There has been alot of talk about APK files and the fact that people are installing apps on their Android devices that are not available on the Google play store. In this article I will attempt to shed as much light as I can about this topic.
What Is an APK File?
An APK file is an application than can be installed on the Android operating system. Just like EXE files are applications that can be installed on Windows operating system. EXE files have the .exe file extension while APK files have the .apk file extensions. APK just stands for Android applications.
Why Do We Need APK Files:
The Google play store is an app manager from Google. It’s also an app that comes pre-installed on Android phones to help us find and install other Android apps. The Play store is designed and owned by Google inc.
Through the Google play store, Google is able to ensure that apps being installed by users have been vetted and don’t pose any security risks to the users. All Google approved Android applications can be found on the Google Play store.
Sometimes though, some applications don’t get approved to be in the Play store. Some get removed from the Play store. Some are in the Play store but are not available in your country. All these are reasons why people go out of their way to install Android apps (APK files ) outside of the Google play store.
Where To Find APK Files:
There are several websites offering APK files. APK Mirror might have the largest collection of APK files. APK Files also has a collection of many APK files. You can find APK files to install on your Android device from any other website.
Are APK Files Safe:
Only Applications installed through the Google Plays store are 100% safe. By installing apps without google Play, you risk installing apps that contain viruses and malware. While most apps are innocent, some might be loaded with malware for malicious intentions.
How To Install APK Files:
Installing APK files basically means installing apps without Google Play. The first thing is to make your Android device accept applications from ‘Unknown sources’. The only ‘known source’ according to your Droid is the Play store. Go to your security settings and Toggle the ‘Allow installation of apps from Unknown sources’ switch to allow.
Find your APK file using your device’s browser and download it to your device or SD card memory. Then open your file manager to the place where APK file was downloaded. Double tap on it, then tap INSTALL to have the app installed on your device.
Advantages Of Installing APK Files (Apps Without Google Play)
You can install apps that are not yet available in your region hrough Google play.
You can install and use apps that have been removed from the Play store. e.g.
You can test apps you are creating before they get approved on Google Play.
Cons Of Installing APK Files:
Installing apps without Google Play puts you at risk of installing virus and malware bundles together with these unapproved applications.
There are no updates for these apps. You have to update by manually installing a later version of the APK file.