How to Install Android Apps from a Computer

You don’t need to use the Play Store app on your Android phone to install apps. Using a computer, you can visit the Google Play website, choose an app, and have it installed remotely. It’s kind of cool, yet kind of mysterious. Here’s how it works:

  1. Use your computer’s web browser to visit the Google Play Store on the Internet.

    Bookmark this site in the computer’s web browser.

  2. If necessary, click the Sign In link to log in to your Google account.

    Use the same Google account that you used when setting up your phone. You need to have access to that account so that Google can remotely update your various Android gizmos.

  3. Browse for something.

    You can hunt down apps, books, music — the whole gamut. It works just like browsing the Play Store on your phone.

  4. After clicking the Install or Buy button to obtain the item, choose your Android phone from the Device menu.

    The menu lists all your Android devices, or at least those compatible with what you’re getting.

    Your phone may be listed by its technical name, such as SCH-I605 or other random numbers and letters. If the technical name starts with the phone manufacturer’s name, it’s probably your phone and not another of your Android devices.

  5. For a free app, click the Install button; for a paid app, click the Continue button.

    If you’re getting a free app, installation proceeds. Otherwise, for a paid app, you choose your payment source, such as a credit card, and then click the Buy button.

As if by magic, the app is installed on your phone — even though you used a computer to do it.

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