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For millions of smartphone users out there, installing an Android app is second nature and not something which presents difficulty. Just know that this guide is not for you, if you already understand this topic well. This is for the people who are just now getting into smartphones and who do not know how to locate and install apps on their phones or tablets.

This guide is going to flow right along, no pointless prose to bog you down. So, let's start out with the absolute basics:

What is an App?

Before locating and installing apps, you need to know what they are and what they do. An “app” is a term that's short for application, and this is a program that was created by coders to perform certain tasks; e.g. a restaurant app will show you restaurants in your area, rate them, offer reviews, etc, because that is what it is designed to do. It will not allow you to play games, create activities, etc. This is because apps are necessarily specific to a purpose. If you want to do X, then you will need to find and install app X. If you want to do Y, you must find the corresponding app.

Apps are also built to operate on certain operating system (OS) platforms, so an app that's available for Apple's iOS may not be available for Android, and vice versa. It is important you go to the right location to find the right apps for your phone/tablet. We will cover this in more detail below.

The last thing you need to know about apps in a general sense is that some are free while some cost money. There's no big explanation here. Some developers require a buck or two for their programs, others give them away freely.

Searching for Android Apps: The Two Main Methods

Of course, before you actually install an app, you first need to find apps. This is going to be a succinct section to help you find them.

1) The Google Play Store

Using the Google Play Store is simple enough, but you will first have to create your account. Just go to Google and create a Google account, which you will already have if you have a G+ account or YouTube page. If not, simply go to: https://accounts.google.com/SignUp and follow the very simple steps. Once you have a Google account, simply access the Play Store.

Make sure you're using your Android device here to search the Play Store, and start by tapping the icon and wait until the home screen shows up. You will immediately see staff picks and top apps. You are not required to view or install any of these. Just take a few moments to check things out to get a feel for the sorts of apps being offered.

Navigate the menu here until which point you find an app or apps that you want to install. The rest is pretty straightforward stuff. You can make sure you have your account set to the main account you want to use, and then you will go through the process of creating a pin code for security. Once created, you can choose an app to install. You will tap the search icon to find what you want, and then tap the actual app icon itself to bring up the install option. From here, you will see various permissions and suchlike, which you should read and understand before accepting the installation and hitting the install button. But once you do this, the app will install and you can access it by tapping its icon.

2) Using Third-Party App Stores

The process for installing apps from a third-party app store is the same as the process above. The only tweak we need to make here would be to adjust your settings to allow your device to install these sorts of things. For this, simply go to settings, and then security, and you will check the option that says “unknown sources.” This will allow you to install apps that your device's OS doesn't recognize. Again, we preach caution with this step. Make sure the app is safe! Read reviews about the app and ensure that it's safe for install before proceeding.

To find these stores, you can simply search a term like “best Android Google Play alternatives' or something to that effect. You should be able to easily find a lot of different sites and sources for installing apps.

Once you understand the fundamentals of how to install an app, it will become second nature and something you can do incredibly easily.