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How to Obtain an App for Your Android Tablet

After you locate the app you’ve always dreamed of, the next step is to download it, copying it to your Android tablet from the Google Play Store on the Internet. The app is then installed automatically, building up your collection of apps and expanding what your Android tablet can do.

Good news: Most apps are available free. Better news: Even the apps you pay for don’t cost dearly. In fact, it seems odd to sit and stew over whether paying 99 cents for a game is “worth it.”

Download a free app first to familiarize yourself with the process. Then try your hand at a paid app.

Free or not, the process of obtaining an app works pretty much the same. Follow these steps:

  1. If possible, activate the Wi-Fi connection to avoid incurring data overages.

  2. Open the Play Store app.

  3. Find the app you want and open its description.

    The difference between a free app and a paid app is the blue button you use to obtain the app. For a free app, the button says Install. For a paid app, the button shows the app’s price.

    You may find three other buttons next to an app: Open, Update, and Uninstall. The Open button opens an app already installed on your Android tablet, the Update button updates an already installed app, and the Uninstall button removes an already installed app.

  4. Touch the Install button to get a free app; for a paid app, touch the button with the price on it.

    Don’t fret if you touched a price button! You’re not buying anything yet.

    You see a screen describing the app’s permissions. The list isn’t a warning, and it doesn’t mean anything bad. The Play Store is just telling you which of your tablet’s features the app uses.

  5. For a paid app, choose your payment method.

    Account balance and credit card information appears in the Purchase & Allow Access window. The card must be on file with Google Checkout. If you don’t yet have a card on file, choose the option Add Card and then fill in the fields on the Credit Card screen to add your payment method to Google Checkout.

    If you have any Google Credit, choose your Google Play balance from the credit card list.

  6. Touch the Accept & Download button for a free app; touch the Accept & Buy button for a paid app.

    For a paid app, you may have to place a blue check mark by the item I Agree to the Payments for Google Play. Only after doing that does the Accept & Buy button become available.

    If you chicken out, touch the Back icon. Otherwise, the Downloading notification appears as the app is downloaded. You’re free to do other things on your Android tablet while the app is downloaded and installed.

  7. Touch the Open button to run the app.

    Or, if you were doing something else while the app was downloading and installing, choose the Successfully Installed notification, as shown in the margin. The notification features the app’s name with the text Successfully Installed beneath it.

At this point, what happens next depends on the app you’ve downloaded. For example, you may have to agree to a license agreement. If so, touch the I Agree button. Additional setup may involve setting your location, signing in to an account, or creating a profile.

After you complete initial app setup, or if no setup is necessary, you can start using the app.

  • Apps you download are added to the All Apps screen, made available like any other app on your tablet.

  • Some apps may install shortcut icons on the Home screen after they’re installed.

  • For a paid app, you’ll receive an e-mail message from the Google Play Store, confirming your purchase. The message contains a link you can click to review the refund policy should you change your mind on the purchase.

  • Be quick on that refund: Some apps allow you only 15 minutes to get your money back. You know when the time is up because the Refund button on the app’s description screen changes its name to Uninstall.

  • Peruse the list of services an app uses (in Step 3) to look for anything unusual or out of line with the app’s purpose. For example, an alarm clock app that uses your contact list and the text messaging service would be a red flag, especially if it’s your understanding that the app doesn’t need to text messages to any of your contacts.

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