How To Install Non-Android Market .APK Apps On Android Devices

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Since the release of the Samsung Galaxy S device, the Android Market had a continuous growth and now it features tons of applications. Owners of Android-based devices can download any type of application from the Android Market and they can install such applications easily on their Android tablets and smartphones. Some users consider that the Android OS is like the iPhone, but this is wrong, because the Android operating system is an open system, while Apple’s iOS doesn’t allow its users to download application from 3rd party sources.

So, owners of Android-based phones need to know that there are several applications / hacks that can’t be downloaded from 3rd party sources also. A standard Android app uses the Android Package (.apk) application format which is available at the Android Market and it is supported by all Android-based devices and an Android-based phone also features support for 3rd party application sources. Installing an APK from the Android Market is easy, as it is automatically downloaded and installed on your Android-based device, but installing an application that isn’t present on the Android Market is somewhat tricky and this post has been created to help you install such applications on your Android device.

Everyone knows that installing an application on Windows, Linux or on a Mac PC is easy, as you simply need to double click on an application’s installer and the installer will pop-out and the installation process starts, but installing a non-Market APK on an Android is done somewhat differently because the Android-based devices doesn’t feature not even a standard File Manager. Nevertheless, if you wish to install an APK on your Android device, you should know that there are several methods that you can use. Check them below:

How To Install .APK Application With an APK Apps Installer or File Manager

As I’ve told you already, the Android Market app is unable of installing .APK apps files without help and you can use it to grab APK installers or applications installing tools straight from Android Market for free. Check the instructions below:

  1. Access the Android Market.

  2. On the Android Market you will find tons of non-apk applications installers, such as FastAppInstall, App Installer, appInstaller, AppsInstaller Fast Installer, Onymous App Installer, eoeAppInstaller and others more. Download and install one of them. Also, there are many file managers and tools that feature support for installing APK files on Android-based devices, such as AndroZip File Manager, Mobile Manager, ASTRO File Manager, Android Mate, EStrongs File Explorer and many others.

  3. Now that you’ve download and installed one of the above tools you have to copy the ‘.apk’ file in the root folder of the SD card.

  4. Now open and start the Application installing utility.

  5. The Application installer you’ve downloaded and installed will start scanning the root directory or all the contents of your SD card for any type of .apk file. When it founds the app you wish to install, you simply need to touch it and installer will start the installation process of the desired APK application.

  6. You will have to confirm all the installation dialogs that the APK installer is displaying.

  7. After the installer finished installing the APK you will be able of opening the newly installed application from the device’s menu.

How To Push Install An APK With Android SDK Using Your Computer

Using this method you won’t have to use the Android Market as you directly install an application in .APK extension to your Android-based device using only your computer. Doing this you won’t have to use your Google Account with the Android gadget.

STEP 1: First, you need to download the Android SDK by clicking on the correct links below . Install it as it’s easy. You simply unpack the starter package to a secure location and after that set that specific location to the computer’s environment address.

  • Download Android SDK for Windows from here.

  • Download Android SDK for Mac OS X from here.

  • Download Android SDK for Linux from here.

STEP 2: The Windows users need to download and install the USB driver for adb. This can be done by opening the SDK Setup.exe located in the root directory of the SDK folder and so it can access the Android SDK and AVD Manager. So, run the SDK Setup.exe from the SDK folder and from the Available Packages menu you will have to select the USB Driver Package and all the installation files will be saved in the ‘\usb_driver sub-folder within the SDK directory and after you can use it to install that specific driver.

  • please note that this official USB driver for Windows can work with these Android-based gadgets:  T-Mobile myTouch 3G / Google Ion, Google Nexus One, T-Mobile G1 / ADP1, Verizon Droid or with any other similar Android-based similar devices that are available at other carriers. Other extra gadgets will need Windows drivers offered by the hardware manufacturer.

STEP 3: Now you have to connect the Android device to your computer via a USB sync cable.

STEP 4: Using the Android device you have to go to Settings and open Application and in the ‘Application Settings’ menu you will have to tick the ‘Unknown sources’ option. Also, you should go to Settings and select ‘SD card & phone storage’ and tick the ‘Disable Use for USB Storage’ option (this can be done only if the option is available), and after you finish installing the application you should enable it.

STEP 5: Now you need to tranfer the .APK files in the Android SDK folder on your computer.

STEP 6: Open the Command Prompt.

STEP 7: In the Command Prompt you need to enter the following command line: adb install <path to the .apk file><.apk file name> .  This will start installing the application on the connected Android device.

How To Install .APK Apps From PC, without the Android SDK, but with Droid Explorer

The Droid Explorer application contains support for remotely manage and control Android devices straight from your PC. The Droid Explorer allows you to transfer the local file straight to the device and the Package Manager that is needed to install or uninstall applications. Also it features support for right clicking .APK files to install / uninstall.

Get the Droid Explorer from here.

Please note that you still need to install the correct USB driver in order for the Android-based device to be recognized by Windows.

If you have any questions or you encounter problems while installing non-Market APK apps, feel free to post in the comments field or in the post’s forum thread.

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