QGIS on Android phone: Installing

There is a more up-to-date version of this page detailing the installation on an Asus TF300T tablet here.

I decided to try out QGIS on my Samsung Galaxy Advance – a little 4-inch screen, but why not? I’d run through the same process on an Asus TF300 tablet previously (much larger screen and more appropriate for GIS use – but more on that later) and wanted to document how it went.

You’ll need an active and fast network connection – you’ll download a bit over 100MB of files during the installation. (For more screenshots and installation details see here from upande.com)

Steps:

  1. To install ensure you’ve selected “install from unknown sources” in the Settings;
  2. Download the installer .apk and open it (on most Androids it will download to a “Downloads” directory, but may be elsewhere; you can just click to open the file from your file browser and it should start the installer).
  3. Run the installer and select ‘download and install’. 83 MB of data will get downloaded. Luckily, it is a resumable download – if it fails, you can start the process off again where you left off.
  4. Confirm that you want to install (standard Android dialogue) – takes about 2 minutes to finish this stage.
  5. Run QGIS: “Unpacking post-install data” … 10 seconds.
  6. QGIS requires a supporting service, available from the Play store “This application requires Ministro service. Would you like to install it?” Confirm and install Ministro II, only 523KB.
  7. Looks like it needs MORE libraries to run! “Qgis needs extra libraries to run. Do you want to download them now?” Confirm and install the QtCore libraries – a lot bigger at 31MB.

Then QGIS just seems to run! Tough to use the little tiny buttons / menus, but workable. You can even use the GPS connection – took me a while to realise it was under View | Panels | GPS – click ‘connect’ on the panel after displaying it.