I know you are here to find how to install incompatible apps on android in 2021, we have prepared a guide to do the same but let’s understand the problem first.
You know the frustration when you find out that you can’t install an app on your device from Play Store. Android users often encounter these app incompatibility issues. You may have seen errors like, ‘This item is not available in your country‘ or ‘Your device isn’t compatible with this version’ for some apps on Play Store. So in this article, we will look into some ways to bypass these errors and install incompatible apps on Android.
Why can’t I install certain Android Apps?
But before that, let us see why you can’t install some Android Apps on your smartphone. At times, Android app developers restrict their apps due to various reasons like.,
- Geo-restrictions: Restricting apps for specific countries so that you can’t install such apps in other countries. This restriction is usually levied on banking apps since using these apps outside the country will be useless. Or on the services that you can’t use outside a specific country.
- Device-based restrictions: These restrictions are primarily due to incompatible hardware, where app developer restrict their apps from installing on particular hardware or brands.
- Android version requirement: All Android apps have a minimum Android version requirement. If you are running an older version of Android, you can’t install an app below its minimum Android version.
How to Install Incompatible Android Apps?
Now let us have a look at all the possible ways to install incompatible apps on Android.
Method 1: Installing incompatible Android apps by sideloading APK
Sideloading APKs of incompatible apps is a widespread practice among Android users. If you came across an app that is not available in your region/country, you can always sideload its .APK file and install it on your device.
By default, Google doesn’t let you install APKs from unknown sources. Hence, you’ll have to enable app installs from unknown sources before installing APKs. All the Android smartphones will show you a warning when you try to install an APK for the first time. You just have to allow it there and you are good to go for the next time you install an APK.
Do note that Sideloaded APKs from untrusted sources carry potential security risks for your device. The reason why it is advised to grab APKs from reliable sources only.
These are some of the safe and trusted websites for downloading APKs:
Or you can use APK Downloader to download APK files directly from Google Play Store. APK Downloader pulls APK files directly from the Google Play Store so that you can be confident about its security and safety. Just copy the app link from PlayStore, and paste it on the APK Downloader website. The website will redirect you to the download page, where you can download its APK right from your browser.
Method 2: Using VPN to install geo-restricted Android Apps
Few geo-restricted apps won’t work even if you sideload their APKs. These apps are made to work within specific countries. Hence, you’ll need to use a VPN to use such apps. For example, Apps like Hulu will only work in the US and Japan. So if you want to use Hulu or similar apps outside of the US:
- First of all, download and install the latest APK of the app you want to use on your Android. (Use websites mentioned in Method 1 to download APK)
- After that, install a VPN of your choice from Google Play Store. We recommend you use KeepSolid VPN Unlimited. KeepSolid VPN Unlimited offers high-speed VPN servers, supports data encryption, and respects privacy, all within a one-time payment plan.
- Now open the KeepSolid VPN Unlimited app and connect to a dedicated Hulu server from the streaming section. (For this method, we are trying to use Hulu outside the US using KeepSolid VPN Unlimited as it offers dedicated servers for streaming apps)
- Once connected, sign in to the Hulu app that we installed previously and enjoy its content outside the US.
You can follow the same guide to install and use similar geo-restricted apps on your Android smartphone or tablet. Let’s say, if some app works only in China, open the VPN app and connect your device to the China server. After that, open the app to access content from that app easily.
Method 3: Installing Android App on unsupported hardware and Android version.
Sometimes App developers withdraw support for their apps on old hardware and Android version. In that case, you’ll not be able to install that app from the Play Store.
However, you can still sideload the APK and install it on your Android device. Some apps will still work on unsupported hardware. But if your device lacks the absolute hardware/software required for that app to work, you’ll not be able to use the sideloaded app as well. (Like few OEM-specific apps will not works on the smartphone from other OEM, no matter what. They will show some error or will force close as soon as you open them)
And in case of an unsupported Android version, you are left with no options. Installing an APK on an unsupported Android version will render, ‘There was a problem while parsing the package’ error. You can look for an older version of that app that works on your Android version, or it is time to get a new Android device.
FAQ: Installing incompatible apps on Android!
Why can’t I find an app in the Google Play store?
When a particular app is incompatible, you can’t find that app inside the Google Play Store on your Android Smartphone/Tablet. However, you can find such apps on the Google Play website from your browser. But you’ll still need to sideload its APK from a third-party source.
How do I upgrade my Android version to install incompatible apps?
If your Android smartphone/tablet is out of its update cycle, you’ll have to go with the custom ROMs route to install a ROM running the latest Android version. But I would only advise you to do that if you know what you are doing. Installing a custom ROM is a long process and varied from device to device. Also, not all devices have an active Android development and might be buggy.
In this case, please upgrade to a new smartphone. And if you are okay with all the trouble, you can find custom ROMs for your device from XDA Developer Forums.
Wrapping up: How do I install an unsupported app on Android?
So these are all the methods you can try if you want to install an incompatible app on your Android device. Sideloading APKs from reliable sources is one of the easiest ways to install an unsupported Android app. Still, sometimes you might have to go through some extra steps like installing a VPN app to use an incompatible app.
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