Google Play

Installing Android apps to your phone or tablet from any computer with a web browser

Google is one of the biggest web service companies around. Their cloud-based apps and services can do some pretty wild and wonderful things, and we're about to look at one of them -- installing apps to your Android device remotely through the Google Play website.

All the complicated issues, like making sure apps are compatible and available for you, or keeping track of which device(s) you're currently using are done by Google behind-the-scenes, leaving us with just a few clicks needed to make some serious magic happen. All you need is an Android device registered with Google Play, and a computer with a modern web browser.

There's a complete video walkthrough of the process after the break, but we'll spend a few minutes and talk about it as well. This is the way I install almost all my apps, because I only have to find them once and can install them to any device I may have in service. It goes a little something like this.

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Android appsPoint your browser at the Google Play website, and and choose Android apps from the "Shop" drop down in the upper left corner. You're whisked to the Android app store, where you'll find a slew of apps ready and waiting for you to install to your Android device. Finding the right app (the hardest part of the process sometimes) is up to you, but you'll notice plenty of blocks of featured apps, as well as a category list. Once you find the app you need to install, you're almost done!

On the apps page, near the left margin, click the Install button. You're presented with some information about the app you chose to install -- including those important app permissions -- and a drop down to select which device to install it to. If you only have one Android device you're all set, but if you have more than one just choose the right one from the list. Once that's done, click the continue button. If it's a paid app you'll be presented with payment options, and it will walk you through the process. 

Install me!

Afterwards, all that's left is to grab your Android device and enjoy your newly installed app!