Try Out Your Android App Before Publishing

Updated on 1. July 2024 by Jan Bunk

Image with text: Testing Your Android App

If you have an Android smartphone or tablet, you can test your app before publishing it in the Play Store, the Huawei App Gallery, the Amazon App Store or any other app store.

Please keep in mind that you might need to download and install the app again (using this same guide) when making some specific changes to your app. In the online app preview most changes show up immediately.

Downloading the App

You can either download the app on your computer and transfer it to your Android device or directly download it on the device.

Download on Computer and Transfer to Device

Not recommended, because it's more complicated than downloading the app directly on your smartphone/tablet (see below).
Download your app as an apk file here

Connect your device to your computer using your USB cable. You might then get a notification on your device that lets you switch from "Charging via USB" to "File transfer". After that you should be able to transfer the downloaded apk file to your device as you'd transfer a file to a USB stick. Make sure to copy the file to a folder where you will easily find it again, for example the downloads folder.

Now switch to your device and open your file manager or downloads app and click the copied file there.

Download on Device

Open or click this link on your phone:

Or scan this QR code:

A QR code that will take you to the link mentioned above

Once the download finished, you should get a notification or a popup. Click it to install the downloaded file.

If you didn't get the notification, open your file manager or downloads app and click the downloaded file there.

Installing the App

Clicking the downloaded file should either install the app right away or tell you that the installation was blocked because the app is from an unknown source. That's completely normal and happens with every app you download from outside the app store. In that case click the "Settings" button on the alert and enable installation from unknown sources. If there's no "Settings" button, please open your settings app and look for the "Install from unknown sources" setting manually. Afterwards try installing the app again.

If you're having trouble with a certain step, it might be because your device manufacturer's version of Android is a bit different. In that case, please search on the internet for "Install app from unknown sources Samsung" if you're using a Samsung device for example.

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Author Jan Bunk
Written by
Jan Bunk

Hi, I'm Jan! I created in 2019 while studying computer science in university. A lot has changed since then - not only have I graduated, but it's also no longer just me running We've grown to a global, fully remote team and have gathered lots of experience around app development and app publishing. We've created and published hundreds of apps in the app stores, where they've been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.