cable, and then press "Turn on USB Storage" on the device. At this point your computer will see your device's "SD Card" (which may be an SD card, or may be built-in storage, depending on the device) as a removable drive, and you can copy the APK file directly to it. Then you can use an Android "file explorer" application - either one that came installed on the device or one like "ES File Explorer" (free on Android Market) to navigate to the file. If you click on it it will be installed.
  • Memory Card - If you have an SD or microSD card that you can plug into both your Android device and your computer, you can put the card into your computer, copy the APK file to it, and then plug it into your Android device. Then you can use an Android "file explorer" application - either one that came installed on the device or one like "ES File Explorer" (free on Android Market) to navigate to the file. If you click on it it will be installed.
  • Android SDK - A lot of "how to install APK file" web pages suggest installing the Android Software Development Kit and using the "adb" tool to install APK files. It'll work, but what a pile of work that is! I mean, I already have the SDK installed, and use it daily for developing apps, but I still think it;s too much trouble to install APKs that way.
Hopefully one of these methods will work for you.
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