Because the Android operating system is a relative newcomer to the mobile phone market, a strong and cohesive Android Internet support community appears to be lacking. Without an adequate Android support system in place, many Android users are left in the dark when it comes to many tricky tasks, like installing third party applications to their Android mobile phones. In order to install third party applications to your Android phone, you need to install APK, or Android Package, files. In this article, we will cover the two ways you can install APK files to your Android phone and show you how to take advantage of the wide variety of third party Android applications currently available.
Installing Applications Through the Android Market
The Android Market is essentially Android’s answer to Apple’s iPhone App Store. As of September 2009, the Android Market already offered well over 10,000 applications, and this number has only continued to grow. In addition to the applications the Android Market offers, you can also use it to install other downloaded third party applications.
- Copy the APK file to your Android’s memory card and insert the card into your phone.
- Download and install the Apps Installer application from the Android Market
- Once installed, the Apps Installer will display the APK files on the memory card.
- Click and install your APK files.
Installing Applications With Android SDK
It is possible to install APK files without utilizing the Android Market, although the process is more difficult and complex. To avoid the Android Market, you need to use Android SDK.
- Download and install the Google Android SDK program and the Android USB drivers. The download links are as follows: http://code.google.com/android/intro/installing.html
- You need to modify your Android’s settings to allow the installation of applications from other sources. Under “Settings,” select “Application Settings” and then enable “Unknown Sources.” Also under “Settings,” select “SD Card” and “Phone Storage,” and finally enable “Disable Use for USB Storage”
- This last step is easy. Open Command Prompt and type the following: adb install <1>/<2>.apk
- However, when you type the command, replace <1> with the path to your APK file and replace <2> with the name of the APK file.
- You’re done! Your application is now ready for your use and enjoyment.