The Android Market
The Android Market is a preinstalled app which gives you access to a collection of more than 70,000 free and paid apps. On Android, software installation is almost always done using the phone directly, rather than via a computer. The Market is the easiest way to install apps, but there are other options. See the bottom of this page for information on non-Market apps.
While there are of parts of the Android Market that are not yet completely accessible, it is completely usable once you learn how it works.
To begin, open the app called Market via the application launcher.
Initial access - terms of service
The first time the Market opens, the initial screen is a terms of service agreement that you must agree to. You will hear "Android Market Terms of Service". The screen contains a long terms of service agreement that is in an inaccessible web view. To agree to the terms, press Down until you reach the bottom of the agreement, where you will find Accept and Reject buttons. Find Accept and click.
When you open the Market, you'll be on a browse screen with one or more categories across the top, like Games, and a vertical list of apps below. You can navigate around this screen to find highly rated apps in the provided categories.
To search for a particular app, select Search from the menu or press the Search key on your phone. Type the name of an app or a keyword in the search field. Be sure to type complete words, not just the first few letters of a word. Press Enter to begin your search.
After your search, press Down to explore the results. Click a result to learn additional details reagrding the app. Clicking from this screen will not start the download.
If doing a search appears to take you to a blank page, that just means there were no search results. Go back and try a different search term.
After clicking on a result, you'll be on the Details page for a particular app. There are two tabs across the top of this screen, About and Comments. The Comments tab lets you read what other users say about this particular app. In the About tab, you'll find more information about the app, and at the bottom, an Install button. Click the Install button to continue.
From the details page of an app, click the Install button as described above.
- Press the touch screen - the Install button is always at the bottom of the screen. It's in the bottom-center if you're installing an app for the first time, and at the bottom-left if you're installing an update. With practice you can easily press in the required location.
- When you first open the page, press Alt+Down. This skips past the part of the page where the cursor gets stuck.
Clicking the install button will take you to a confirmation screen. It shows you what features of your phone this app will be able to access. Press the OK button at the bottom of this screen to begin the download and automatic install.
Apps you download are installed automatically in the background while you continue to use your phone. When you hear TalkBack announce that it has returned to the search results page, you know your app is downloading. You will get a notification when the app is installed. After you hear the notification, you can go to the Notifications screen (in the Home screen menu, or by swiping down from the top of the screen) and click on the message that tells you the application installed to open the app.
Updating and uninstalling apps
Select "Downloads" from the Market menu. This will take you to a list of installed apps. Apps that have updates available will appear at the top of the list.
Select an app. A button at the bottom right of the screen will allow you to uninstall the app.
If the app has updates available, the button on the buttom left will allow you to update. Otherwise, it will open the app.
The Market supports Google Checkout for paid apps. If you wish to purchase apps with a credit card, you should first set up Google Checkout from your desktop computer by visiting http://google.com/checkout. Alternatively, some mobile phone carriers will let you purchase apps and charge them to your monthly phone bill. This service may not be available on all carriers or in all regions.
The process for purchasing a paid app is almost exactly the same as a free app. On the details screen, instead of Install, you'll see a link that says Buy. Clicking Buy will take you to the Purchase Application page. There's a control where you can select the payment method, and then a button at the bottom that says Buy Now along with a confirmation of the final purchase price.
Android Market apps can be returned for a full refund within 24 hours. Uninstall the app as described above to get a refund.
Installing apps from sources other than the Market
The Android Market is a great way to find apps and quickly install them. While the Market is open to just about anyone to publish any app, it is managed by Google and does not allow malicious or dangerous apps. However, you are not limited to using the Market to download apps and there are often good reasons to install apps from a source other than the Market. For example, sometimes developers post new or experimental versions of their software on their websites before they release them on the Market. Spiel, one of the accessibility services available for Android, is not currently available on the Market.
To install a non-Market app, you will need to enable installing non-Market apps in the Settings. Open Settings, select the Applications item, and check the checkbox titled "Unknown sources".
After you enabling unknown sources, visit the URL of the app you wish to download. If you know the exact url, you can type it into the search box on the home screen or directly into the address bar of the Browser. Even though the Browser is not accessible, you can use it to access direct URLs.
An Android app is a file ending in the extension APK. After your APK file has finished downloading, you will get a notification. Click on the notification and you'll be prompted to install the app, just like a Market app.
The Android Market will automatically notify you about Market apps that need to be updated, but apps you install from a different source will need to be updated to new versions manually.