I picked up a relatively cheap 7″ Android tablet recently, and like most of the generic tabs that you can get it didn’t support the full Google experience (mail / docs / G+ etc). Most frustratingly, it also didn’t come with Android Market installed which meant I needed to use one of the 3rd party app stores which don’t tend to have as wide a range of apps available.
I did notice that Android Market was running as a process on the device, so although it wasn’t accessible and couldn’t be launched as a standalone app, I thought it would be possible to access it. Here’s how.
In order to access market without the app being visible, you need to find a way to get it to launch through another piece of software. In this case, the Dolphin HD browser. It’s available in most 3rd party app markets, but if you can’t find it, google “Dolphin Browser APK“, and you’ll find plenty of downloadable versions.
Once you’ve installed the browser, accessing the Android Market is pretty simple. Launch the browser and you’ll see the main interface. swipe your finger across the screen from right to left and you’ll open the right hand side bar menu which by default has two options. One is full screen browsing, the other is add ons – the jigsaw piece:
Tap on this and you’ll see a list of available add ons for the browser – things like bookmarks, themes, and the like. Click on one, and lo and behold, you’ll be directed through to Google’s Android Market using the app interface rather than the web, and you will be able to download any compatible applications.