How to install ADB to install APK files

ADB (Android Debugging Bridge) can be used to execute commands on your VR device.
It’s mostly used to install applications (APK files) from a Windows PC or Mac with a device connected with USB.

Windows

  • Download and install Android Platform Tools
  • Go to Start Menu, search for CMD, right-click and open as Administrator
  • In the Command Prompt, type the following to test if installation was successful:
    adb help

    TIP
    : if you get a message along the lines of “adb is not a recognized command”, then cd to the installation folder of ADB (C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Android\sdk\platform-tools), after which you can use adb.exe instead of adb in your commands

Mac

  • Open Terminal (click the search icon in the top-right corner of your Mac, type “terminal”, and press ENTER)
  • Install Homebrew by typing the following command into the Terminal window, press  ENTER to execute the command:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  • Install Android Platform Tools, which contains ADB, using Homebrew* by typing the following command in your Terminal:
    brew cask install android-platform-tools
  • Test if installation succeeded by typing the following in your Terminal:
    adb help

* Alternatively you could also install Android Platform Tools from the Android website, but then you might have to use the full path to the adb executable in the command line instead

INSTALL AN APK FILE

After you successfully installed ADB, you are now ready to install your APKs.

  • Connect your VR device to your computer using a USB cable
  • Check if ADB recognizes the device:
    adb devices
    • If you don’t see any devices listed in the output, turn off your device, disconnect the USB, power your device back on, reconnect the USB and then run the command again
    • If you see a device ID show up in the output with “unauthorized” behind it, enable ‘Developer Mode’ and “USB Debugging’ on your device. For Oculus devices, put your headset on and give permission.
    • If you see a device ID show up with “device” behind it, you are good to go and ready for the next step
  • Run the installation command:
    adb install /path/to/your.apk

Attention: replace the “/path/to/your.apk” in the command above with the actual path to your .apk file on your computer. On Mac, you can simply drag & drop the .apk in the Terminal window to find out the correct file path.

Congrats, you just installed your APK!

This process seems cumbersome, and it kinda is, but once you have everything setup, all you really need to do is run adb install (or adb install -r if you are updating an existing app) and you’re done.

TIP: to uninstall an app, use adb uninstall *package name*. For example, adb uninstall com.headjack.myapp (this package name is shown behind the app name in the list of Unknown Sources in your Library).

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