You’ve probably come across the word APK file or heard it being mentioned by android users and wondering what it stands for. Knowing what APK file is and how it works is essential if you are an android user or want to buy an android device.
In this guide, we will be looking at what an APK file stands for, how to get them on our android device, where to get them, and how to install APK on an android device.
What Is an APK File and How to Install APK on an Android Device
An APK (Android Package Kit) file is an extension of the android package file used to distribute and install apps on the Android operating system. The APK file works the same way the .exe file works on the windows operating system, but the APK file is for only the android operating system.
Android users get their apps from the Google Play Store, so most have zero knowledge about APK’s. APK files are used by android users who want to download an app that is no longer on the Google play store, restricted apps in certain countries, getting the old version of an app after an update, and many more. If you mistakenly delete your Google Play Store on your device, you can get the APK file and install it on your device again.
NB: Some APK websites allow you to download p!rated apps; you have to be vigilant so that you don’t download a p!rated app. Do some background research before downloading your preferred app on the APK websites so that you don’t do anything that will land you in trouble.
How To Install APKs on Android Device
To be able to install android apps outside the Google Play Store, you need a file named “APK”. The APK file is the android file used to install apps on an android device the same way a .exe file is used to install software on a desktop or laptop. Your android device will need to extract the software from the APK file and install the application on your device, and this works perfectly as if it has been downloaded from the Google Play Store.
Android devices have a security feature that does not allow users to install apps not found on the Google Play Store. But you can still install apps outside the Google Play Store if you need a genuine app that has been restricted in your country or wants to get an updated version of an app that hasn’t been updated yet on the Play Store. I will show you the steps you need to take before you can install apps on your android device outside Play Store.
Step #1: Allow APK Installation on Android
This step doesn’t require any technical skills; all you need to do is turn on Androids third-party app functions. This is the first step you need to take before installing an APK file on your android device.
- So, pick your Android device and go to settings by clicking on the Settings icon on your device.
- In the settings menu, you need to locate the security bottom (on a Samsung device, you need to locate the biometric & security bottom). If should incase you are not able to find the security bottom, you can use the search option to locate it.
- Once in the security menu, just scroll down till you see the Install unknown apps/Unknown sources bottom and enable the function.
- Once you enable the option, you will receive a popup message warning you about what can happen to your device when the Install unknown apps bottom is enabled; accept it to make the function start working on your device.
- You can return to your homepage and continue using your phone.
Step #2: Download the APK File from An Online Source
After enabling APK installation on your android device, the next thing to do is to download the APK file onto your device. This step is crucial because apps installed outside the Google Play Store could be dangerous to your device. Google Play Store makes sure that apps uploaded on their platform are secured for their users, so you are safe when downloading apps from the Play Store, likewise downloading them from an external source where there is no form of regulation.
Most online sites promise the downloads of paid apps for free on their platform; while this is true, there is no guarantee that the apps will be safe for your device. Because of this, you might want to know the trusted websites when downloading APKs online.
The most trusted websites for downloading APKs online are APKPure and APKMirror. These APK download sites host unmodified versions of APKs for downloads and indicate when the apps are signed by their manufacturers.
- To get the APK, go to APKMirror or APKPure and search for the name of the app whose APK file you want to get and download on your android device or computer.
- Check to verify that the file you downloaded from the website ends with .apk. if the file type is in another format other than .apk, you might want to delete it from your system. After you’ve verified that the APK is safe for your device, go ahead and click on the file in your downloads folder or your notification tray.
Step #3: Install the APK On Your Device
After locating your downloaded APK file, you need to install it on your device. To install the APK file, you have to tap on the file located in your downloads folder.
- A popup window will open on your screen, showing you what the app will have access to once installed on your device. Be careful and make sure that the app is requesting the right access; if you notice any suspicious access to system architecture, you might want to stop the installation.
- Once you’ve verified the access and think it is safe to keep the app on your device, you might go-ahead to install the app by tapping on the “Install” tab. After the installation process has been completed, you will get a notification in the form of a popup window showing that the installation is completed; you can click done or open to open the app right away.
- The app will be installed on your device, and you can locate it on your homepage. Once an APK file has been installed on your device, updates for that particular app will not be made available on the Play Store. If you want to update the app to its newer version, you have to go to the APK download site, download the APK file, and install the updated version; it will overwrite the current one on your device.
The Best APK Download Sites
There are many APK download sites on the internet, but you have to be careful when downloading APKs; most of them come with malware that might compromise your device’s security. Be sure to download APKs from sites you trust.
Below are the APK download sites we trust;
Conclusion how to install APK on an Android device
We all have many reasons why we prefer to download and install APK files on our android devices. Mostly to test the newer version of apps that are yet to be updated on the Play Store; other times, we want to get the other versions of the app after it’s been updated and for many different reasons. But you might want to apply a little caution to it since the safety of the app cannot be guaranteed.
If an app requests for a lot of permissions that seem to go off what the actual permission should be, you might want to delete it from your device completely.
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