I made an application, and I want my friend to install it from a link, but the apk file cannnot be installed on the Android phone. He has to use some file explorer to install it. But I see many apps can be installed from a link and installed directly without using the file explorer.

What should I do to my APK? Is it a signature problem?

  • This is most likely a programming question. Please see this related question in StackOverflow: stackoverflow.com/questions/3062685/…
    – geffchang
    Jan 12, 2013 at 5:32
  • 4
    @geff_chang Installing an app from a link is one thing, doing so programmatically is another -- I don't think the latter is the case here. Tianhui, I think it probably depends on his device or browser. What happens when he clicks the link to your app, does the browser just download it? Jan 12, 2013 at 5:35
  • @MatthewRead I am using play framework, browser just download a APK file.I signed the APK, but I still cannot use the web browser(original browser) to install it. I think the problem is my APK file or server. Jan 13, 2013 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


Normally phones should be able to install apps even if they are not signed. Normally your friend should be able to install your app. I was able to download the application, and I could also start the installation from the link.

Make sure that your friends phone has 'unknown sources' enabled in the security menu (enable Settings > Security > Unknown Sources). Because otherwise it will also not work (without using Google Play == unknown source).

No offense though, but I didn't test all the way through the installation, because I don't trust it well enough and I have no idea what the app actually does. For all I know it is a virus ;-)

  • thank you for your answer, I have tried to make my application to be signed, but the problem still remain. I saw this droidforums.net/forum/tech-issues-bug-reports-suggestions/… Jan 13, 2013 at 3:40
  • And change the sever 's setheader from Content-Disposition to text/plain , but the problem still remain. I try to use other broswer, such as firefox, the problem solved. But I see some other APK could be installed from the web without using firefox. I think there is some thing wrong with my APK or Server. Jan 13, 2013 at 3:48
  • @TianhuiYang If Firefox can install it then the problem shouldn't be with the APK. Jan 14, 2013 at 0:26

You can try to send the apk. file via bluetooth or via email. But if it doesn't work at all, go to settings>>Security>>Unknown Sources (enabled)... beacuse apk. is a non-market apps.

  • Sending an apk with Bluetooth will not work as there's a filter in place based on type of file that can be transferred, txt, jpeg, png, mp4, but not apk's for security reasons.
    – t0mm13b
    Jan 12, 2013 at 15:58
  • The only trick that can be done, is to rename the apk to png or jpg, then it can be sent across (ssshhhh, that's a security hole in there! ;) )
    – t0mm13b
    Jan 12, 2013 at 16:00

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