How To Find & Install Android Apps

All of the apps and games you could possibly want are available for download from the Google Play store; from WhatsApp to Clash of Clans. If you want to get the most from your Android device, the Play store is the key.

Exploring the Play Store

The Play Store app is usually found on the Home screen of new devices, but may be in the app drawer or in a pre-made Google apps folder. Getting used to navigating the Play store is one of the first things you should do if you are new to Android.

1 Google Play Menu – The default screen when you open the Play Store shows apps and games recommended for you. Tap the Menu button to access account settings, see your installed apps, view notifications and subscriptions, and lots more.

2 Search Box – The search field is always visible when browsing any category in Google Play. Search in Apps & Games and the results will be apps. If you search in Books the results will only include books. You can also use voice search by tapping the mic icon.

3 Store Sections – These buttons at the bottom of the screen will take you to the different sections within the Play Store. These include Games, Apps, Movies & TV and Books. You can also look for Movies, TV and Books in their dedicated apps.

4 App Gallery – You can scroll down the main screen of the Play Store to see various app galleries. These range from New & Updated to apps which are specifically recommended for you personally. Scroll left or right to see more in each category.

Finding Apps and Games

Tap the Play store icon on the Home screen or the main app drawer and the app will open to show the Play store main screen.

The first screen you will see in the app store is called “For you”, and contains recommendations based on usage. If you search for and download a particular type of app or game, similar apps and games will appear on this screen in the future. Use the tabs at the bottom to change store sections.

The search bar at the top of the screen allows you to search for apps and other content by name if you know what you are looking for. Searching while in any of the main Store sections will return results only for that section; searching in Books for example just shows books in the results.

If you want to browse all available apps of a specific type, tap the Categories button in the scrolling menu at the top of the screen. Choose the category you want to browse from the list. You can also choose one of the promoted categories from this same scrolling menu.

Scroll down the main page of the app store and you will see recommendations, offers and other content available. This will change as you begin to install apps, reflecting your previous choices and offering recommendations. You can scroll any of these sections left and right to see more.

Tap the menu button at the top-left to see your account information. Here you can see My Apps & Games, which shows the apps that are currently installed on your device. This is also where you come to see if apps need updating and to action those updates when needed.

The Play Store menu also gives you access to the settings, letting you control things like notifications, download preferences, auto-update settings and parental controls. At the bottom of the menu panel are links to open stand-alone Play Store apps for Movies, Music and Books.

Installing Apps and Games

Installing the apps and games you have selected is fairly easy and only really varies depending on if the app is free or needs to be paid for.

When you find an app you want to know more about, tap the thumbnail to open the info screen. Everything you need to know about the app can be found here, from download statistics and screenshots, to user ratings, reviews and similar app suggestions.

Free apps will have an Install button and paid apps will have a button displaying the price in your regional currency. After tapping the Install button you will be shown the Permissions the app requires. These will vary from app to app. Tap Accept.

The app will now download and automatically install on your device. The button on the app info screen will then change to say Open, allowing you to try the app straight away. An uninstall or Refund (if a paid app) button is also added to the screen.

If the app is a paid or premium app, after the permissions screen you will need to enter your Google account password to authenticate the purchase. If you don’t have a payment service set up, you will be asked to add one before you can continue.

You can easily see which apps you have installed from within the Google Play Store. Tap the Menu button and then choose “My Apps & Games”. This will not only show you the apps you have installed but all apps you have downloaded.

We all make mistakes and if you download a paid app and decide that you have made a mistake, getting a refund is easy; as long as you act within 2 hours of purchase. Just go to the app screen in Google Play and tap the “Refund” button.

Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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