Distributing Android apps on the Google Play store is the primary method of making an app available to the public. However, for private distribution, Android apps can be hosted elsewhere for direct download and installation to a restricted audience. Android devices will allow the installation of apps from sources other than the Google Play store, however, since the host is not Google, it is considered an "Unknown Host" to the operating system.
The following instructions will explain how to tell your device that it is okay to install this type of app.
When you install an app that was downloaded from somewhere other than the Google Play store you will receive a security message and will need to navigate to your Phone's settings to toggle on the option labeled: "Unknown Sources: Allow installation of non-market apps".
Following the installation of a private app and upon launching it for the first time you will be prompted with a notification (like this one above) that will direct you to your device's settings.
Depending on the device and operating system version, you may be taken to the general settings page. From here you will need to tap on "Security" to view your security settings.
Inside security settings you will see an option labeled "Unknown Sources". You will need to check this box to toggle it on.
Once checking the box allowing downloads from "Unknown Sources", you will be prompted with a notification that explains that your phone will be vulnerable if the app being downloaded is insecure. Bluebridge apps abide by all app store regulations, as many of our customers distribute their Bluebridge platform apps publicly. However, when there is a need to distribute your app privately, applying this setting is required.
The "Unknown Sources" setting will now be checked enabling you use your newly installed app. If your Android version required this setting to be enabled before the installation was complete, simply find the newly downloaded APK file in your Downloads folder and launch it to proceed with the installation.
Things to Remember:
- When apps are privately distributed, they aren't hosted on Google Play like normal, therefore you phone needs to verify you want the app from an "unknown source."
- Bluebridge/Emplify apps abide by all public app store regulations and don't put your phone or your information at risk.