Compared to iOS, Android is a more open mobile OS. If you are using iPhone, downloading and installing apps from Apple App Store is your only choice. In the Android eco-system however, you have a wide selection of all kinds of app markets for Android phones. The Google Play Store is the official Android market but not the only one. And Google Android also allows its users to install apps on Android phones from third party or unknown resources. What’s more, you can even download Android apps from third party app market on to your computer, then install the Android apps from computer to your phone.
There are many different scenarios you have to follow this route. For example, you do not have Wi-Fi network, not subscribed to a data plan yet, or do not want to pay for the high mobile data charges from your carrier, can’t find your favorite app from the installed Android market but in third party websites or resources. Some Android apps can be very large. If you do not have an unlimited data plan, you may worry about high download charges. Sometimes your Android phone does not have any Android market or App market pre-installed. For example, the Google Play Store cannot be found on mobile phones bought in China and you will not be able to install it or download any apps from there as most Google’s services are blocked by Chinese government. Your carrier or smart phone manufacturer may also take the market app off the Android phones for different reason as well. No matter for what reason you like to download Android apps on your PC or Mac first, then transfer it from your computer to Android phone and install the apps on it, you can follow these steps.
It is strongly recommended to download APK files from trusted sources, you cannot just download any apps from unknown sources and install them on your phone as some of them might be malware, spyware or viruses infected. These malware or spyware may steal your personal data or delete them from your phone. An anti-virus app on your phone can also help protect your phone.
How to install Android apps from computer to mobile phone?
Step 1. Download Android Apps to your computer.
Google Play Store does not allow you to download android apps on to desktop computers directly. You will need some APK downloader, check out this guide to download apps from Google play to computer without mobile phones or Google account. But still a great many other app markets on the web allow you to do that. The Android apps will be saved on to your computer as APK files. apk is the extension of Android apps and games.
You can also back up apps from your old phone to computer, and install them to new phones in the future. See this guide to transfer data from Xiaomi Redmi to computer which can help you export Android apps to computer along with many other file types, such as pictures, videos, contacts, messages, etc.
Step 2. Install android app from computer to phone
There are many different ways you can transfer files, such as photos, videos, music, apps, documents, from computer to mobile phone. For example, you can send the files through email then download files from email to mobile phone, upload files to a cloud hosting service, such as Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, then download files from these cloud hosting service to your smart phone.
The easiest and more straightforward method to copy files from computer to mobile phone is to connect your phone to computer through the USB data cable comes with the phone, use a phone manager to access your phone from computer, then install Android app files from computer to your phone easily. TunesGo is a great Android phone manager you can choose.
To install Android app from computer to phone using this phone transfer, connect your phone to computer via USB, switch to the App tab in the phone manager, then click the Install button to pick up the APK files and install them from computer to Android phone.
This also requires no data plan or internet connection on the mobile phone, so you can avoid any mobile data charges from your wireless carrier.
Transfer and install Android apps alternatives
If you sent the Android app from computer to mobile phone, you can receive the email on your phone and find it in the attachment. You can then download the app from mail to your phone and install the Android app. It works similar if you transfer the Android apps to mobile phone through Dropbox or other cloud hosting services. Many Android phones may come with a file manager app on the phone, so you can easily manage files on the phone. For example, Samsung users can find the ‘My Files’ app on their smart phones. If your phone does not have a file management app, you can also install one by yourself. Some other popular file manager apps for Android you may consider are Astro File Manager, ES File Manager, etc. When you have located the Android APK file in the file manager on mobile, you can simply tap on it to start installing Android apps on the phone.
Transfer Android apps from phone to another
Some mobile phone transfer tools can even help us directly move apps and app data from Android to Android which saves the trip to a computer.
Note the above method should work for many different Android phones, such as Samsung Galaxy phones, HTC smart phones, LG phones, Motorola phones, Lenovo mobile phone, Sony, Xiaomi, Huawei and many others. You can follow steps above to install Android apps from your PC or Mac computer to these Android phones.
Update: this post was originally publish in 2015 and has been updated in 2017 with the new mobile phone transfer software Tunesgo which can help Android users back up apps from phone to computer and install apps from computer to Android phones.