Sometimes you need to install an Android App that isn’t available in the Android Marketplace onto you phone, maybe because the App doesn’t meet the Marketplace’s rules, or perhaps because you are in the process of developing a new App and need to test it on a physical device.
Luckily Android have made it fairly easy to install an application on a device – all you need is the compiled .apk file, so if you have that, you should be set to go!
I recently needed to install a custom App that Touchwork was in the process of developing onto a couple of devices for testing purposes. The devices I was handed were all from the Samsung Android smartphone and table range, including a Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S II, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab.
To install the app, I first needed to connect each of the devices to the PC using the standard USB connector cable. Once USB storage/file sharing was enabled on the phone, I was able to drag and drop the .apk file into the root folder of the device via Windows Explorer.
With the copy complete, the device was disconnected and using Samsung’s My Files file manager app, I could browse to the .apk file in the root folder of the SD card. Click on the .apk file and the install process will begin. Note that you will get a warning saying that your phone doesn’t allow the installation of non-market apps, before redirecting you to the settings page where you can change a setting to allow it.
Attempt the install again and you’ll soon get a message informing you that the install has completed.
Browse to the Applications window as you normally would after installing an App, and you’ll find your new App sitting all pretty and ready for use!
Quite simple really.