26 Jul 2013

New MakeUpForDolls app on Android!

One for the Android users - instructions on how to sideload the new MakeUpForDolls Android app!

This one seems complicated, but it's not really... honestly!  "Sideloading" is a new-ish term which refers to downloading of an app onto a device outside of that device's native app store, and the installation of that app on your local device's storage.  So you won't be downloading this from the Google Play Store*, for example - instead you can use a QR code (see the rest of the post) to link directly to a website to download the app and install it onto your Google Android device.

Why bother?  For me - it was an exercise in seeing if I could do it.  For Android readers of my blog - why not!  It's a single-click access to the app with a dynamically updated recreation of the blog, in other words it auto-updates for you each time a new post is produced or any other updates are made.

Here's the instructions... go for it and I'd love to hear some feedback from anyone who has tried it...

* reason being, Google charges 25 quid to post an app to the Google Play Store.  AND it doesn't allow legacy Google for Business domains to register with the appropriate tools first to enable you to do this as far as I can see, so I'd have to commit to spending additional on a monthly subscription to this too.  No thanks.

First off, there's one setting you need to make sure is in place on your Android device.

By default, Android is setup to only permit you to download apps directly from the Google Play Store.  To override this to enable sideloading of apps from non-Google Play Store sources, you just need to open Settings, then Security settings.  Make sure "Allow installation of apps from sources other than the Play Store" is selected (the box is ticked).

You'll get a warning message which is in equal parts pertaining to security-consciousness on the part of Android, protection of commercial interests with respect to the Play Store (Google want their cut of apps developed for their Android operating system) and, of course, good old scare-mongering.  Ignore it by clicking OK (if you're not comfortable with this being set by default, you can always back-out this change once the app is installed).

OK, prep work done.  The next bit is simple.

Open up a QR Code Reader app on your Android device (if you don't have one, you can always find a bunch of free ones on the Google App Store (I use QRDroid on both my iOS devices and my Android devices, but there's plenty out there) - when you have this done, point it at this QR Code:

This will take you to the site from where you can download the app:

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, just click the link circled above and...

presto change-o, you'll be presented with this screen.  Click Chrome and either Always or Just Once, your call.  It's just asking you what app should Android use to open the link is all.  No biggie.

Next up, you'll be presented with this screen:

More irritating scaremongering.  Annoying.  Click OK.  Go on, I dare you :-ppp

Once you've clicked OK, it opens a Chrome window and you'll get a message saying "Starting Download" or some equivalent.  I've conveniently managed to miss this screenshot.  Once the app is downloaded, you will see an updated icon at the top left of your Android device:

Click this and you'll see the following update:

Just click anywhere on this - either the blue download icon or the filename (MakeUpForDolls.apk - an .apk file is an Android installer file, in case anyone is interested).

Finally, we're getting somewhere (it takes far less time to do this than it does to explain it and take wobbly screenshots between devices and cameras!)...

Once you've clicked the Install button above, it will be installed into your Apps folder:

At this point, if you're OCD like me, you can always rearrange afterwards into a folder of your choosing :-)

And that's it!  It looks a lot more convoluted and complicated than it actually is, I promise :-)

If anyone downloads this and uses it, I'd love to hear your comments!  Thanks for reading :-)

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