How to Transfer Apps between Android Mobiles via Bluetooth

The number of apps available through the Google Play store are growing at an exponential rate. There’s an app for just about everything you can think of, from mapping, to social media, to weather, travel and so on. One catch is that you usually need a reliable data connection to download an app. What if you’re on holidays overseas and don’t want to pay ridiculous roaming prices? What if you’re in the middle of nowhere without any reception and want to get that GPS app that your friend is using on his mobile? Luckily, Google has made it easy to transfer apps from one Android phone to another via Bluetooth. This functionality actually allows for you to transfer paid apps too, although they will revert to the free / trial version as soon as you next run Google Play.

Transferring android applications via Bluetooth can be performed through the use of two applications, Astro and BlueTooth Transfer. This procedure requires the user to generate an APK of an individual file via Astro and transmit it over Bluetooth to another device using the BlueTooth Transfer App.

Astro is highly recommended as a file explorer for Android as it allows the user to backup their installed applications on the memory card as an APK file which allows them to restore their applications in case your phone malfunctions or crashes.

1. Navigate to “Google Play” and type “Astro” in the search bar. Download and install Astro onto your Android phone.

android-ASTRO-download

2. Press on the Astro icon to run the application. The main screen opens with a search bar on the top and three tabs underneath – locations, searches and recents.

android-ASTRO-welcome-screen

3. Navigate to “Tools -> Application Manager”.

android-ASTRO-Tools-menu

4. In the Application Manager window, there are two tabs, Installed Apps and Backed Up Apps. Navigate first to the Installed Apps tab and select the application (i.e. ES File Explorer) you want to transfer via Bluetooth. Press on the “Backup” button that appears.

android-ASTRO-Installed-apps

Note: You can select multiple applications if you prefer

5.The application should now be highlighted bright blue and also found in the Backed Up Apps tab (as shown below). Exit out of Astro.

android-ASTRO-Installed-apps-blue

android-ASTRO-Backed-Up-Apps

6. Install Bluetooth File Transfer app from the Google Play store.

android-Bluetooth-File-transfer-download

7. Once installed, open the Bluetooth File Transfer app. Navigate to the following folder “/mnt/sdcard/backups/” and select the file (with extension .apk) you want to transfer. In our case, we would find “ES File Explorer” in this location. Once the file is ticked, press the Bluetooth button.

android-Bluetooth-File-transfer-Backups

8. The android phone should be listed under “Found Devices” or “Cache”. Click the relevant android and send the file. Once the other user receives the file, he/she will then be able to install it onto their android.

android-connect-to-device

This straightforward guide should work on most Android mobiles and tablet devices. Please post in the comments section below if you have any questions or run into any trouble when following this procedure.