Since buying my Kindle Fire, I have been enjoying the many apps that I’ve downloaded. Of course, many apps are available on the Amazon App Store, but the selection is “curated” by Amazon, which means that some apps that I want are not available. The real rub is that there really is no compelling reason to keep many of these apps off the official market – I know because I’ve used these apps, but got them from other sources. Before rooting my Kindle Fire, I “sideloaded” apps using a USB cable I bought. The problem is finding app install packages (APK’s) from reliable sources. So, what’s the solution?
Option 1 – Flirt With Danger: You could google the app that you want, and download the APK from one of the links you find. That’s the worst thing to do, really. Unless you can find the APK on the developer’s website, you are taking a huge risk for possibly downloading a malicious APK. I have to admit that I did just that in order to get Dropbox installed the first time. In my defense, I downloaded it from XDA Developers’ forum, trusting that the good XDA community would alert anyone of anything dangerous. It was a huge risk for me to take, but I should not have had to resort to such a risky action.
Option 2 – Developers, please release your APK’s for direct download: If your app is free, you have absolutely no reason for not releasing your APK for direct download. If you app is a paid app, include a license check in your install. I am not an Android developer, but I would think you could check if the device’s Google account owns a license for the software. Releasing your APK’s for direct download is extremely useful for owners of any devices tied to a locked-down “curated” appstore.
Come on, developers… do it.