How to install apps outside of Google Play

Install AppsThe Google Play store is a great resource that can enhance your mobile experience. It givesAndroid users access to more than one million apps, such as Facebook, Pandora, and Instagram, among thousands of others, but what do you do when Google unexpectedly pulls an app from its marketplace?

Google has removed apps from the Play store for a number of reasons, the most common being that they violate the company’s policy. Once an app is removed, however, all hope isn’t lost. You may not have been aware that apps no longer available in the Play store can still be installed on your Android device through a process known as “sideloading.”

Here’s how to do it:

Setting up your device

From your smartphone or tablet running Android 4.0 or higher, go to Settings, scroll down to Security, and select Unknown sources. Selecting this option will allow you to install apps outside of the Google Play store. Depending on your device, you can also choose to be warned before installing harmful apps. This can be enabled by selecting the Verify apps option in the Security settings.

On devices running an earlier version of Android, go to Settings, open the Applications option, select Unknown sources, and click OK on the popup alert.

Downloading an app

The next step will be finding an Android package file, also known as an APK, which is the way Android apps are distributed and installed. This is where some people usually run into trouble. Never, and I mean ever, use sideloading as a way to pirate applications; doing so will likely result in your Android device getting a virus. You should only download APK files from trusted developers and companies.

See Full Story on howto.cnet.com

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