How To Video
Install third-party apps on an Android phoneThe Android Market isn't the only place to get your app fix. CNET's Antuan Goodwin shows you how to enable the installation of third-party APK files on your Android phone.
-Most android users will get their app fixed from the android market, but there are plenty of very cool apps to be found outside of the market from small developers and more recently from third-party sources such as Amazon's app store for android. Out of the box, your android phone will not allow you to make use of these third-party apps, flagging them as untrusted sources, but come on. You can trust Amazon, right? I'm Antuan Goodwin with cnet.com and I'm gonna show you how to enable third-party app installation on your android phone. Now, enabling this function is actually quite simple. Just pop into your android phone's setting menu. Look for the applications option. Tap that and then look for an option that says unknown sources. It is usually the first one here, but the placement can vary from phone to phone. Check that box then back out of the menu and wahla! You'll be able to install third-party apps from anywhere. Now, the apps themselves are usually transported to .apk file and can be found all over the place. The easiest place will be from Amazon's app store, but don't let your hunt stop there. Often time, app makers will make beta versions of their app such as the swipe alternative keyboard available on their website, which can be downloaded and installed directly from your phone's browser. Other places to look include android-hacking communities such as the XDA developer forums or the droid forums where devs are always cooking up neat little applets that you can download to your phone's SC card and then access and install using a file manager such as Astro. Unfortunately, access to the third-party app installation function is at the discretion of your wireless service provider. So, for example, users of AT&T-powered android phone such as the ATRIX 4G and Samsung captivate are unable to use or even see this option without first routing their phone and possibly getting your hands dirty with some command line action. Well, there you have it. You're now free to get your apps from wherever you darn well please. Be sure to check out the Android Atlas blog for even more android tips and tricks and CNET TV for even more how-to videos. This has been Antuan Goodwin with cnet.com showing you how it's done.