Android 101: Downloading apps and games
Jul 31, 2013 9:48 AM –
Welcome to the latest Android 101 in our series of easy-to-follow tutorials which are ideal for new Android users. In this article, we’re going to look at using the Google Play Store to download new apps and games. One of the joys of owning a smartphone is the ability to download apps that offer great features, in addition to fun, entertaining and addictive games. While a relatively straight forward process, if you’re not used to accessing the Google Play Store (formerly known as the Android Market), it can be daunting, so let’s go through it.
Firstly, the Google Play Store has grown exponentially in recent years, most notably to offer movies, books, music and magazines. However, this article is going to focus purely on applications and games. In a nutshell, applications let your device perform tasks it might not have previously been able to, or perhaps it helps it do them better. For example, a previous article looked at setting alarms and, while the clock app works great in native Android, it’s a little basic. Therefore, we suggested other apps worthy of trying out. Games are pretty much self-explanatory and come in a variety of genres, which we will discuss soon.
To begin with, find the Google Play Store icon in your app draw and click on it. Now, you do need internet access for this to work, but you should see a screen somewhat like this:
As you can see, there are a number of tabs at the top which include apps, games, movies, music, books and magazines. Either click on apps or games to explore these further.
Now, to be honest Google does not separate apps and games particularly well, hence in the picture above you actually see links to both. Oh well. Notice however, that there are some useful exploring tools available to you. At the top of the screen, you can search through charts that include the top paid titles, the top free titles, top grossing, top new paid, top new free and trending.
You can further have a look at play picks and editors choice of popular applications and games.
It’s a good idea to explore, but if there’s something you want to look for specifically, you can tap the magnifying glass icon and enter a search term:
Once you have found an application or game you want, click on it to see more information. Here you can read what the application is, what it does, how users rate the app (average mark out of 5 stars) and even what permissions the application requires (such as access to your Facebook account or internet connection). Here’s the entry for TED, a popular video application.
If you want to install the app or game, just click install. When you do, this will happen:
This is just to additionally notify you of the permissions. Because TED streams video from the internet, it obviously needs an internet connection. Because the agreement with your phone company might incur charges for using the internet, the app lets you know in advance what it wants to do. Providing you accept, the app will begin downloading, and you’ll see an animation pictured below:
Additionally, you will see a notification in your status bar (at the top of the screen which will tell you it is downloading. While downloading, up to date devices running Android Jelly Bean will inform you how long it will take, in addition to notifying you when the download is complete.
Now, a wide range of applications are free of charge to download, however some you have to pay for. If the app you want to download costs money, you see a slightly different interface:
You will need a credit card account set up with Google for this to occur. If this isn’t the case you’ll be prompted to create one. This, however, is a relatively painless affair much like adding any credit/debit information to any website that features transactions of this nature. Sometimes, the Google Play Store will get you to enter your Google password, just to make sure the purchase isn’t fraudulent:
Once downloaded, apps and games are available in your app draw for access whenever you like. The Google Play Store offers a couple of other little features worth mentioning. You might find an app you like although you might not want to download it immediately, it might be big in size or you might not have the funds available at that given moment. Here you can add it to your Wishlist by tapping the small bookmark icon at the top. Your wishlist is then saved and can be accessed whenever you like:
Lastly, what if you find an app that would be great for a friend or family member? Well, the Google Play Store lets you recommend apps and games by sharing them. Simply tap the sharing icon and select how you want to share it, there’s usually a ton of options:
And there you have it, a simple guide to downloading new applications and games. New titles are added to the Google Pay Store all the time, so get stuck in and exploring, there’s some genuinely fantastic content out there!
You can, of course, get superb application and game recommendations here at AndroidTapp and we always give completely honest opinions of all the titles we review. Check out our many cool lists we publish like brand new apps every weekend, HD games, tablet apps, best of the month, best of the best and editor’s choice. We rate them independently based on not only our testing but also our experience and extensive knowledge of the Google Play Store.
As ever, I hope the guide has been useful. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to leave comments below.
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