What Is Sideloading Apps

Sideloading apps is a term that is seen very frequently on the internet. You will specially run into this term if you have a Kindle Fire. So what is exactly sideloading apps. Simply, it means installing an app without using the official appstore available on your device. If you have an Android device that would mean the Google Play Store and on a Kindle Fire that means the Amazon Appstore. Now the real question is why you need to sideload apps. That’s what we are going to explain next.

There are many reason why you would need to sideload apps on your device. The main reason is usually because the app you need is not available through the official appstore on the device. This is one reason that many Kindle Fire owners need to sideload apps since the Amazon Appstore doesn’t have nearly all the apps you can get in the Google Play Store. Since the Kindle Fire doesn’t officially have access to the Google Play Store, sideloading becomes your only option to get the app.

Other reason for sideloading could also be due to country restrictions that makes and app unavailable in your region. Sometime an app is listed as not compatible with your device but it could be that the app was simply not tested on your device by the app developers. In many cases those app will work just fine if you sideload the app.  Needless to say there are many situations that sideloading becomes necessary and is a common aspect of the Android system.

Sideloading apps on Kindle Fire

So how do you go about sideloading apps. The process is fairly simple and just about anyone can do it. You need access to the apk file of the app which is equivalent to an executable file on Windows. You can get apk files be using another Android devices or searching the internet. But make sure you get the apk from a reputable place so you are not installing a malicious app.

On this site we have provided instructions on sideloading apps on the Kindle Fire (link). Those instructions  can be followed for other Android devices as they are basically the same. We have also provided access to common Google apk files (link) to make it easier for users looking to sideload them on their device. If there is an apk file that you need then leave a comment on the page.

We hope this article helps clear up the definition of sideloading for all users. When you first get into Android there are lots of terms thrown out there that can make it confusing. Hopefully we have cleared some things up and we will continue to try to educate everyone. We want everyone to enjoy their device and get most out of them. Happy sideloading and ejoy.


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Arash Soheili

Founder & Chief Editor at Android Cowboy
Arash is the founder of Android Cowboy and all around tech enthusiast. His passion for technology and Android pushed him to start his own blog. He currently carries the Nexus 5, Kindle Fire HDX, and Nexus 7 FHD tablet. He's also a Google Glass explorer!!