How to download and install apps on an Android device

Applications greatly expand the capabilities of your phone or tablet

An Android tablet (or Google Android phone for that matter) is a wonderful thing. As soon as you get it out of its box you can do all manner of things with it from send email to browse the web, manage your diary to text your friends, take photos to play games.

But if you ignore the applications market you are putting your Android device at a severe and serious disadvantage. One of the reasons Android in general is so popular, both on smartphones and on tablets, is the superb application store.

See also: How to download an app to an iPhone or iPad

There are tens of thousands of applications available and they cover just about any subject you can think of. There are applications for serious stuff like word processing and spreadsheeting - you know, the kinds of things you might do at work. There are applications for leisure, and for gaming. And in between there are thousands of applications for hobbyists, for practical activities, really just about everything you could possibly want to do.

That's great, of course. But even better, many of the applications are free. This means there is no initial outlay of money before you find out whether or not you actually find an application useful.

The big plus point here is that you can try an application and if it doesn't suit, you can delete it. You can test out a number of different applications that do similar things, and choose the one that suits you the best.

Because the difference between an application that works for you and one that works for someone else can be very small, maybe just a difference in look and feel, maybe the presence of one extra small feature, this is a superb way of making sure everything is just as you like it.

The vast variety of apps available helps mean your tablet never feels old or tired. As your interested change, you can find apps that help you pursue them. As you complete one game, you can find another to help you relax. And with new applications popping up all the time there is a constant change over in terms of what is available. By making the most of applications you can keep your Android tablet fresh all the time.

The Android Market is the main way of getting third party applications onto your Android tablet. But it might not be the only way available to you. Samsung, for example, also has an Android app store, and this is pre installed onto all its Android devices, both smartphones and tablets. It has different apps to those you'll find in the Android Market, and again some are free, some are charged for. There are fewer apps available in the Samsung app store than the Android Market, but it is nice to have two separate sources of software at your fingertips.

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App expand the capabilities of your phone or tabletHow to download an appFind out more details about an app

An Android tablet (or phone for that matter) is a wonderful thing. One of the reasons Android in general is so popular, both on smartphones and on tablets, is the superb application store. We show you how to download an app onto your device.

Step oneFind the Market app. If there is an icon labelled 'Market' on the home screen tap it. If not open the Applications menu and scroll till you see the Market app, then tap it. The Android Market application will run.

Step twoNow you can search for your app. We're going to look for an app called Evernote. It's a note taking app with web synchronising. Tap the magnifying glass icon at the top right of the screen then start typing 'Evernote'.

Step threeTap 'Evernote' in the listing below the search box. A new window opens and it lists a lot of different apps, with the Evernote application we are looking for at the head of the list.

Step fourTap 'Evernote' and the application window opens. You can see information about the application. Scroll down the page and you can see screen shots and some user reviews.

NEXT PAGE: Find out more details about an app

Compare best mobile phone dealsSmartphone buying advice See all smartphone reviews

App expand the capabilities of your phone or tabletHow to download an appFind out more details about an app

An Android tablet (or phone for that matter) is a wonderful thing. One of the reasons Android in general is so popular, both on smartphones and on tablets, is the superb application store. We show you how to download an app onto your device.

Step fiveTap 'More' and you can see more detailed information about the application, telling you more about what it does and changes found in the most recent update.

Step sixTowards the top of the page is the word 'Install'. Beneath it is the word 'Free' indicating that there is no charge for this app. Tap 'Free' and a new screen appears asking you to accept the permissions the app needs. Tap 'OK'.

Step sevenA message saying 'Your item will be downloaded' appears, and in the top row of the screen a download symbol appears. Wait for that to disappear, and you'll see a notification that the app has been installed.

Step eightGo to the apps list and find the application. Tap its icon and the application will run. If you want it on a home screen, tap and hold the icon and drop it when it appears on the home screen.

Tips and tricks

As well as having lots of applications the Android market has a lot of widgets you can get to augment those that come on your tablet. Go to the market and search for 'widget'.To pay for charged apps you will need a Google account. You can set this up on the web and you'll need to input credit card details. Apps you pay for can be downloaded again, for example if you reset your Android tablet, as long as you sign in with the same Google account.

See also: The 40 best Android apps for business users

Compare best mobile phone dealsSmartphone buying advice See all smartphone reviews

App expand the capabilities of your phone or tabletHow to download an appFind out more details about an app

This story, "How to download and install apps on an Android device" was originally published by PC Advisor (UK).

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