With more than 1.4 million apps, Google Play offers tons of ways to enjoy your Android phone or tablet. However, Google Play also restricts downloading some apps based on user location or device. Luckily, Android is an open operating system that allows you to install any app using its APK file (Android Application Package). While there are a few different app stores available, such as the Amazon App Store, there’s also a neat website that allows you to download an APK file from Google Play. In the following I’ll explain how to circumvent Google Play restrictions as well as downloading and installing every app.
Step 1: Activate unknown sources
The first step in this process is to activate unknown sources, which basically allows you to install APK-files from outside the Google Play store. You don’t need root-access, as this is a standard Android feature.
- Go to your settings
- Find and enter the Security menu
- Check the box next to Unknown Sources
- Your Android device might ask you to verify that you want to activate this. Confirm with OK
- You’re now able to install any APK file
Please be aware that this might be a security issue. I would not recommend to illegally download paid apps as they might include viruses. Google put this feature there for a reason and you should be aware that installing any APK file that you find on the internet can harm your device or data.
Step 2: Download the APK file to your computer
In this step we’ll download the APK file using APK Downloader. This service comes for free, but the developers are always happy about a donation. In this example I used LootTheWorld Borderlands 2 companion app, which is only available in the US.
- Go to APK Downloader website
- Copy and paste the app url from Google Play
- Click the blue Generate Download Link button
- Verify app version with the one as given on Google Play
- Click the green download button to download the APK
Step 3: Transfer the file to your Android device
Now that we have successfully downloaded the APK file, it’s time to transfer it to your Android device. There are many ways to do this, including the following:
- Connect your Android device to your computer via USB and use file transfer
- Send the APK file via E-Mail to your device
- Open the file from your Dropbox
- Send the file using PushBullet
Step 4: Install the APK
Last but not least, you have to install the file on your device. To do this, you can use any file manager. Nowadays, many devices already have a file manager installed. Otherwise I would recommend using ES File Explorer which can be downloaded from Google Play.
- Navigate to the folder where you stored the previously downloaded APK file
- Click on it and confirm with install
- Install the app
That’s it – pretty easy right?