Install Application programmatically on Android

You can easily launch a market link or an install prompt:

Intent promptInstall = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW)
    .setDataAndType(Uri.parse("file:///path/to/your.apk"), 
                    "application/vnd.android.package-archive");
startActivity(promptInstall); 

source

Intent goToMarket = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW)
    .setData(Uri.parse("market://details?id=com.package.name"));
startActivity(goToMarket);

source

However, you cannot install .apks without user's explicit permission; not unless the device and your program is rooted.


File file = new File(dir, "App.apk");
Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW);
intent.setDataAndType(Uri.fromFile(file), "application/vnd.android.package-archive");
startActivity(intent);

I had the same problem and after several attempts, it worked out for me this way. I don't know why, but setting data and type separately screwed up my intent.


The solutions provided to this question are all applicable to targetSdkVersion s of 23 and below. For Android N, i.e. API level 24, and above, however, they do not work and crash with the following Exception:

android.os.FileUriExposedException: file:///storage/emulated/0/... exposed beyond app through Intent.getData()

This is due to the fact that starting from Android 24, the Uri for addressing the downloaded file has changed. For instance, an installation file named appName.apk stored on the primary external filesystem of the app with package name com.example.test would be as

file:///storage/emulated/0/Android/data/com.example.test/files/appName.apk

for API 23 and below, whereas something like

content://com.example.test.authorityStr/pathName/Android/data/com.example.test/files/appName.apk

for API 24 and above.

More details on this can be found here and I am not going to go through it.

To answer the question for targetSdkVersion of 24 and above, one has to follow these steps: Add the following to the AndroidManifest.xml:

<application
        android:allowBackup="true"
        android:label="@string/app_name">
        <provider
            android:name="android.support.v4.content.FileProvider"
            android:authorities="${applicationId}.authorityStr"
            android:exported="false"
            android:grantUriPermissions="true">
            <meta-data
                android:name="android.support.FILE_PROVIDER_PATHS"
                android:resource="@xml/paths"/>
        </provider>
</application>

2. Add the following paths.xml file to the xml folder on res in src, main:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<paths xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
    <external-path
        name="pathName"
        path="pathValue"/>
</paths>

The pathName is that shown in the exemplary content uri example above and pathValue is the actual path on the system. It would be a good idea to put a "." (without quotes) for pathValue in the above if you do not want to add any extra subdirectory.

  1. Write the following code to install the apk with the name appName.apk on the primary external filesystem:

    File directory = context.getExternalFilesDir(null);
    File file = new File(directory, fileName);
    Uri fileUri = Uri.fromFile(file);
    if (Build.VERSION.SDK_INT >= 24) {
        fileUri = FileProvider.getUriForFile(context, context.getPackageName(),
                file);
    }
    Intent intent = new Intent(Intent.ACTION_VIEW, fileUri);
    intent.putExtra(Intent.EXTRA_NOT_UNKNOWN_SOURCE, true);
    intent.setDataAndType(fileUri, "application/vnd.android" + ".package-archive");
    intent.setFlags(Intent.FLAG_ACTIVITY_CLEAR_TASK | Intent.FLAG_ACTIVITY_NEW_TASK);
    intent.addFlags(Intent.FLAG_GRANT_READ_URI_PERMISSION);
    context.startActivity(intent);
    activity.finish();
    

No permission is also necessary when writing to your own app's private directory on the external filesystem.

I have written an AutoUpdate library here in which I have used the above.

Tags:

Android

Apk