Sideloading Apps on Android

Guides By 5 years ago

Android allows a little bit more freedom when distributing debug versions of apps than iOS. Instead of requiring a provisioning certificate Android allows you directly to install apps from emails and links. This process is called side loading, and as long as you’re careful it’s perfectly safe. Of course if you’re side loading pirated apps expect them to be filled with malware.

While android allows this freedom it disables it by default to stop an unsuspecting user being tricked into side loading an app that might not do what they expect. Re-enabling this is a simple process and requires going into Settings -> Applications and checking the Unknown Sources checkbox. You will receive a warning explaining the implications, click okay after giving this a quick read. It’s fairly sternly worded but basically explains what I mentioned above.

At B2Cloud we always distribute weekly development builds in emails using a B2Cloud email address which describes the user stories and changes that are new to the current build. If you’re ever in doubt it’s best to contact us before you attempt to side load the application to ensure it’s authentic. The rest of this guide will assume you have access to this email from your phone.

  1. Open the email in your phones email client
  2. Click the link provided to begin the download
  3. Once the download has finished, pull down the notification bar at the top of the phone
  4. Select the notification that contains the app file name
  5. A dialog should popup requesting to install the app, click ok and the app will begin to install
  6. After the app has installed you can find it by clicking the “all apps” icon at the bottom of the screen