Ever since the Android operating system first saw the light of day, apps have ruled the mobile ecosystem. Nowadays, everything is an app in your hands. Whether you know it or not, you use apps for the most basic things you do every day: a browser for browsing the web, an email client for your messaging needs, the Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn app to check on the latest updates from your friends or coworkers, the Instagram app to post a photo or see your peers' photos. The Settings in your phone are held together in an app, even the device's photo camera is operated by an app. A smartphone or tablet without apps would be like a tree without leaves (or a home without a cat, if you ask me). So how do you install the apps you need on your Android device? In this article, we'll teach you how to find the apps you need and install them on your Android powered device.
NOTE: We used a Google Nexus 5 device running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. The procedure is similar on all Android powered devices, so you should be good to go even if you're running a different version of Android on your device.
How To Install Apps From The Play Store On An Android Device
For its Android operating system, Google created an app market called Google Play. In order for you, as an Android user, to install a Google-approved app onto your Android device, you need to go through Google Play, but you will not be able to use the Google Play Store without first connecting a Google Account to your Android smartphone or tablet. To find out how to connect your Google Account to your Android device, read this article - it explains how to achieve this.
How To Install Apps Using The Google Play Store App
Before you can use the Play Store app, obviously enough, you need to open it, so go ahead and tap on the Apps icon on your homescreen to find it.
Scroll through your apps list until you find the Play Store app and tap on it to open it.
This is the Google app market that you'll use to find all the apps approved by Google, free or paid, categorized and labeled accordingly. When a developer submits an app to the Google Play Store, Google asks for a minimum Android version requirement and some system requirements needed in order for the device to be able to run the app. If your personal Android smartphone or tablet doesn't meet the minimum requirements of an app, the Play Store will not even show the app to you, since you will not be able to run it anyway. Otherwise, you can browse the sections freely, check the Editor Picks, see the top downloaded apps in any category and browse the latest games, music albums or books. By default, the Play Store looks like this:
For the purpose of this tutorial, we'll show you the steps you need to take to install the Google Photos app. In doing this, we'll teach you how to search for the app, view its details and install it onto your device. First, you'll have to search for the app, so tap on the Google play text search field on top to enter the app's name.
Input the app's name into the search field and the system will start searching through the apps after the first few typed letters. If the app you're looking for is found, it will show up in the search results dropdown list with its icon, otherwise you can tap on the Search icon on the keyboard to search using the typed terms.
Once you've finished the search, tap on the found app in the results list to open its page in the Play Store.
Every app has a page inside the Play Store, where you can check all its details like the description, screenshots, technical requirements, user reviews and similar apps. If you're looking for more details, you can tap on the Read more link below the short descriptive text of the app.
When you're finished with reading the description and requirements, you can return to the app page by tapping the Back button of your device.
When you're ready to install the app, tap on the Install button on the right side of the screen.
A popup screen will appear showing you the permissions that the app needs in order to run properly. Permissions are Google's way of making sure "you know what you're getting into", so to speak. A web browser, for instance, will need the Internet Connection permission, while a GPS navigation app will need the Location permission to be able to run. Depending on the app you're installing, browse through the permissions needed by the respective app to make sure it's safe to install it and when you're ready, tap on the Accept button on the bottom of the popup dialog.
Now the system proceeds with installing the app. Depending on the size of the app, this may take from a few seconds up to a few minutes. Most apps don't take more than 10-15 seconds to install, so you don't have to wait too long. When the app finishes installing, you are presented with the option to open the app right away.
And you're done! The app is installed and ready for you to use. By default, an icon of the app is created on the homescreen for easy access.
Congratulations! You have just learned how to use the Google Play Store to search for an app you might need and how to install it. The world holds no limits to you now, the freedom of the digital world is in your hands, so feel free to explore and try. But beware, too many unnecessary apps installed on your device will slow it down progressively, so every once in a while, check your installed apps list and see which ones you actually use and which ones you don't need.
Thank you for reading our guide! Post any comments and questions you may have below and we'll gladly do our best to help. Also, feel free to browse this section of our website for tutorials on Android-specific common tasks to simplify your daily digital life!