(Part 4) Android Tablet: Installing Apps on a non-Google Approved Device
One of the trade offs when buying a non-branded Chinese Tablet is that Google, by default, will not allow the device to connect to the Google Market and download apps like “normal” approved devices. It is understandable, but at least there is hope.
You have 3 options on how to install apps on your device:
- Hack the device to get into the official Android Market
- Install an alternative Application Store app (non-Google)
- Download the apk file from the web and install manually on the device.
I opted for options 2 and 3.
An Alternative Application Store
Let me start off by saying that the Market app preinstalled on the tablet is NOT the Google Market one. The setup screens look the same, but it definitely is a Chinese knockoff and not worth wasting your time with it – take my word for it. This is what it looks like…
I also tried a whole bunch of alternative stores, without success. Either when trying to download the apk file and install directly on the device it would not allow it to install, or when install it would crash. The one I tried caused the device to be so unstable that I ended up Factory Defaulting the device…
The one that installed and worked like a charm was Applanet Market. Now some of the content in the market is “questionable” with apps that sometimes are payable in the official Market, being listed in it as “free” … if you know what I mean…
The one app that I could only get using Applanet was the free version of Gauge Battery Widget. I tried everywhere!
To install, use the Tablet’s browser and head over to http://applanet.net . There you click on the PC Download and the run the app. Once installed a new icon will appear on the menu and you good to go.
This is what it looks like on the device:
Download the apk file from the web and install manually on the device
Finding websites that house apps where you can download and install the apk files directly can be pretty difficult. Either you go to the developers site and hope that they have the apk on their site, and don’t just refer to Google’s Market or try a Google search and go thru them one-by-one. A site I can recommend you can go to is the FreewareLovers.com website… 🙂 (no its not THAT typre of site)
This website is not fancy but it does a great job. You register on the site, search for the app, click download and then manually install it. No mess, no fuss!
This was the main method that I used to install apps like the Kindle Reader.
In the next post I will have a list of the apps I have installed with another screenshot gallery.
Till next time…