Every Android device owner should familiarize themselves with APK files to customize their Android experience beyond what Play Store allows. This guide provides crucial highlights about APKs and their installation on Android.
What is APK?
APK is short for Android Package Kit, a file format used by the Android OS to distribute and facilitate mobile apps. It is essential for app installation, just like the .exe file in Windows systems. Most Android users get apps from Google Play, so they rarely see the word APK.
Why are APK files Necessary?
APK files for new Android builds are often released in advance, providing users early access to the new features. Besides, some Android files have geographic restrictions that delay automatic updates. So, having the latest APK puts you ahead. Another reason you may need to install APK files is to restore an older app version, especially if recent updates affect the app’s performance. Moreover, if you can’t access Google Play through your Android device, APK may be the only alternative to access and install apps on your device.
Take caution though, avoid malware in the guise of APK files for Android that seek to invade and contaminate your device. Remember the 2018 APK scam where Android users downloaded malware thinking they were downloading an advanced version of Fortnite. Worse still, some APK services will mislead you to download illegal and unreliable pirated apps. Therefore, it’s worth applying due diligence and research before deciding on the APK to download to avoid device contamination or illegalities.
Android APK Installation
You can still install APK directly from the browser despite most Android devices restricting apps from outside sources for security reasons. So, if you’ve found an APK that you really need to install on your device, first turn on third-party apps. Here are the easy steps to activate Android’s third-party app abilities.
- Open Settings represented by a gear symbol
- Scroll down and click Security. Alternatively, you can type Security in the Setting’s search functionality for quick access.
- Click Device Administration
- Toggle the tab next to “Unknown Sources” to turn on installation from other sources.
Usually, a pop-up message emerges, warning you of the vulnerabilities associated with the option.
- Click OK to confirm your choice.
Now head to your browser and find your preferred APK file
- Click on download file to commence download on your device
- Access the downloaded APK file on your device’s Downloads section
- Tap on the APK file and follow the prompts to install.
Import APK From Other Devices
If your smartphone doesn’t connect to the internet, you can install APK files from a PC. This time, you’ll search for the APK online through your PC and follow these steps.
- Download the APK file to an accessible location on your PC
- Ensure that your Android device allows third-party apps
- Connect your Android device to your computer as a media device
Be sure you can access your device’s folders and files from the PC
- Designate a specific folder in the device to paste your APK file.
- Safely disconnect the two and search for the file on your Android device
- Tap the file and install.
Congrats on successfully downloading and installing the APK file on your Android device. Open the app and confirm that it functions properly. If your app doesn’t open or work, you may have to repeat the process or try a different download site.