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 app to open Google Play with an Android phone or tablet, install an app and work out the best way to use it.

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What is Google Play?

For an Android phone or tablet, the only official place to find apps is called Google Play. Sometimes it is also called the Play Store, which is the name of the app used to access Google Play. In fact, you can download books, magazines, music, movies, television programs, as well as apps from Google Play.

If you have an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad, then you get apps from the App Store instead. 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
The Google Play sign in page

Using Google Play

If you haven’t used Google Play 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 Google Play with an Android phone

On the next slide is a video to show you how to sign up to Google Play using an Android phone and how to search for and install an app.

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.

Signing up to Google Play with an Android smartphone

This demonstration video is approximately 2 minutes and 51 seconds in duration. It demonstrates the steps to sign up to the official Google Play so that you can download apps for your Android smart device. There is text and animation on stage throughout the video.

Once the video starts, the intro panel fades and we see the screen is split into two parts. On the left-hand side is an animation of a typical Android smartphone, but the steps will be similar on an Android tablet. On the right-hand side, there is text displayed, which is the script for the voiceover track.

Voiceover: "When you first set up your Android phone, you would have created a Google ID and password. Once you are logged into your phone, you can access Google Play. Let's watch what happens the first time you install an app from the Google Play. First, tap on the Play store app icon on your phone."

The left-hand panel zooms in to the phone's screen and highlights the Play store icon. We see the icon being tapped and the Google Play home page appears.

Voiceover: "Once you have opened Google Play, tap the Search bar. A keyboard will appear."

The left-hand panel scrolls up to the top of the page to locate the Search bar. The Search bar is tapped and this triggers the onscreen keyboard to appear.

Voiceover: "Enter 'Solitaire'. A range of apps for you to choose from will appear."

The left-hand panel shows the word 'Solitaire' being typed in. Once the word is complete, the Enter key on the keyboard is pressed and Google Play refreshes to show a list of Solitaire game apps.

Voiceover: "Find a free version of Solitaire and tap on it to view the product page."

The left-hand panel shows a free version of Solitaire in the list of apps and we tap on it to read more information.

Voiceover: "When you are ready, tap 'Install'."

The left-hand panel highlights the Install button and we see it being tapped. A 'Complete account setup' pop-up message appears.

Voiceover: "A message will ask you to review your account to install the app. Tap 'Continue'."

The left-hand panel highlights the Continue button and we see it being tapped. A new panel appears with a list of payment options to choose from.

Voiceover: "A new message will ask you to Complete account setup by adding credit card details, connecting to PayPal or redeeming a code (from a Google gift card). You can buy these gift cards at your local supermarket. Because this app is free, you can tap 'Skip'."

The left-hand panel zooms in and highlights the 'Skip' option in the bottom left corner of the panel.

Voiceover: "Next, tap Install."

The left-hand panel highlights the location of the 'Install' button and we see it being tapped. A downloading graphic shows the progress of the app's download onto the phone for a moment or two. The page then refreshes and returns you to the chosen app's information page.

Voiceover: "Future free apps will also install without interruption. Now, let's see what happens when you choose a paid version of Solitaire. Return to the list of Solitaire apps and select an app which displays a price."

The left-hand panel updates to show the apps list and we find an app that has a dollar value next to it, indicating it's a paid version of Solitaire. We watch as that app is tapped to open its information page.

Voiceover: "Tap the price button to install the app."

The left-hand panel shows the price button being tapped and a new pop-up message appears.

Voiceover: "To buy a paid app, you must add a payment method. Tap 'Continue' and add your billing details to install the app."

The left-hand panel shows the Continue button being tapped and we see the Payment methods pop-up message once more. As this is a paid version of the app, we need to add credit card or PayPal information at this point in order to proceed with the app's download.

Voiceover: "If you enter credit card details, you will only be charged when you buy paid apps. If you prefer, you can buy gift cards from your local supermarket, so you can place a limit on your spend."

Video ends.

The Google Play Search function

On Google Play, 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 (for example, iView).
  • The type of app (for example, Entertainment).
  • The publisher of the app (for example, Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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

Google Play's Search bar

Downloading and installing a Google Play 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 iView app
A search field on the Android phone to locate the ABC iView 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 pages, 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 ads that appear on free apps

True or False?

Click each card to find out.

Google Play 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 obtain apps from a different place, called the App Store.

You can obtain apps from Google Play without a Google account.

Click to flip

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


You’ve completed the Getting apps for Android phones and tablets activity.

Next up, 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 Getting apps course.

If you’re not registered, you are now at the end of the course.

Relaxing with an app during a break