Most Android devices (at least those that are decidedly not made by Huawei) come equipped with the Google Play Store. Sure, there are notable outliers, like Amazon Fire tablets, which are somewhat locked into Amazon's parallel app ecosystem, but those are the exceptions that prove the rule. While other device vendors and mobile carriers have historically offered their own app stores, there's also a carrier/network independent distribution system for Android apps: Say hello to F-Droid, the free and open alternative to commercial app stores.
If you take a look at the Google Play Store on your phone today, you may notice things have shifted around a bit. A new version of the interface has been appearing for a small number of users over the last week or so, but seems to rolling out more quickly now. This slight shift to the UI gets rid of the familiar hamburger menu (the three horizontal bars that used to be on the left of the search bar at the top), and instead has you tapping on your Google profile icon to get to more of the non-obvious elements of the Store.
Facebook just announced that Instagram Lite is now officially available in 170 countries, but there are still many people who don't have access to this much tighter, 2MB small Instagram experience just yet. That applies to countries like the US, the UK, and many more in Europe. But luckily, there's a simple way to get your hands on it right now via our sister site APK Mirror.
Not everyone has the latest flagship smartphone, and even those of us who do sometimes run out of space or would prefer to use less resource-hogging apps when possible. That's where Lite variants of heavy and bloated applications come in, like Instagram Lite. Facebook has been testing the 2MB big app in select markets for a long time, and now, it has finally officially launched it in 170 countries around the world.
An Android-powered TV or media box will come pre-loaded with various streaming clients and maybe a few utilities, and there are more apps in the Play Store. But this is Android, and that means you can sideload almost whatever you want. However, getting APKs on your TV won't be as quick or easy as getting them on your phone. Command-line enthusiasts can always use ADB, but there are simple wireless file-sharing tools that make the process much simpler. Here are the best ways to sideload APK files onto any Android TV device.
Some Google apps are failing to install on Android 11 when you try to sideload the latest versions from a trustworthy source like our sister site APK Mirror. Ever since Google released the new Android OS, an "The new package couldn't be installed because the verification did not succeed" (INSTALL_FAILED_VERIFICATION_FAILURE) error keeps popping up for some people who want to install the most recent version of the Google Camera or the Google Recorder, for example.
The Gmail app may lack some basic features like access to filtering rules, but at least the Android app is a little less overwhelming than the website. And when Google is not busy adding bottom bars with spam or a new icon nobody asked for, the company sometimes does tweak the user experience in satisfying ways. As an avid Redditor noticed, the Gmail app now offers vibration feedback when you use swipe gestures.
When the Pixel 5 and 4a 5G were released, Google also updated a few of its first-party apps — the Camera and the Recorder, to be specific. But when people with older Pixel phones tried to sideload these to their phones, some ran into an odd INSTALL_FAILED_VERIFICATION_FAILURE error message even though the cryptographic signature matched and there should've been nothing standing in the way. We quickly found a workaround, but we never really understood why the error was popping up in the first place. Thanks to an investigation by our friends over at XDA, we now have an idea of what causes the problem.
The internet is generally a great place to waste time, but TikTok is the current king in this respect. I've resisted installing it on my phone since I get enough secondhand short video smoke from my girlfriend, but this new development is a worrying one. TikTok for Android TV is now available on the Play Store, which could put an end to any semblance of productivity we were pretending to still be capable of.
Google launched the stable version of Chrome 88 last week, and that means the beta is up for a new release. And indeed, Google has just promoted Chrome 89 to the beta channel. You can download it from the Play Store or over on APK Mirror right now.