Android

Pro tip: Install old (but faithful) apps on a new Android device

Jack Wallen highlights an easy method for quickly getting your favorite Android apps onto a new device.

 

Batch install apps
 

You already have an Android smartphone, and you just purchased a tablet. There are some smartphone apps that you also want to have on your tablet, but you don’t want to spend unnecessary time searching the Google Play Store for them. So, what do you do? If you’ve associated your new device to your existing Google account (the same one used for your smartphone), the process is quite simple... once you know where to look.

There are actually two ways to do this. The first requires both devices be enabled for Near Field Communication (NFC). With an app open, touch the two devices together and the receiving device will open the Google Play Store page for that app. Tap Install and Accept, and the app will soon be available on both devices.

If you don’t have NFC available on both devices, or you don’t want to to have to go through the process of “beaming” every one of your apps, there's a much easier method. This process will differ slightly, depending up on the version of Android you have installed on your device. However, most smartphones and tablets with version 4.0 and newer will be the same.

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open the Google Play Store
  2. Tap the three horizontal bars in the upper right corner (Figure A) to reveal the Google Play Store side bar
    Figure A
    Figure A
     
  3. Tap My apps to open up a listing of all the apps you've installed from your Google Play Account (this will include apps from across all devices, past and present)
  4. Tap on the All tab and scroll through the listing of apps (Figure B) until you find the one you wish to install. Tap that app, select Install, and click Accept.
    Figure B
    Figure B
     

That’s it! You can continue searching through the listing as the app installs. This is as close to a batch install method as you’ll find out-of-the-box.

Have you found an easier method of “batch installing” apps on an Android device? If so, share your expertise in the discussion thread below.

 

 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

5 comments
pat3332
pat3332

I also prefer doing it from my PC also, but you can also use a backup app. I use both My Backup Pro and Super Backup Pro, but there are many others. They also allow me to back up to a local disk, to a service like DropBox, or to their servers. Most backup apps won't allow you to backup your app's data unless you're rooted, so if you're not rooted and restore a game, you won't get your scores back. However, If you don't need the data, a backup app will let you restore one app at a time, choose just the ones you want, or restore all of them. This is handy for restoring more than one app at a time and also if Google no longer has the app you want in the play store.

woodwa
woodwa

Just as Trumpetguy said! using a PC is even easier..

being that I've installed a custom ROM or 10 in the past year I've really found this to be the best process..

George P Tyrebyter
George P Tyrebyter

This is very helpful. I have another query that someone might help with. I have a bunch of apps in the app storage location on my Samsung Nexus (the little black box with 9 dots). I would like to move some of these to some of the "desktops" which allow more immediate access. I cannot find out how to do this. What obvious thing am I missing?

Trumpetguy01
Trumpetguy01

I find it even easier to go to http://play.google.com on a desktop/laptop computer, then go to Apps - My Apps. Then you can scroll through and open each app you want and choose which device to install it on. Good way to quickly send the app to multiple devices, as well as remove apps from a device you no longer want it on. 

pat3332
pat3332

@George P Tyrebyter  Hi George. If I understand what you're saying, just choose the app you want to move, then press and hold it for a couple of seconds. Another view will open with your home screens on it. While still pressing on the app, just drag it with your finger to the desktop you want to put it on and release it.

The same principle applies if you want to move an app to a different spot on the same home screen, or to another home screen.

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