Introduction: Bluestacks As a Repository of Apps for Sideloading Onto an Android Device With No Play Access...

So you bought a cheap Android device to play with and maybe hack around on. Being as how it's cheap, there's probably no Google Play access. Now, there's lots of alternative markets out there that you can use but what if there's just one certain app you want and you can't find it anywhere but on Google Play. You could track down rooting instructions and go through all that and MAYBE if you don't brick your device you can install Google Play and be on your way. Bully for you. You don't need this Instructable. But if you're not ready for to go through that 'cause all you want is that one app that you can't find anywhere else... then this is the Instructable for you.

Step 1: Bluestacks 101

First a couple caveats: You need to install Bluestacks if you haven't already. You can find that here:

Bluestacks is pretty great. Installs like any other Windows app. Try playing Draw Something using a mouse... lifechanger.

Once installed, you need to install an Android app that will allow you to backup other Apps. I chose ES File Explorer because it can do this and connect back to the computer to transfer those backed up apps to the desktop. There are other apps you can use and if you choose to do so, write us up an instructable doin' it your way. :)

Follow your nose and use the pictures here as a reference. Once you get past the third screen here, it's like installing an Android app on anything else.

Step 2: Let's Play Find My App

I'm going to use Fast Reboot as an example here as it's handy to have on little low powered tablets like this for freeing up ram.

Step 1: Click search and type in the name of the app you're searching for... then click Find.

Step 2: Click install next to your app and it will take you to a list of markets you can download it from.

Step 3: Since this particular instructable is about using the program to get apps you can't find anywhere but google play, click the one in the Google Play column to proceed to Play and install the app.

Step 3: Now the Fun Part...

Now fire up your freshly installed copy of ES File Manager and look towards the top right and locate the AppMgr. Open 'er up and behold a list of apps your Bluestacks installation has installed.

Click select then click the app you want to back up.

Then click Backup.

Once it's done, click back and you should have a shiny new folder on your imaginary sd card called... wait for it... backups!

Step 4: Copy Copy Copy Copy Copy

Open up the backups folder... Then the apps folder... Here's your prize.

Click Select again and click the file you want to copy... AND THEN CLICK COPY!

Then look towards the top left corner and locate where it says Local, click this and then Lan...

(Side note: Next step only works if you have your computer setup so you can share to a folder on it from your network. If you don't know how to do that... maybe a later instructable... until then, GOOGLEFU.)

Click Menu, then New and Scan for you computer. Should be the only one that pops up.

Locate the folder on your computer where you want to save the app and copy it there...


Find the location on your computer where you saved the ".apk" and copy it to your device. Fire it up and enjoy!