I have shared my complaints before about the native Gmail client for Android. Most of them have been addressed with the Android 1.5 update, but there are still things that annoy me. Developers constantly send me APK files so I can test and review their software, but native Gmail will crash if you try to download one. Instead, I am forced to open up the web browser and go to the Gmail site to retrieve the files, which is really frustrating.
Thankfully, nEx.Software has come to the rescue. His new app APKatcher does exactly what I need. Once installed, the app allows you to use the preview button in native Gmail to download and install APK files. Now you can share APK files with ease and download them with a single click.
We recently had the chance to catch up with nEx.Software and ask him about his latest creation.
Android and Me: Why did you make APKatcher?
nEx.Software: As a developer who works with other developers and/or “clients” on a regular basis, I find myself sending out quick proof copies of Applications I am working on, or receiving the same from those I am working with. Often times I am not at my computer (believe it or not) when I receive these emails. For some reason, the Gmail application doesn’t allow you to download and/or install these applications directly. For the longest time I was going to Gmail in the browser, downloading the file to my SD Card, and then installing the application. Needless to say, this is cumbersome. So, I decided to write a small utility to help this process along.
AAM: How long did it take to write?
nEx.Software: I worked on this application on and off over the course of a day. Total development time (including research) probably came in at about 3 hours or so.
AAM: What has the feedback been like?
nEx.Software: I am surprised at how it has been received. Going into it, I felt as if it would be a really useful tool for a few people who, like me, send Applications via email. The key word in that sentence is few. To my utter surprise, there have been over a thousand downloads and a retention rate of about 90%. As of last check, the average user rating is 5 stars (4.93 according to Cyrket). Comments have been great and back up the user rating well.
AAM: Anything else you want to share?
nEx.Software: To be competely honest, I am not entirely sure why the Gmail application does not do this. I suppose Google might have left out this feature in a passive attempt to reduce the liklihood of unauthorized sharing, but if that is the case, then I’d have to say that all it did was make it more cumbersome. As someone who is simply trying to send and receive applications legitimately, I’m pretty disappointed in this user experience. I hope everyone finds this simply tool as useful as I do.
Developed By: nEx.Software
Filesize: 14.2 KB