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How to send apps between Android devices

Android logo

Smartphone apps and games are a big part of our lives, so it’s natural to want to spread the news when you find someone you particularly like. Android makes it easy to share apps with other Android users.

We can do much better than just telling someone the name of an app and getting them to search for it. There are a few different methods you can use to easily send an app or game directly to other Android users.

Send with “Share nearby”

“Nearby Sharing”

; is an Android feature similar to AirDrop on iPhone, iPad and Mac. You do not have to exchange contact information or be on the same network as someone to send them something. They just need to be physically close.

RELATED: What is Android nearby and does it work like AirDrop?

The Google Play Store has built-in Share functionality built in to send apps and games to people. This method is great because it sends the actual file through the app store, which means the recipient can quickly install it without having to download it manually first.

First, open the Play Store app on your Android phone or tablet. Tap the hamburger menu at the top left to open the overflow menu.

tap the menu icon

Then select “My Apps and Games” from the menu.

go to My Apps and Games

You will be taken to the “Updates” tab on the My Apps and Games page. Switch to the “Share” tab.

navigate to the sharing tab

Press the “Submit” button to start the Nearby Sharing process.

press the send button

You may be asked to grant Google Play Store access to your location. Press “Continue”.

continue to allow permissions

Then select one of the permission options to continue.

select a location permit

You will then see a list of all the apps and games installed on your device. Select what you want to share, then tap the send icon at the top right.

select apps and tap the send icon

Now the recipient must also open the Play Store and go to the “Share” tab. However, they will select “Receive”.

receiving cranes receive
Receiving device

When you see their device appear, select it.

select the receiving device

A pairing code is displayed on your device and theirs. Let them know what the code is and that they can press “Receive” if it matches.

press receive if the code matches
Receiving device

The app (s) are sent and they can press the “Install” button to download it. Since you submitted the actual app file, it will be installed quickly.

install apps on the receiving side
Receiving device

That’s it! Now you can both disconnect.

Share a direct link from the Google Play Store

This second method is more low-tech, but it works if the receiver is not physically nearby.

Again, we start from the Google Play Store. Find the app or game you want to share and tap the three-point menu icon at the top right.

tap the menu icon

Then select “Share” from the menu.

select part from the menu

Android’s original sharing menu opens. You can either “Copy” the link and paste it into any messaging or social media app you want, or select an app you want to share it directly with.

copy the URL or select an app

That’s all there is to it. The person you send it to can click on the link and be taken directly to the app page in the Play Store.

RELATED: How to transfer apps to a new Android device

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