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Parse Error

Sometimes my friends and I trade beta Android apps we develop with each other through Gmail. The Gmail app can download these APK attachments. But after the Gmail app downloads it, it starts up Package Installer, which provides the following error message:

Parse Error
There is a problem parsing the package.

Anyone have an idea what is causing this problem? It would be so convenient to install APK directly through the Gmail app, rather than downloading it on my computer, then somehow sending it over to the phone.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 16:13:05 +0000

Based on reading the following passage, I suspect that Gmail app doesn't allow you to download the full APK:

"A Parse Error will display when the Swype Installer tries to install the Swype Beta package before it has been fully downloaded. The primary cause of a Parse Error is an interruption your network connection." - parse error on my hero... installation failed

After reading that, the problem is obvious. Gmail app on my Android 2.1 distribution has a "Preview" button for the attachment. It is clear now that the "Preview" only download a portion of the attachment for previewing. There is no way to download the entire attachment.

Curious, I loaded up my Android 2.2 distribution and ran Gmail app. I found that on Android 2.2, Gamil app actually has an "Install" button next to the attachment. I was successful at installing application through Gmail app on Android 2.2.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 13 Aug 2010 17:55:02 +0000

I am using a Motorola Droid 1 with 2.2. Within Gmail, I have an app with the install button; however, when the app installer attempts to install, I am getting the same Parse Error message. I am attempting to download beta software. I also have attempted to use a file manager product to install the app once it was downloaded to my SD card. I receive the same error.

I can use any advice you experts may have.

Fri, 01 Oct 2010 17:29:34 +0000

Perhaps the app you got in your Gmail is incomplete or corrupted. Ask the sender to send it to you again and see if that works.

Chieh Cheng
Fri, 01 Oct 2010 21:40:35 +0000

I was also confused about my Android 2.1 phone not installing software (my own "Hello World" application) at all via the Gmail app. It turned out that the Preview button isn't able to install apps at all. The working method was to first download the apk with the web based gmail and then install with a file manager. Even this method required the apk to be signed though. I haven't yet found any way to install unsigned apps.

Fri, 29 Oct 2010 06:03:29 +0000

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