Moving Apps to a New Android Device

This is a Linux blog, so these instructions are for Linux. You can do the same thing without Linux, either by copying the app list file, below, with your computer or moving the SD card between Android devices.

In the Android Market, download AppListBackup. This program saves a list (or subset) of your loaded apps to a file that you can use to reload the apps, either on the same device or a different one. It doesn’t load apps, just lists of apps. There aren’t any instructions, so here’s what you do:

On the device you’re moving from, run AppListBackup, select “Backup” and check off which apps you want on the new device. When it’s done, connect the device by USB and on your computer, run
adb pull /mnt/sdcard/AppListBackup/apps.alb .
(Don’t forget the trailing period.) This will download the app list to your current directory. ADB is the Android Debug Bridge. If you don’t already have it loaded, see the post Android Development Environment.

Load AppListBackup on the new device. Run it and save an app list. It doesn’t matter what apps are in the list, because we’re going to overwrite the list in a minute. The purpose is just to get AppListBackup to make it’s directory on the SD card. Once that’s done, connect the new device to USB and, on the computer, run
adb push apps.alb /mnt/sdcard/AppListBackup/
(don’t forget the trailing slash). Now the app list is on the new device. Disconnect the new device from USB and run AppListBackup. Select “Restore”. This will show your list of apps. If you select one, it’ll take you to the app’s download page in the Market.