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May 20, 2014

Side-Loading of Android Apps on Nokia X Explained

In February, Nokia unveiled to the world the first handsets in its lineup to run under the Android operating system, in the form of the Nokia X series, capable of providing users with brand-new experience on cheap hardware.

The Nokia X smartphones run under a forked version of Android, one that does not feature the usual set of Google services on top but substitutes them with Nokia and Microsoft ones. While this comes with its own set of advantages, a series of limitations are also present in this setup, including the lack of access to the entire range of applications available through the Google Play Store. The app portal has been replaced with the Nokia Store on these phones, which means that users receive access to a smaller amount of software than other Android users out there would. However, although the Nokia Store is the main source of apps for Nokia X users, other means to load software on the device do exist, and one of them is called side-loading.

This process involves getting hold of an application’s installation package, which is called .APK, loading it on the handset’s storage, and then manually installing it. “If you didn’t already know, side-loading refers to the process of installing an app independently of an online store. For example, you might have an Android app stored on your PC that you want to use on your Nokia X,” a recent post on Nokia Conversations explains. To install apps on Nokia X smartphones using side-loading, users will need to locate the .APK file on their computers, and then transfer it to the Nokia X.

For that, they can either use the file manager on their PC after connecting the Nokia X to the PS via a USB cable, or they can send the file via Bluetooth if they own a Mac. They can also do that by putting the file on a microSD card and then inserting it in the phone. Of course, they can also search for, find and download .APK files on the Nokia X handsets straight from the web, if they want to. As soon as the .APK file is on the device, users should make sure that they have enabled installation from unknown sources, by going to Settings > Security > Unknown sources.

Then, simply locate the file on the phone, either via Fastlane or by means of the ASTRO file manager that comes pre-installed on Nokia X, and click it to install. As soon as the process has been completed, the app can be used. “To play it safe, make sure you switch off the ‘unknown sources’ option in security settings once you’ve finished,” said post on Nokia Conversations also explains.

Nokia X Series
Image credits to The Verge


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