(April 24, 2014) – Apps, Apple Store, Google Play, mobile sites, Android, iOS—it can get a little confusing at times. It may seem like a silly topic—but it’s searched for, and we hear it…a lot. Consider this the go-to resource for knowing exactly how to download and find apps on your smartphone.

The process is slightly different depending on your device and operating system.

Downloading Apps for the iPhone

For all iPhones, apps can be found by setting up an account and searching in the Apple store. This is, by default, already on your device homescreen. Open it up!

If you know the app you’re looking for, use the search function to find the name of the app. Use keyword phrases if you don’t know the exact name, but you know the general nature of the app you’re looking for (i.e.“tip calculator” or “pizza finder”).

Once you find the app you’re looking for, simply press the “+GET” button at the top right. You may be asked to enter your account password at this time—even if it’s free. Don’t worry—you won’t be charged. Reentering your password is just a precaution in case someone else gets ahold of your phone and is trying to download apps to your phone that you may not want.

Once pressed, that button will then change to the word “INSTALL.” Press it again. You’ll see a circle with a loading bar appear. If you’d like to pause it, just tap it again to stop, or tap it again to resume.

If you head back to your home screen, you will see the progress of the app downloading onto your phone. Some apps are large and require being connected to wifi, so it’s always a good idea to be connected to internet so that it goes faster and doesn’t eat into your data plan.

That’s it! Once complete, you’ll have a new app ready to go on your homescreen.

Downloading Apps on an Android Phone

Much like the iPhone has the Apple store, Android’s have the Google Play store. You’ll need to locate and launch the Google Play app on your phone, which comes pre-loaded. If you don’t have a Google account, set that up prior to downloading new apps. (But odds are, you already did that when initially setting up your phone).

Once you’re in the Google Play app, you can search using the magnifying glass at the top right to help you find the app you’re looking for, or you can browse by category. You’ll likely get a variety of apps, books, and movies, so you might want to filter for just apps by clicking the “more” button to see a long list.

If you see the app you want, hit the three vertical dots on the right side of the listing, to either install the app right away or add to a wishlist for installing at a later date. If you tap the box itself, you’ll get more details for the app, including screenshots, reviews, and a description.

Current app downloads and installations will show as icons in the notification bar at the top of the screen. Swipe down from the top for details and progress. Once complete, you can tap the “Open” button in the Play Store listing, or tap the icon from the notification tray to open your app.

Otherwise, the app will be accessible by tapping the Apps icon in the bottom of your home screen, assuming an icon hasn’t already been put on your home screen.

The Best of Both

The best part about apps for either store is that you don’t have to worry about deleting an app from the device. If you’ve downloaded it once, you’ll always be able to access it again (with any information you’ve put into it since the original download) even if you’ve paid for it, as long as you are still using the original account.

In many ways, apps have made our lives easier—from time management and leisure to business and entertainment. Browse through your device’s app store and see what’s out there! And if you still need help, ask a friend or watch a video tutorial online—it’s easier than you think!

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Author: Mitch Briggs

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