Tuesday, 30 October 2012

How to Side-load and Update Android Apps

Android applications, in most cases, are installed directly on Smartphones via the Android Market app, which accesses both free and paid application available on Google’s online marketplace. However, Android apps can also be installed through a process called ‘side-loading’ – an installation technique that involves the transfer of apps from a desktop PC directly to any Android-operated mobile devices.

Here are the steps you need to follow to side-load any Android app:

1. Connect your Smartphone to your desktop PC through a USB connector.

2. On your Smartphone, tap the on-screen “Turn on USB storage” button and then tap “OK”.

3. When the AutoPlay window appears on your desktop PC, click on the option “Open folder to view files. This will create a folder of your Smartphone’s SD card on your PC.

4. Locate the location of the Android app that you want to transfer, copy it, and then paste it on the Smartphone’s SD card folder. Disconnect your Android-operated phone once done with the transfer.

5. On your Android phone, go to the application drawer and then tap on “My Files”. This will show the contents of your SD card files.

6. Locate the Android app you’ve transferred from your PC and then tap it. An on-screen prompt will ask whether you want to install the app, tap “OK”. This will install the application on your Smartphone.

To be able to successfully side-load an application, you need to make sure that your Android-operated phone is set up to allow non-Market applications to be installed. To have this permission enabled, access the Android Settings menu, tap “Applications” from the options and then check the “Unknown sources” box.

From time to time, developers release new and updated versions of applications and then make them available for download via the Google market. To make sure that your apps are up to date, you need to check every now and then whether recent versions are already available on the market.

The steps below will walk you through on how to update your apps to their latest versions:

1. Open your Smartphone
2. Access Android Marketplace by tapping on the “Market” icon. Wait for it to load.
3. Press your phone’s “Menu” button and then select “My Apps”. You will then get a complete list of the apps you currently have. If there’s an update available for any of your applications, you will see a red “Update” button right across the name of the app.
4. If there’s an app that you want to get updated, just tap on it and then press the “Update” button.
5. Press “OK”. An on-screen warning will appear asking whether you want to proceed with the application update. Press the “OK” button to confirm the update.
6. After confirming the update, the new version will download and installed automatically.

Make it a weekly habit to check updated versions of your Android apps as updating an application will fix existing bugs and provide you with new app features.

Image by Flickr

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