The easiest way to install an app on your Android smartphone or tablet is to open the Play Store, search for the app you want and tap Install. What if we told you there's another way of installing an app from the Google Play Store? One that you can use without touching your device? We show you in this tutorial how to install apps using the Play Store website, in just about any web browser:
1. Open the Play Store in your browser
The first thing you do is to load the Google Play Store website. Open your favorite web browser on a computer and go to play.google.com. If you are logged in to a Google service like Gmail, your Google identity shows up in the top-right corner, and you can skip to the next section of the tutorial. If you are not logged in, you get a Sign in button, and the first thing you must do is to log in with your Google account. Press the Sign in button.
The Google account you choose to sign in has to be set up the Android device where you want to install apps. Otherwise, the procedure does not work. If you need help, read How to set up a Google account on an Android device. Enter your credentials to sign in.
Once you are signed in, the top-right corner of the screen shows your Google account picture.
2. Find the app you want to install
For this tutorial, we install as an example the Waze app. Locate the Search input field at the top-center of the screen and type the name of the app you want to install.
Press Enter on the keyboard (or tap the blue magnifying glass button to the right of the search box). Then, click or tap on the app that you want to install, in the list of search results.
The popular apps tend to appear in the first search results. You may need to press the See more button to find your app or refine your search text for more accurate results.
Once you click or tap on the app that you want to install, Play Store site displays the app page.
If you want to verify the description, see the rating of the app, or check the user reviews, scroll down the page to find all this information.
3. Install the app using the Play Store website
To install the app, click or tap the Install button at the top of the page.
You may be asked to verify your Google account identity. Do so to be able to move to the next step. If you have the same Google account set up on multiple Android devices, you can choose in a drop-down list on which device you want to install the app. You also see a list with the permissions the app requires for it to run. Choose the device from the drop-down list, and click or tap Install.
A popup dialog appears, informing you that the app is going to be installed on your device soon.
The term is intentionally vague because the installation depends on the connection of your device to the internet, and how busy it is doing other tasks. If the device is turned off, for example, the installation takes place after you turn it on again.
Once you press the OK button, you are returned to the app page. This time, the button at the top of the page says Installed, confirming your action. For future installations, on the same device or others, press the Installed button, and the Play Store behaves the same as when you pressed Install.
You can now go to your device and check that the app has been successfully installed. You do not need to take any other action for the installation to happen.
How do you like installing Android apps from a web browser?
There are moments when you find out about a new app while browsing the internet on your computer. Rather than switching to your phone or tablet, it is easier to install the app right away using your browser. Maybe you have left your device to charge, and you do not want to interrupt it (how many times you pick up the phone and get into your emails or social media feeds and forget to put it back to charge). Whatever your reason, it is good to have the option of installing apps directly from a web browser. On top of that, installing apps on your phone without even touching it, is pretty neat. Let us know your take in a comment below.