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Android Market install failures

Sometimes Market fails to install application updates. The download is successful, but the actual installation fails. There is probably something in the logcat, but it doesn’t help users.

I just had this happen to me on my development phone (I use one to develop, and update another phone from a different account to verify the update).

After this failure, Market lists the application as not installed, although the existing version (if there was one) actually stays installed.

I was able to resolve the issue by uninstalling the application via Settings -> Applications, then re-installing through Market.

What also worked for me in the past is to email the .apk to the user, and ask him to open the attachment. This seems to have resolved all the cases where this problem occurred.

However, today’s workaround seems easier and just as reliable (except on HTC phones, since all the custom Sense applications show up in the installed applications list – lots of scrolling and reading there).

Another type of failure that seems to happen recently is when the actual downloading fails: it seems to get stuck at “starting download” forever. The workaround is this:

  • Menu -> Settings -> Applications -> Manage applications
  • Find “Download Manager”, click to open its screen, click “Clear cache”
  • Find “Market”, do the same

The list of downloaded / installed applications stays intact, but the download should now work.

Categories: android
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