Android also collects data on why you chose to uninstall an app. Select a reason or "I'd rather not say," and then OK.

Updating Apps

Occasionally developers will add features or bug fixes. When there's an update available, you'll see an alert in your notification bar at the top of your Home screen. You can click the alert to go directly to the Android Market, or you can launch the Android Market app and click the Downloads button (Figure 14-9). If you don't see a Downloads button on your phone, press the Menu button to reveal it.

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Click an app to view the details, and then click the Update button at the bottom of the screen. The process is very similar to downloading an app. In Android 2.1 and earlier, you must do this individually for each app, but in Android 2.2 you can update everything at once by clicking "Update all." For apps that you'll unhesitatingly update, you can also specify that you'll allow automatic updates on that app's About page in the Android Market. Checking that box means available updates will automatically install as soon as they're available. Even if you choose automatic updates, you'll have to manually install app upgrades that change an app's permissions.

CAUTION: Read the comments before updating an app or allowing automatic updates. Sometimes the update will break something or not work with particular phone models.

Rating and Commenting

If you've installed an app, you may want to go back and tell other users how well it works. Even a comment verifying that it works on your model of phone is helpful. The first step is to rate the app. The ratings area is at the top of the app's detail page under the section "My review." Click the stars, and you'll see a rating screen resembling Figure 14-10. Indicate the number of stars the app deserves by dragging your finger left to right. Once you are finished, click OK.

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Figure 14-10. Rating an app

Once you've rated an app, you'll see a link to post a comment right under your rating. You can only comment on apps you've rated.

Installing Apps Outside the Android Market

In most cases, the Android Market is all you need to find apps for your phone. However, developers aren't required to offer their apps through the market. App developers in countries that don't yet support paid apps through the Android Market may want to sell paid versions of their apps outside the market, for example. This also allows developers to create alternative app markets, like SlideME ( You can download apps from other locations, but you need to enable downloads from unknown sources to authorize it. To do so, from the Home screen, press the Menu button, click Applications, and then toggle the box next to "Unknown sources" (Figure 14-11).

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