What is an APK file and how do I install it?
About 70-80% of Android owners at a young and mature age have heard the mention of APK files at least once. Most likely, it was inappropriate to ask questions about what it is and how to work with them, but the interest stuck in my memory. It is very important to have an understanding of the meaning and peculiarities of using APK files, especially if you want to add an application on Android that is not from the standard Play Store. What is an APK file, how to download and install it are the main topics of this lesson.
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What is an APK file?
The full name is Android Package Kit, or APK for short, is the most common file format for Android OS, which allows you to distribute and install applications on a mobile phone. The Windows counterpart is called the .exe permission. Almost the same for Android – apk.
During the download of the APK, the full content of the application is downloaded. However, at the time of transferring applications from Google Play, the word APK does not appear, since the procedure is automatic. If you ever want to download and install the program differently, you will have to deal with this file format.
Why install an APK file?
There are several good reasons for getting to know and learning APK skills:
- Early access to apps and updates. Almost always, new Android builds hit the web much earlier than the official release. They are distributed in APK format. Some functions will not be available to the user at all if he waits for an automatic installation over the air.
- The application you want to use is locked in a specific region or outside of a specific location.
- The update is taking too long. The service puts all users in a queue, which is often quite long. The choice becomes – wait a long time or download the full APK file several times faster and install the current version of the application right away.
- After the update, the application deteriorated or lost some of its useful functions. It is possible to download and install the old version only through the apk file.
- The target device for installing the application on Android does not have a connection to the Google Play store. APKs are the only solution in this situation.
Be careful when using APKs. The reader may not want to download stolen and hacked applications, but he can accidentally get on them, since some of the services distribute pirated programs. Such actions are illegal.
A more pressing problem is that individual files can contain malicious code fragments. Not so long ago, many users thought they had tricked the system and downloaded an early version of Fortnite for Android, but found a virus on the system. Before starting the download, it’s best to do a little research and find out if the file is a threat.
How to install APK from your Android device
To start the installation, you can use a regular browser on your smartphone, with any manufacturer.
- Launch a web browser and find the file on the thematic site.
- Start downloading an item, as indicated by a notification in the top panel of the device.
- After the download is complete, open the Downloads section and tap the APK file.
- At the time of launch, the system will ask for permission, in which you need to click on the “Yes” button.
- Wait for the installation to finish and enjoy the program.
How do I install APK files from my computer?
Due to the abundance of sites on the network that distribute APK files, you must first check the reputation of the web resource and use one or two of them that you have trust. Such a solution will significantly reduce the risks to data privacy and device security. One of the trusted sites is APK vision. Downloading from here is much safer than from other sources, but there is still no full guarantee. Usually, if viruses are found in a file, there is a note in the comments and reviews about this.
- Initially, you need to find the target file on the Internet and download it to a convenient place for further use.
- Take a smartphone in your hand and go to “Settings” and then “Security”. Here or in one of the subsections you need to activate the item “Unknown sources”, if this has not been done earlier. The action will allow you to install applications from outside the Google Play Store. In recent versions of Android, there is no need to set a global setting to allow installation from third-party sources. Instead, when the installation is attempted, a notification appears prompting you to allow the action.
- Synchronize your computer with your Android smartphone, and select the “Multimedia device” or storage mode. So the PC can work with files on the phone.
- Open a new disk with the name of the gadget in Windows, namely, in the “This PC” section.
- Copy the APK file and put it in a suitable folder on your Android device.
- On the phone, find the downloaded item through the “Explorer” or file manager, touch it and select the “Install” option.
After a certain waiting time, the application will appear in the system. Now you can open it and check if it works correctly. If the procedure does not bring the expected result, it is worth repeating it with another APK file. You will most likely have to change the download source.