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I have just got a Nexus 7, and I am trying to send an app that i made into my Nexus, neither sending it with my phone using bluetooth or directly from my laptop using bluetooth works: on my phone it says "the file couldn't be sent" while on my laptop is says: "the request couldn't be honored".

I have tried sending an image and it worked.

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Maybe you could clarify on your bluetooth manufacturer of your laptop, which OS, etc. Also in my experience bluetooth ever worked well for transferring files for me. – varunyellina Nov 21 '12 at 22:03
Did any of the answers help solve you issue, so you could accept them? If not, what is missing? – ndsmyter Dec 31 '12 at 8:33
Same issue here. Rename extension name may also work. – liuyanghejerry Jan 17 '13 at 12:39

10 Answers 10

I have experienced this with Nexus devices. I think Nexus doesn't allow receiving APK files over Bluetooth.

The easiest workaround I've found is to ZIP the file and then send it to your device. The ZIP can be then uncompressed on your phone / tablet and the APK can be used to install the app. (To install the app, make sure you have enabled 'Install apps from Unknown Sources' from Security Settings)

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The reason why this isn't supported, is exactly the same as why you cannot send an .exe attached to an email. This is to prevent people from sending malicious software to phones that are not protected. That is why most Android phones will not allow sending APK's over Bluetooth.

If you still want to send APKs over Bluetooth, it is best to hide the extension (APK) from the application and phone (eg. by zipping or changing the extension). That way you can trick the phone in still accepting the application. You have to then unzip or rename the package to retrieve the APK.

Another way, as mentioned by other people already, is to use an 3rd party application (like AirDroid). This will allow you to transfer the APK.

If you want to install the application, you have to be sure to have "Install apps from unknown sources" enabled. Because if you don't enable this, only apps from Google Play will be accepted.

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Android only accepts certain file types (from a hardcoded list) by default.

There are two solutions:

  • The sender can rename their files before sending to one of the white-listed mime-types (by adding an accepted file extension).
  • Buy a phone from a manufacturer that supports it or install aftermarket firmware such as OmniROM or CyanogenMod that allow all file types with inbound bluetooth transfers.

If the manufacturer hasn't changed this behaviour or extended the list, the accepted mime-types as of January 2015 are:


I.e., just add a media file extension (eg. .jpeg/.png/.gif/.mp4/.mp3/), Zip file (.zip), PDF (.pdf) or office document (.doc/.xls/...), etc.

The list is defined in the string ACCEPTABLE_SHARE_INBOUND_TYPES variable if you like to see the exact and current definition in the source code.

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I have an android tablet and two android phones - one phone being a Nexus - all manufactured by Samsung.

I find that if I use the Nexus phone as the source, I can send gpx files to both other devices. But if I try to send a gpx file FROM the tablet, Bluetooth states that the content is not supported. Both the tablet and Nexus phone are rooted, the other phone is not.

This points to different 'whitelists' for Bluetooth file transfer even amongst android devices by the same vendor.

I changed the file extension to xml and it also failed. Changing to txt did the trick.

It's a nuisance. I've also used Dropbox to take care of the transfer neatly.

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Just rename the .apk file as .png or .jpeg then send to your device. When sending has completed just rename it back to .apk. I have done this on a Nexus 6 and it works every time.

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You can use Airdroid app to copy the apk file into your mobile (it has a web interface), once copied, you can start the install from within the web interface on your computer.

Bluetooth has been a hit and miss for me too on my Nexus devices, I find that it works really well with some ROMs (usually stock-based, mostly with fixes for bluetooth) and terribly on some others (usually nightlies or pre-final releases of heavily tweaked or custom ROMs like CM).

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Just rename the extension .apk to. .mp3.

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This is at best a work-around, but not a real solution. It requires to rename the file at least two times: Before sending and after receiving (plus most likely after sending on the original device). – Izzy Mar 13 '13 at 9:59

Just change the extension by deleting one letter IE (instead of .apk write .ap) worked for me!

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Make sure you have the option to install apps from unknown sources checked in settings. On 4.0 (ICS), it's under the "Security & Screen Lock" menu; your Nexus 7 is running Jelly Bean, it may be in a different place.

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not relevant... – Motes Sep 19 '14 at 13:50

Android Stock OS doesnt allow you to send apk via bluetooth. Use apk manager or apk extractor as they allow you to send it.

Also you can rename the .apk extension by using file manager to anything like .jpg then send it via bluetooth and change it back to apk and it will work.

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