Android phones have a basic set of apps that can do a variety of jobs. But of course, you can make it do so much more with the wide selection of apps available, from those that provide weather forecasts to those that can help you organize your life, inside and out. Next to it are games.
Our guide will guide you step-by-step through finding and downloading apps from the Google Play Store, as well as looking at other app sources you may not be aware of.
How to download apps from the Google Play Store?
- Open the Google Play app
- Search or browse for an app
- Click Install
It is very easy to download apps from the Google Play Store. Almost every Android device (at least in the West) comes with the app pre-installed, as it’s part of the suite that Google includes in Android. Find the app named Game Store whose icon is a multicolored triangle on a white background.
Tap the icon and you’ll be taken to the Play Store. There will be a few apps displayed in the main portion of the screen, but you’ll want to check out the line of icons along the bottom to separate the app categories into Game, Application, Film &… and Book.
Choose one that will include the app you’re after, then if you know its name, tap the text box at the top of the page where you’ll see the words Search apps. You can now enter a title and hopefully you will see the intended application appear at the top of the list of results. Tapping it will open the page for that app, then all you need to do is tap Setting and the app will start downloading immediately.
Note that not all apps are free, but many are. If you choose a method that costs money, you’ll be prompted to set up a payment method, but note that you can also use a Google Play gift card: it doesn’t have to be a credit or debit card.
If you’re not sure which app you want to download, you can tap For you, Top ranking or Category options appear above the featured apps. These will provide a list of the most popular ones on the store, any of which you can download by tapping Setting button. If you’re new to Android, then our guide to the best Android apps will prove invaluable and save you time searching through the huge selection on the Play Store.
Is Google Play the only place to get Android apps?
No, but this is one of the safest and most convenient ways to download Android apps. There are alternatives available. In some cases, these are necessary, as with new Huawei devices that come with the company’s own App Gallery due to disputes with Google and the US government’s ban on US companies (eg. like Google) working with Huawei and sub-brand honor.
Another example is Amazon’s Fire line of tablets, which run a custom version of Android. Amazon wants to keep customers within its digital walls by offering apps through the Amazon Appstore. However, on standard Android devices there is the option to use different stores, with the aforementioned Huawei and Amazon efforts available, along with Aptoide, F-Droid and many others if you are Google’s ‘alternative Android app store’.
It should be noted, however, that while Amazon and – as far as we can tell – the App Library – are a trusted store, many other stores can be home to dodgy or even devious apps. even malware due to the more open nature of their catalog. That’s why we recommend sticking with the Google Play Store, but if you intend to venture out into the wild, just make sure you install some of the right Android antivirus software. to limit possible damage.
Another alternative, the same way you would with many Windows apps, is to download them as .apk files directly from a website, maybe even the app developer. Again, there’s a risk it could contain malware, which is why anti-virus software is a good idea if you’re going to do this kind of thing.
To install apps from non-Google sources, you need to first adjust the settings on your device. The exact titles mentioned next may vary slightly, depending on your handset, but they should be roughly the same no matter what you’re using. So let’s open Setting app and navigate to Application then tap the three dots in the top right corner. From the drop-down menu, select Special Access. On the next page, scroll down and select Install unknown apps.
Some apps will now appear in the list. These are the different apps through which it can be installed, so pick the ones you’re most likely to use – Chrome should probably be at the top of your list – then turn on Permission from this source right to buy. That’s it. You’ll now be able to visit those alternative stores and install apps on your device. Just make sure you update them regularly so that the security settings stay up to date.
Read on: Everything you need to know about setting alarms on Android.
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