Android App Sideloading: Everything You Need To Know


Android OS is known to offer more control to users compared to its counterpart - the iOS. One of the major differences between Android and iOS is the support for sideloading apps on Android. The feature even works on non-rooted smartphones. What is app sideloading on Android, how to sideload apps, and what are the risks associated with app sideloading? Let's find out.

Android App Sideloading: Everything You Need To Know


What Is App Sideloading?

App sideloading is a process of installing an app on an Android smartphone outside the Google Play Store. This can be achieved by downloading the apk or receiving the app/game from another device. This feature will be useful for those who don't want to download big games and apps on every device that they own.

How To Enable App Sideloading?

Most of the Android smartphones do not support third-party app installation by default due to security reasons. This feature has to be enabled from the settings menu by following these steps.

Go to Settings > security > enable install unknown apps

Android App Sideloading: Everything You Need To Know

If the device is running on Android 9 Pie OS, then, the user has to permit the app that has been used to download the apk.

Enabling install unknown apps, the phone will warn users against the possible risks that are associated with the apps/games downloaded from a third-party source.

How To Sideload apps?


After enabling install unknown apps option download the app and click on the apk to begin the process. Depending on the file size, the device might take from a few seconds to a minute to install the app. After the installation, the unknown app installation permission can be revoked.

Android App Sideloading: Everything You Need To Know

Should You Sideload Apps?

I have been using Android smartphones for a long time. With each of the phones that I have used (starting from the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos to the OnePlus 7 Pro), I have sideloaded apps. It entirely depends on one's need. Some of the apps that I use are not available on the Google Play Store, which made me sideload them by downloading from a third-party source.

If you are not entirely aware of the sideloading process, then, I wouldn't recommend you to sideload apps, as it is a bit of a risky process.

Risk Associated With App Sideloading

Though app sideloading might seem like a straight forward process, it is kind of risky as well. It all depends on the source that the app has been downloaded from.

An app that might look normal by the name and icon, however, it might come with a virus or spyware that might steal private data from your smartphone. Besides, some of the malware apks have proven to slow down phones by uploading data to an external server.

Our Opinion On the App Sideloading

App sideloading is definitely an important aspect of Android OS that many users appreciate. Similarly, it is also a gateway to mess up your phone. Until you are sure about the authenticity of the source do not sideload an app onto your Android phone.

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