Transferring apps between Android mobile phones and tablets
So, you've just upgraded your Android handset for a newer model? Replaced a missing device? Added another 'Droid phone to your inventory? You'll be wanting to transfer your apps onto your new smartphone then.
Sign in & sync
Your app history is backed up to your Google account; so you can access your apps from any Android device that you sign into with the same account. This makes app recovery a breeze.
The first time you open the Android Market on your new device you will be prompted to sign into your Google account and agree to the terms and conditions, which is exactly the first step we need to take to start downloading your applications.
If you have already set up a new Gmail account on the phone, don't worry. You can add your original Gmail account to your handset by browsing to Settings>Accounts & Sync>Add account and pressing once on the Google entry. Fill in the username and password fields and we're ready to continue!
Download your paid apps straight to your device
- Once your Google account(s) are set up, open the Market app from your phone or tablet and press the Menu key
- Tap on 'My Apps', (this is called Downloads on older versions of the Android Market) and you will be presented with a list of all your previously purchased apps and widgets
- If you can only see the paid apps you've purchased, and not the free apps you've acquired, you can download these by accessing Android Market from your web browser
If you have more than one Gmail account on your device and you can't see your apps under 'My Apps' on Android Market, make sure the correct email address is listed at the top of the page. If it isn't, tap on the email address and press on the correct email account your apps were purchased under.
Download your free apps from the Android Market website
- Visit Android market from your web browser to see your complete app history.
- Make sure you are signed in at the top right corner of the page and click on 'My Library'
- From here, you will see an alphabetised list containing every app you've downloaded to an Android device. Below each entry is a box entitled 'Purchased' or 'Installed'
- Click 'Install' and confirm you wish to proceed, then check the notification bar on your phone to witness the app downloading automatically
Downloading your apps using third party programs
The main issue with using Google's services to transfer apps is how slow it can be. Downloading each app individually can be very time consuming, not to mention confusing if you've installed a couple of similarly named apps in the past and can't remember which one you stuck with and which you disregarded.
Third party programs can help you transfer your apps between devices much more efficiently, usually by exporting your currently installed apps to the microSD card. Some of our tried and tested favorites are below:
This method is handy if you have both handsets together, but does rely on you installing the Astro, ES, or My Backup app onto your new device before you can recover anything.