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CareCo How To… Guide – How To Download Apps

Does modern technology confuse you? Astounded by the internet? Do you want to take part but don’t know where to start? Then the CareCo How To… Guide series is here to help! Today we’re going to tackle the wide world of applications (‘apps’) and how to download them onto your smartphone or tablet computer.

Love them or hate them, it can’t be denied that smartphones/tablets are a revolution in the technology world. While some argue that they encourage younger users to spend extended amounts of time on social media, smartphones/tablets are packed with incredible features that can benefit young and old, no matter their mobility level. Alongside making phone calls and sending text messages you can also download a whole host of clever applications but this can be a complex process if you’ve never done so before. Read on to find out how you can make the most of your smartphone/tablet’s application store!


iTunes and the App Store are the central storefronts for iPhones, iPods and iPads – think of them as any other shops you may visit. Although they may look confusing when you first enter them they’re actually incredibly simple to navigate. Just follow the steps to download your favourite apps.

  1. You must already have an iTunes account to be able to download music, films, television shows, apps etc. and you must enter credit/debit card details to be able to pay for them. While some apps are completely free, others can be accessed for a small charge, with others (normally games) offering in-app purchases.
  2. To access the Store tab tap on the blue App Store icon, which will open a new window.
  3. You’ll now see a whole host of various applications available (just some of the many thousand out there). At the bottom of the screen you’ll see five options:
    Featured: featured apps are some of the latest releases within iTunes. You’ll see choices for gaming/education/dining/travel etc.
    Top Charts: similar to music and film, apps can be sorted into popularity charts, including top Paid/Free/Grossing. This option shows you which apps are the most popular (downloaded the most). In the top left-hand corner you’ll also notice a Categories button – this is where you can search through apps by genre.
    Explore: this will use your current location to search for apps that are popular in your local area.
    Search: this is where you can search for applications by name, much like an internet search engine.
    Updates: this is where you can manage your downloads and check to see if any of them can be updated.
  4. Once you’ve found your chosen app tap it to view its details.
  5. Click Get/or the blue price button – ‘Get’ means it’s free whereas the price shows you how much you’ll be charged.
  6. Your phone/tablet will then start to download the app. To do this you may be prompted to enter the password to your iTunes account. This is just to certify that you actually want to download the app.
  7. Once it’s finished downloading the app will appear on your phone/tablet’s main dashboard, ready for you to use.

It’s as simple as that!

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Similar in style to iTunes, Android phones/tablets have their own storefront for you to purchase apps from.

Much like iTunes, to be able to download items to your device you will need to set up a Google account linked to a credit/debit card.

  1. To start searching, locate the Market app on your phone/tablet’s dashboard. If you can’t see it then open the Applications menu and scroll to find it.
  2. Once opened, tap the magnifying glass to search for your chosen app.
  3. Once a list of relevant titles has been loaded select the one you want.
  4. A new window will open to show you the details of the app e.g. rating, reviews, screenshots, company details etc. You’ll also be shown the price if it’s a charged-for application.
  5. Tap ‘Install’ to start the downloading process.
  6. A downloading icon will appear in the top row of the screen. Once this has disappeared your download will be complete, with the app appearing on your phone/tablet’s dashboard.


  • Although you may be nervous of entering your credit/debit card details, opening an account with iTunes or Google is the only way you’ll be able to download anything. However, their security systems are incredibly safe, and you can even apply restrictions to prevent your children/grandchildren from downloading items without your knowledge and consent.
  • An account is also the best way of storing saved applications. If you decide to purchase a new phone/tablet just enter your account details into iTunes/Market to download previous purchases. This will prevent you from needlessly purchasing them again.
  • By opening an account and downloading items Apple/Android are able to personalise your buying experience, recommending top choices based on your downloads.

Next time: how to shop around for the best holiday deals.