Downloading WhatsApp and other apps on your PC

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Whatsapp is one, if not the, most sought-after app in Zimbabwe

WhatsApp is one of, if not, the most sought-after app in Zimbabwe

Vendors at various locations in the capital, including Copa Cabana Terminus and Gulf Complex, make a killing selling ( they call it “loading”) music onto people’s phones.

Whilst people can debate the legality of this practice, it is the practice of asking people to pay fees ranging from $2-$5 to have apps like WhatsApp and Bibles installed on their phones that I find morally reprehensible.

A good proportion of the people I talked to honestly believed that was the only “legitimate” way to get WhatsApp on their phones and thought the payment was part of using the service.

Whilst it is legal to charge for the service of installing what are essentially free apps, I believe in teaching people how to fish rather than giving them the fish – to paraphrase the Chinese proverb.

Android apps (in the form of .apk files) can be downloaded from the Google Play store and shared among friends. This will result in data bundle savings as well as convenience as the apps can be installed offline without going through the painful process of downloading them on your phone.

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If you do not see the advantage, you probably have a 3G phone or have never tried downloading the Chrome Browser app on your phone and have it fail twice as it gets to around 20 MB. Using your computer you can take advantage of download accelerators like IDM and greatly reduce the pain.

Method 1

  • Using this method you can download the desired app from the Google Play Store onto your desktop then transfer and install it onto your Android device.
  • Open your browser and visit the Evozi website here.
  • Open another tab and visit the Google Play store.
  • Search for the desired app and click on its link to visit the app’s page in the play store for example if you want to download the Chrome Browser app, you can search for “chrome” in the Google Play store and click on the first result to land here.
  • Copy the app’s URL and paste in into the provided text field on the Evozi website and click on the “Generate Download Link” button.
  • Once the process has completed you will be presented with a green download button. Click on it to download a multi-use apk that you can share with your friends when their WhatsApp “expires”.

Method 2

Whilst the first method is easy to understand and carry out, it comes with its own problems and limitations. One is that Google places a limit to the number of apps that you can download a day using a single account and since the website uses a single account it is not unusual for this limit to be reached, thus preventing you from using the service.

The other problem is that the site will not allow you to see whether certain apps are compatible with your device or not. The creators of Evozi have a Chrome app that you can use with your Chrome Browser and Google Account to download apps. This allows you to use your account, device ID (more on that below) and PC.

  • In your Chrome Browser click here to install the Chrome app.
  • Type “chrome://extensions/” in your address bar without the quotes.
  • Click on the options link under the APK Downloader extension
  • Type your Google account email address in the provided section
  • Type your Google account password in the password slot. If you use 2 Factor authentication you need to generate an app-specific password here, then copy and paste it into the password field.
  • Download the Android Device ID app using Method 1 and install it onto your device. This will show you your device ID. Enter the ID into the given field and click on the sign in button.
  • Your device ID can  also be viewed by dialling *#*#8255#*#* and scrolling down to the line that begins with Device ID:android-XXXXXXXXXX. Your device id is the alphanumeric string that begins after the dash.
  • You can download .apks by simply visiting the desired app’s landing page in the Play store and clicking on the Android robot that appears in the address bar next to the bookmarks star.

NB

  • Using method 2 you will obtain the same apk file that would download to your device during a normal installation process via Google Play on the device; unadulterated.
  • Both methods will not work with premium apps.
  • Some apps which make use of low level functionality might not work with your device’s architecture. For example some apps will only work on ARM and not X86 (for example the BlueStacks emulator)
  • Before you install the apk it might be necessary to enable the “install from unknown sources” option in your device’s settings.
  • Your device ID is a random alphanumeric string that is generated on first boot and is used by App markets to identify your device.

You should only ever download apps from trusted sources. If you have any other methods, tips and tricks on the topic please feel free to share them in the comment section after all TMTOWTDI.

16 Comments

  1. Alu says:

    Cool article but I don’t think whatsapp specifically should be leading that headline – coz whatsapp itself doesn’t need all that. They always put the latest android apk on their website directly – BEFORE they update it on playstore even. Other apps yah, but whatsapp; those methods are just unnecessary complication.

    http://www.whatsapp.com/android/

  2. nokia app says:

    how do we download nokia s40 on computer?

    1. zibbo says:

      Whatsapp for S40 is difficult to download on PC. What I did is, I downloaded using a Nokia C3-00 then I just copied the file to my PC.

  3. hustler tech says:

    knowledge is power my friend….! no pc, poor network and no knowledge to do it…more bucks for us. simple stuff baba…

  4. Anonymous says:

    n the people who want that stuff downloaded, cannot read this

  5. juss says:

    I use share app for android. I then share a new app via blue tooth, whats app etc. You can also share the purchased app which is not legal

  6. Farai says:

    “Whilst it is legal to charge for the service of installing what are essentially free apps, I believe in teaching people how to fish rather than giving them the fish” – people would rather sell (give) fish than teach them how to fish. That is the culture that exists. I remember I used to do software installs during my indeginisation days and I never taught people how to do them or the software keys used (some underground key!) and even when I left a copy of the software, I made sure they called me to do the installation. Recurring income. So if these guys teach Jack and Jill how to install these apps, they lose income. Sounds selfish but hey, someone has to make money and someone has to pay!

  7. KG says:

    Easier method.

    1. Download mobogenie and install on PC (www.mobogenie.com)
    2. Connect your phone
    3. Search for apps in mobogenie window and click install (it does the rest)

    This experience is similar to iTunes where people can download apps (music, wallpapers and whatever else) on their computers and connect their phone to install. Try it!

  8. EMMY says:

    Whats app needed

  9. Miss Future says:

    Mostordonary people dont want to know how to do it, they just want it done for $2 & its over. Not to trh to learn
    with frustrations over days

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