Getting apps for Android phones and tablets


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Getting apps for Android phones and tablets

An Android smartphone with a selection of app icons

What's coming up

In this activity, we look at how to use the Play Store with an Android phone or tablet, install an app and work out the best way to use it.

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What is the Google Play store?

For an Android phone or tablet, the only official place to find apps is the Google Play Store (also called just the 'Play Store'). In fact, you can download books, magazines, music, movies, television programs, as well as apps from the Play Store.

If you have an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad, then you need to go to a different store to download apps – the Apple App Store. Find out more on apps for Apple devices in our Getting apps for iPhone or iPad activity.

The icon for the official app store for Android - Google Play - also known as Play Store

Using the Play Store

If you haven’t used the Play Store before, you’ll need to sign up.

You’ll need the details of your Google ID, which includes the email address and password you used when you first set up your Android device.

You won’t need to provide credit card, debit card or PayPal account details until you want to install or buy an app.

Signing up to the Play Store with an Android phone

On the next slide is a video to show you how to sign up to the Play Store using an Android phone.

On the next slide, click the ‘play’ button on the video to watch it. You can also click anywhere on the video to pause or restart it.

Now click Continue to move to the next slide and watch the video.

The Play Store Search function

On the Play Store, you can look for an app by tapping the magnifying glass symbol and typing in some search terms, such as:

  • The name of the app (eg. 'myGov').
  • The type of app (eg. 'government services' or 'solitaire game').
  • The publisher of the app (eg. 'Australian Government').

Alternatively, you can tap the microphone icon – found on the right hand side of the search bar – and dictate your search term instead.


Downloading and installing a Play Store app

When you’ve found the app you want, you can download and install it to your Android device.

Tap Install if it’s a free app, or the price button if the app costs money.

Enter your Google ID password and approve payment, if asked, then wait for the app to download. Pressing the Home button will show you the new app on your home screen.

The install button for downloading the ABC Listen app
A search field on the Android phone to locate the ABC Listen app quickly

How do I find an app on my device?

If you have lots of apps on your Android device, it can be hard to find the icon. Usually, a new app is placed in the next available space on the home page, but this varies between Android phone models.

To save hunting for the app through lots of home pages, some Android devices also let you search for it by name by using the handy search bar. Suggestions will appear as soon as you start to type the name of the app - you can then tap on the correct app when it appears in the list.

How do I get rid of the ads?

Many Android apps are funded by running ads within the app. These can be intrusive, and even if you can make an ad disappear, it may well be replaced by another.

If you can’t tolerate the ads on one app, you can change to another app that does similar things.

An example of a pesky ad that appear on free apps

True or False?

Click each card to find out.

The Play Store is the place you can buy apps specifically for Android (non-Apple) devices.

Click to flip

This is true. If you have an Apple device, such as an iPhone or an iPad, then you need to buy apps from a different place, called the App Store.

You can buy apps from the Play Store without a Google account.

Click to flip

This is false. When you open the Play Store, it will ask you to login. If you don't already have a Google or Gmail account, you can create a new account by following the instructions.


Well done. You’ve now reached the end of the Getting apps for Android phones and tablets activity.

Coming up next, if you have registered and are logged into the Be Connected website, you’ll now be able to take a short quiz to finish the course. If you’re not registered, you are now at the end of the How to get apps? course.

Relaxing with an app during a break