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How to Distribute your Android App Directly

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  chco's Photo
Posted Dec 13 2010 03:37 AM

This excerpt from Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and Javascript shows you how to bypass the Android Market and distribute your Android App directly.
One very attractive feature of the Android platform is that it lets developers skip the Android Market completely and distribute apps directly to users. This is a great option in many situations. For example, a corporate IT department might want to distribute a private app to employees. Or maybe you want to run a private beta of your app before uploading it to the Android Market.

Whatever the case, direct distribution couldn’t be easier: upload your signed .apk binary to your web server and provide your users with a link to it. Users click the link—say, from an email message or a web page—and the app is downloaded and installed. Simple.

Note: You can also use QR codes to distribute links to your app. A QR code is a two-dimensional barcode that can store up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters of arbitrary text and be read by the camera on an Android phone. When a user encounters your QR code, she can take a picture of it with Google Goggles (or another QR code reader app), and she’ll be provided with a link to your app. You can learn more by visiting the Google Chart Tools page devoted to QR codes. You can create your own for free using Google’s Live Chart Playground.

The only caveat is that users have to first allow installation of non-Market applications by navigating to Settings→Applications and enabling the Unknown Sources option (Figure 8-5). If the user has not first enabled downloads from unknown sources, he will still be allowed to download the app, but will be alerted that the install is blocked (Figure 8-6). The alert dialog will allow him to navigate directly to the relevant setting or cancel the installation. When the user first activates the checkbox, he’ll see a confirmation dialog that warns him about the implications of his choice (Figure 8-7).

Figure 8-5. Users can opt to download applications from sources other than the Android Market

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Figure 8-6. If the user attempts to install an app from an unknown source without having checked the appropriate setting, he will be prompted to change the setting or cancel the installation process

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Figure 8-7. When the user first enables the Unknown Sources option, he’ll be presented with a confirmation dialog that warns him about the implications

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Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and Javascript

Learn more about this topic from Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and Javascript.

If you know HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you already have the tools you need to develop Android applications. This hands-on book shows you how to use these open source web standards to design and build apps that can be adapted for any Android device -- without having to use Java. You'll learn how to create an Android-friendly web app on the platform of your choice, and then convert it to a native Android app with the free PhoneGap framework. Discover why device-agnostic mobile apps are the wave of the future, and start building apps that offer greater flexibility and a broader reach.

See what you'll learn


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4 Replies

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  AppKilt's Photo
Posted Jan 21 2013 08:34 AM

Great article! I used to go through this process for sending users my apps outside of the market (for app beta testing). Now I use a new free service called AppKilt (www.appkilt.com) that does a lot of this work for you (i.e., hosting the apk files, giving instructions to users, generating the QR codes, etc.).
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  alexrj's Photo
Posted May 21 2013 02:54 AM

Whatever the case, direct distribution couldn’t be easier: upload your signed .apk binary to your web server and provide your users with a link to it. Users click the link—say, from an email message or a web page—and the app is downloaded and installed. Simple.

More on http://www.techglued...roid-apps-free/
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  wasan sotikul's Photo
Posted May 23 2013 06:19 AM

Thanks for the disciples, ดูหนังออนไลน์ฟรี we Android App.
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  lluulnw's Photo
Posted Jan 06 2014 12:30 AM

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