How to install an .apk on your OUYA (update!)

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New Infos: Hack OUYA to be accessible from windows!

You first have to install ADB (Android Debug Bridge) on your PC. It’s part of the Android SDK. There is also a Firefox extention, but you need the SDK anyway.

You may have to modify the file usb_driver\android_winusb.inf. Add following lines below [Google.NTx86]:

;OUYA Console
%SingleAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_2836&PID_0010
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_2836&PID_0010&MI_01

Connect your OUYA via the micro USB port to the USB port of your pc and execute following commands:

adb kill-server
echo 0x2836 >> “%USERPROFILE%\.android\adb_usb.ini”
adb start-server

When you have it up and running, check with “adb devices” (list all connected devices).

Then copy the desired .apk in the same folder as the ADB executable, open the command promt (cmd.exe) at the ADB folder and install it with “adb install yourapp.apk”.

You could then install a file manager to get things a little easier for you. 😉

adb install [-l] [-r] [-s] <file> – push this package file to the device and install it
(‘-l’ means forward-lock the app)
(‘-r’ means reinstall the app, keeping its data)
(‘-s’ means install on SD card instead of internal storage)

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About Thomas Reisser

Thomas got his first gaming device at the end of the 70s named Pong. A few years later, in December 1982 he got a brandnew C64 and didn't stop playing until his second C64 died about 5 years later. Until then a four-digit number of games were played and countless Competition Pro joysticks were demolished in endless fights with his father for the best rankings in Decathlon, Summer Games and other. Thomas also coded and designed this website. Thomas at Google+

5 thoughts on “How to install an .apk on your OUYA (update!)

  1. Nat

    I have been trying this method for several days with no success because downloads dont seem to show up for me i have updated to the latest firmware and whatnot but still no solution. any ideas how to fix this?

  2. Pingback: MonoGame and OUYA | James McParlane's Blog

  3. Brian

    It actually doesn’t have to be quite so complex. You can backup your apps via ES File Explorer (or app of your choice) and then upload the .apk file to DropBox (or cloud storage of your choice). From there, you can simply open your web browser to your DropBox and download the .apk. I recommend installing DropBox, since it lets you just open all of your uploaded stuff and install the apk’s instantly without needing the browser anymore.

    I can make a guide with screenshots, if that would be helpful 🙂

    1. Thomas Reisser Post author

      You’re right! There is an easy way to install “normal” .apks, but not to install apps like Google Play directly into the system.
      I used the File Expert to backup the “ES File Explorer” on my mobile and load it to my google drive. I downloaded it from there and installed it from Manage > System > Advanced > Storage > Downloads. Now I’m able to put any .apk onto an USB stick and install it from there with the File Explorer.


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