Unlike the iPhone, which makes it very difficult to install non-approved apps on a jailed phone, installing non-Android Market apps on an Android phone is a breeze.
So, if someone sends you an apk to try out, you’ll have it running in a matter of minutes, assuming you remember these steps, or you can use Google.
As I mentioned previously, Anthony (@anthonyslai) is working on a WebCenter integration with Android, and so, when he sent me the apk, I went immediately to Google for instructions on how to install it.
There are two basic ways, either install a third party app installer or use the Android SDK. I chose the latter for a couple reasons. First, I already have the SDK installed to take screenshots. Second, I have trust issues with the Android Market.
Here are the details I found:
Installing Applications through the Android Market
- Copy the APK file to your phone’s memory card by connecting it to your computer or using an SD card reader.
- Download and install an application from the Android Market. AppsInstaller was recommended by several sites, but most file managers also have installing capabilities.
- Once installed, use the app you chose to find the apk file.
- Install the apk.
Installing Applications with the Android SDK
- Download and install the Android SDK.
- Modify your phone’s settings to allow the installation of applications from other sources by choosing Settings from a Home screen, then selecting Applications and enabling the Unknown Sources option.
- Connect your phone via USB and mount it as a disk drive.
- Open a terminal and navigate to the SDK directory.
- Execute: adb install filename.apk
- Unmount your phone .
So, not that bad and definitely less effort than the iPhone process. Just ask Clayton Donley (@cdonley), who built the Oracle People app.