Downloading Apps for Android on a desktop PC

November 14, 2015 at 23:05:13
Specs: Win 7
I'm a longtime desktop Windows user. I recently acquired a
previously-owned tablet computer with Android for use in case
I lose the ability to access my desktop computer. I don't have
an Internet provider for the tablet. So far, at home and in two
different locations on the street, I have been able to connect to
the Internet via xfinity WiFi or the City of Minneapolis Wifi or
another one that I found while at a bus stop outside a CVS
pharmacy. Those are without any security. I was surprised to
see the xfinity WiFi and have no idea where it is coming from.
It is the strongest signal in my home. Other strong signals
belong to my neighbors.

In order to get a secure connection, would I need to sign up
and pay for an Internet provider?

Is it possible to download Android apps from Google Play Store
(or anywhere else) on my desktop computer and transfer them
to the tablet via USB cable? If so, the first one I'd like to try that
with is Foxit PDF reader, since the user manual for the tablet is
a PDF file. I can read it on my desktop but the tablet does not
have a PDF reader pre-installed.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#1
November 14, 2015 at 23:35:37
If you don't have an Internet connection how are you going to download apps to your computer?

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#2
November 15, 2015 at 01:24:58
I have an Internet provider for the desktop computer, which
I'm using right now. I just don't have an IP for the tablet.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#3
November 15, 2015 at 02:11:57
Perhaps that's the xFinity WiFi that you see? Most providers nowadays supply a router that provides a wireless connection.

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#4
November 15, 2015 at 02:30:02
I don't understand what you think I said. I'll try again.

I'm an experienced Windows user on desktop computers.
But I know very little about tablet computers or Android.
I have a connection to the Internet and IP on my desktop
computer, which I'm using right now. I do NOT have an
IP for my new tablet. When I turn on the tablet's WiFi, I
get a list of signals that the tablet picks up. I have been
able to connect to the Internet using at least three of them,
including "xfinity WiFi". I have no idea where that particular
WiFi signal originates, but it is one of the few full-strength
signals here in my apartment. Most of the others are
obviously private networks and have security turned on.
A few of them are provided by USI Wireless and the city
of Minneapolis. If I recall correctly, I have been able to
connect to the Internet via xfinity, one of the city or USI
Wireless, and one that I picked up on a street corner. All
three were without any security.

I'm not sure if that is even relevant to my question, which
is whether and how I can download an app to my desktop
computer, then transfer it to the tablet. I can transfer files
easily enough, but I don't know whether I can install apps
that way. The manual says nothing about doing that.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#5
November 15, 2015 at 03:03:54
Have you tried tethering your tablet to the PC via USB to share its internet connection? This way you can download directly to the tablet. It also helps avoid incompatible APK files. Hopefully this guide points you in the right direction:

http://hubpages.com/technology/How-...

If you are still keen to download files to your PC then transferring them to the tablet for installation you need to research "sideload APK"

Here's a link to get you started:

http://www.askvg.com/tip-install-ap...

Edit: And another:

http://lifehacker.com/5943562/how-t...

message edited by btk1w1


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#6
November 15, 2015 at 03:07:33
An Internet connection (normally) doesn't support just one device. Most providers supply a router that has, maybe, 4 ports to connect wired connections and also supplies a wireless signal to allow a pretty unlimited number of devices - such as an Android tablet - to connect to it. My guess is that the strong Wi Fi signal that you see is from your own router. If that's the case, and it shows as unsecured, then you should find out how to secure it; your provider's web site should tell you that.

Comcast have a system whereby their routers provide xfinity WiFi which can be used by any Comcast customer, so a user would see these connections all around the country. (In the UK BT have a similar arrangement.) So I guess the first question is whether your Internet connection is supplied by Comcast.

You say that you can connect you Android tablet to the Internet (via the xfinity connection) and then you say that you don't have an IP address for the tablet. Those statements are incompatible - you must have an IP address to connect to the Internet. When you connect the address is supplied automatically by the router you connect to.

If you can connect your tablet to the Internet I don't quite understand the question about transferring applications via your desktop. (I'm not 100% sure if this is possible, but it's certainly not the easy, default way of loading apps.) Why not just download them directly to your tablet from the Google Play Store?

You should be careful about connecting to the Internet via unknown hotspots. It may be illegal, or it may be that they are stealing your private information. I would never use a public connection for anything that I didn't want other people to know. But if you are a Comcast customer then it is perfectly safe to use the xfinity connections; and in that case I suspect that the strong one you see at home is the one you are paying for.


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#7
November 15, 2015 at 05:24:20
My Internet connection has nothing to do with Comcast or xfinity.
Comcast provides cable to the building, so I presume that some
people in the building use Comcast Internet. I've never had cable
because I can't afford it. I don't know whether the "xfinity WiFi"
originates from one of my neighbors or from Comcast. When I
saw the name and saw that it did not have security turned on,
I assumed it was from Comcast, which is why I went ahead and
used it. Two other entries in the list of WiFi sources also do not
have security turned on, US Wireless and the city of Minneapolis,
which I know a little bit about and the two are actually the same
thing: US Wireless provides the service for the city. They have
secure paid channels as well as the insecure free ones. I used
the xfinity source because it had the strongest signal. I hadn't
ever seen that one before, when I've sniffed out WiFi signals in
the past. I guessed that its purpose was similar to the free city
WiFi: mainly a place to sign up for the paid, secure service.

Although my desktop computer's modem/router does do WiFi,
I turned off the WiFi the day I set it up. I gave it a name and a
password and made sure the strongest security setting was on,
but then turned the WiFi off entirely. I didn't need it because I
didn't have any other devices to connect to. If the WiFi was on,
the WiFi light on the router would light up. It doesn't. Since I
can connect the tablet and desktop computers together with a
USB cable, I probably will not want to use WiFi for that.

I didn't say that I don't have an IP address for the tablet, I said
that I don't have an Internet Provider for the tablet. That is, I
have not signed up for Internet service for the tablet.

I don't want to download apps from the Google Play Store to
the tablet if I can avoid it because I'm pretty sure I would need
to set up a Google Wallet account, and/or sign up for an IP.
I probably would only do that if I lost my current access to the
Internet via my desktop.

So ... It is an interesting notion that I could connect the tablet
to the router via WiFi, using my regular IP. But that probably
doesn't really answer my core question of whether and how I
can download apps to my desktop computer and then transfer
them to the tablet.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#8
November 15, 2015 at 05:27:06
btk1w1,

I didn't notice your post. I'll read those links now.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#9
November 15, 2015 at 05:39:45
I see that my tablet has an option for Tethering via USB.
Good so far!

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis


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#10
November 15, 2015 at 06:04:30
I haven't looked at the other two pages yet, but the first page is
especially helpful. It tells me that if I want to "tether", I'll need to
enable two Windows services that I disabled because I wasn't
using them.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

message edited by Jeff Root


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#11
November 15, 2015 at 06:39:34
However you connect your tablet you would need a Google account to download apps from the Google Play Store. The same goes for downloading to a PC.

You don't need an Internet Provider for the tablet; you just connect to the same router as your PC.

There's little point in tethering your tablet via the PC if you already have an Internet option via the wireless router. The end result is the same but the wireless connection is much simpler to set up.

Just turn on the wireless option in your router and away you go; but you'll still need that Google account to access the Play Store (just as, with an iPad, you would need an Apple account to access apps in the iTunes app store).

message edited by ijack


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#12
November 15, 2015 at 07:23:44
You could still install apps without a internet connection on the tablet or a subscription to Google Play, as long as you can somehow transfer data from the PC to the tablet (i.e.-USB). Several sites host files (.apk), but quite a few are questionable and the legitimacy of doing so is also questionable. You'd also need to make the tablet accept unverified (potentially dangerous) apps (in "Settings"). There are also alternatives:

http://joyofandroid.com/android-app...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


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