How to Install apk Files on Android

August 16th, 2010 3 Comments

This is another one of those informational posts that’s as much for me as it is for you and Google.

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

  1. Copy the APK file to your phone’s memory card by connecting it to your computer or using an SD card reader.
  2. Download and install an application from the Android Market. AppsInstaller was recommended by several sites, but most file managers also have installing capabilities.
  3. Once installed, use the app you chose to find the apk file.
  4. Install the apk.

Installing Applications with the Android SDK

  1. Download and install the Android SDK.
  2. 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.
  3. Connect your phone via USB and mount it as a disk drive.
  4. Open a terminal and navigate to the SDK directory.
  5. Execute: adb install filename.apk
  6. 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.

Possibly Related Posts

3 Responses to “How to Install apk Files on Android”

  1. neilghosh Says:


  2. Kyle Says:

    An easy way is to use freeware Android Injector from

  3. Ciaed Says:

    Thanks you for the tutorial, this is very useful for me.. 

Leave a Reply