There are over one million apps in the Google Play Store, and many of them are restricted to certain device types, brands, and Android systems.
If you're using one of the new, high-end devices like the HTC One M8 or Sasmsung Galaxy S5, pretty much all apps will be available to you, but if you're using an older device or tablet, chances are you've seen the "This app is incompatible with your device" message more than a few times.
A lot of times you can get around these restrictions by installing an .apk of the app directly, but since Google doesn't let you download the installation file from the Play Store, you usually have to resort to sketchy sites with lots of ads and potentially malicious data.
This is where Raccoon comes in. Developed by Onyxbits, Raccoon uses your existing Google account to download .apk files directly to your desktop, which can then be transferred over to your device. Raccoon can be used on any computer that can run Java.
Most computers come with Java pre-installed, but if you don't have it present on your Mac or PC, head on over to the Java website, download the installer, and install.
Raccoon is available free-of-charge from the developer, so head to his site to download it directly.
When you first open Raccoon, you will need to enter a Google ID and password. The dev recommends using a throwaway account, so you may want to consider creating a new Google account just for this app. This will make sure your real Google account remains safe and secure.
You do not have to enter an Android ID, but if you do want to, you can use the app Device ID to get it.
The layout of Raccoon is pretty simple. All you have to do is enter an app's name into the search field and click Download from the resulting list. The .apks can be found in the Raccoon folder on your computer that's located in the same location as the Raccoon app itself.
Once the download finishes, you can transfer the .apk to your device and install it—just remember to have installation from "Unknown sources" enabled.
Note that some apps will perform a secondary device check outside of Google Play, so there may be a few out there that will prevent you from running them. Outside of those few, you should be able to install whatever you'd like, whether or not it was intended to run on your device.