Tech Tips: Installing apps on iPhone & Android

By Rose Barnes, Adult Digital Learning Librarian

Smartphones have changed the way we communicate and interact with the world around us. Beyond acting as a telephone, smartphones allow us to have instant access to quick and useful tools called apps.

What are apps for?

Simply put, an app is a type of software that allows you to perform different tasks. The word app is an abbreviation for application. They are both pre-installed on your device and available for you to download and install yourself.

Apps can easily be used for keeping track of your finances, staying in touch with people via social media, ordering takeout meals from restaurants, gaming, shopping, cooking, reading books, listening to music, watching videos, and more.

Apps to enjoy books, movies, music & more

Did you know that the library has a lot of apps to choose from? They allow you to use free digital content with your Oak Park library card. They’re all available here, and we recommend checking out these: 

  • Libby (app version of Media on Demand): To access the library’s largest and most popular collection of ebooks and audiobooks, plus the latest issues of popular magazines
  • Hoopla on Apple and Android: To access ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, TV shows, and music
  • SWAN Libraries: To access the library catalog and your account anytime, anywhere
  • Kanopy on Apple and Android: To watch feature films, documentaries, educational videos, and TV shows
  • PressReader on Apple and Android: To access magazines and newspapers from around the world

Learn how to find & install apps on your phone

Most smartphones are either Apple iPhones or Android phones. There are, of course, others, but here we will only cover downloading apps to an iPhone or Android phone. 

When downloading apps, we recommend checking the user reviews before installing. Many apps will request access to information on your phone such as location, photos, or contacts. Be sure to check the reliability of each app before downloading and allowing access on your phone, but the majority of apps are safe and reliable. 

Lynda.com on iPad
Access Lynda.com video tutorials for free with your library card and PIN.

Watch how-to videos from your library

Lynda.com is a library resource available to all cardholders. It’s full of high-quality video tutorials to learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. To access Lynda for free, all you need is your library card number and PIN.

For iPhone users

Watch a video tutorial on how to install apps: iOS 13 and iPadOS: iPhone and iPad Essential Training

For Android users

Watch a video tutorial on how to install apps: Obtaining apps and media (from Android Phone and Tablet Essential Training

App Store for iPhone

How to use the App Store (for iPhone users)

  1. Locate the App Store on your iPhone home screen and tap it to open. The icon is blue with a white A.
  2. Browse or search for the app you want to download and then tap on the app.
  3. If the app is free, it will say “GET,” but if the app costs money it will have a price. To download the app, tap GET or the price button. 
  4. You might have to sign in with your Apple ID in order to download the app. If that is required, simply sign in with your Apple ID email address and password.
  5. If you do not know your Apple ID or password, you can reset your password or find your Apple ID.
  6. The app will download to the iPhone home screen, but you can move and organize the apps however you’d like. Learn more about how to move apps and create folders on your iPhone
Google Play for Android

How to use Google Play (for Android users)

  1. Locate the Play store on your Android home screen and tap it to open. The icon looks like a colorful triangle.
  2. Browse or search for the app you want to download and then tap on the app.
  3. If the app is free it will say “INSTALL,” but if the app costs money, it will have a price. To download the app, tap INSTALL or the price button.
  4. You might have to sign into your Google account in order to download the app. If that is required, simply sign in with your Google email and password. 
  5. If you do not know your Google email address or password, you can recover your account here.
  6. The app will download to the Android home screen, but you can move and organize the apps however you’d like. Learn more about how to organize apps on Android.

Have a tech question?

About Rose

Rose is an Adult Services Librarian specializing in digital learning and all things ebooks. She is a passionate reader, baker, and explorer who is always planning her next adventure. 

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