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Sideloading - Getting That App on Your EVO

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 6/30/2011

Downloading apps is an awesome way to add more features to your HTC EVO or any smartphone. But sometimes apps might not be found in the Android Market and then, you're left feeling hurt. You wanted that app!Try sideloading! What is that?

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    Millions of Apps, So Little Time

    If there's one thing that has changed the face of mobile technology, it has to be the application store. A place where smartphone users can download a variety of different apps that can enhance the way their current phone works, everything from clock and weather apps to business apps to mobile games.

    For HTC EVO users, the Android Market offers you many kinds of apps and games for your already awesome phone. But every once in a while, you might run into an app that you can't download from the Market. For instance, before the official launch on the market, users who wanted a LinkedIn app for their Android phones would need to be a member of the Mobile group and download the beta version. But how do you get an app from your computer on to your phone?

    The answer to that is sideloading. What loading, you ask? Don't worry, it will be explained and you'll also find an answer to the question - "how do I sideload apps on my HTC EVO?"

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    What the Heck is Sideloading?

    Sideloading - Getting That App on Your EVO 

    So what the heck is sideloading? Chances are you've probably done a lot of sideloading, depending on the type of mobile device you have currently or have owned in the past. Sideloading is the process by which data is transferred from one device to another, in this case, from your desktop to your mobile phone or vice versa. This also applies to MP3 players and tablets.

    In most cases, the first thing you do is attach your smartphone, MP3 player, tablet, or whatever to your computer so that you can start syncing and moving things over from your desktop or laptop to your phone, things like pictures, contacts, and music. Also, in the cases when you use your phone to record or take pictures of an event, you connect your phone up in order to move these files to your computer so that you can share them with family and friends (like the ones who don't use social media).

    See? You've been sideloading and haven't known it.

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    Sounds Simple! How Do I Do It?

    If you're like me and you were coming from another mobile system (Windows, Apple) to the Android platform, sideloading is a little bit different with our droid friend. On Windows phones, for instance, getting third party apps on your phone required you installing from your computer or while your phone is still connected.

    Android phones are a little different in that some APK files may need a little extra help in being installed. APK stands for Android Package files and these are what apps are comprised of so that they will work on your phone. The easiest way is to download a third party app from the Android Market, like AppInstaller.

    1. Download the APK file that you want on your phone to your computer. It's always best that you have a separate folder for your Android phone.
    2. Connect your phone to your computer via the USB cord.
    3. Move the APK file to your SD card.
    4. Use the third party installer to install your app.

    Another way is to use the Android SDK Manager software. This is a developer's tool offered by Google that helps developers with Android phones, but the common folk can use it for things like taking screenshots or installing APK files.

    1. Download the SDK manager to your computer and install it.
    2. On your Android phone, you'll need to let it know that you're going to be a developer for a little while. Go to SETTTINGS, then select APPLICATION SETTINGS, and then enable UNKNOWN SOURCES. This will tell your phone that it's okay to load apps that aren't from the Android Market. Be sure to disable this when finished, as it prevents 'unknown sources' from being downloaded on your phone.
    3. From here, open a command prompt on your computer and then type in "adb install" and then the file path to where your APK file is. It will look something like adb install C:/Users/Your Name/Desktop/Android Phone/thishereprogram.apk

    And that's it!

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