How to install an Android app that you cannot find in the Play Store

Usually the Google Play Store is all you need to find and download apps on Android. However, unlike iOS, Android offers you the option to install apps in other places. And every now and then that level of freedom can come in handy.


For example, suppose you are looking for an app that is not available in your country. Or maybe you want to try out a newly announced update for an app that has not yet been rolled out. You may even want to find an older version of an app if a recent update turns out to be problematic.

Here's how you can get started.

Beware downloaders

First a short word of warning: in general it is best to limit the activity of downloading your app to the Play Store as much as possible. Contrary to what is often thought, Android is doing actually scan apps downloaded from external sources (and has since 2013), but the security layers are inherently less thorough outside the virtual walls of the Play Store. Consequently, your chances of encountering something dark are significantly higher when you enter the game.

So use third-party sources only when needed – and only if you are sure that you are downloading from somewhere that is reliable.

Understood? Good. Let's do this.

Find and download your app

  • Open in your phone's browser. There are countless unofficial Android app markets, but these are managed by the same people who own it Android police blog. It checks all apps to make sure they are legitimate, unaltered files signed by the right parties, and it only publishes credible apps from well-known Android developers. Outside the Play Store this is just as good as it gets.
  • Browse the collection of the site or use the search box at the top to find and select the desired app.
  • If an app has multiple versions available, these are displayed by version number and release date. Tap the desired version and then tap the file name (under the heading & # 39; Download & # 39;) and tap the red button & # 39; Download APK & # 39; at the bottom of the next page.
  • Your phone will warn you about the risks of installing unknown apps and ask you to authorize the download. Tap the "OK" button to continue.

Install your app

  • Look in your notification panel for confirmation that the download is complete. Tap the notification to begin the installation.
  • Your phone will ask you to allow unknown apps to be installed – either at the system level, if you use an older version of Android, or only for your browser, if you use Android 8.0 (Oreo) or higher. Tap the "Settings" link in that box, and then activate the switch on the screen that appears.
  • Press the Back button and you will see a message asking you to install the app, new or as an update, if you have already installed the app. Tap & # 39; Install & # 39 ;.
  • Once the installation is complete, a confirmation screen is displayed. You can open your app from that screen or by finding its icon in your app drawer.

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