What is APK Download

What is APK Download: All You Need to Know

You may have heard the question “what is APK download” and wondered what it meant if you own an Android device. Even though you can use Android without ever understanding what an APK is, learning a little more about it can help you enjoy the platform more.

Let’s examine what is APK download file is and why Android needs it.

APK Files: What Are They?

Known as APK, the Android Package (sometimes Android Package Kit or Android Application Package). Android uses this file type to distribute and install apps. As a result, an APK contains all the parts needed for an app to install correctly on your device.

An APK is a particular kind of archive file that contains numerous files and their associated metadata. You’re undoubtedly already familiar with ZIP and RAR, two different forms of archive files.

In order to make several files more portable or compress them to conserve space, archive files (like ZIP) are typically used to consolidate them into one. When an archive is used to distribute software, it is referred to as a software package.

It turns out that APKs are a subset of the JAR (Java Archive) file format because a substantial amount of Android was written in Java. At their heart, all APKs are ZIP files, but in order to work properly, they need to have additional data.

As a result, not all APKs are ZIPs and vice versa. If you’re curious, you can look through an APK file’s contents. Just open it like any other ZIP file by using one of the top file extraction programs, such as 7-Zip. You can’t do anything with APKs on platforms other than Android until you install an Android emulator like Bluestacks.

What is APK Download

What Purposes Do APK Files Serve?

APK files can be used to install programs on an Android phone. They resemble the APPX files necessary to install Store apps on Windows 10 as well as package files on other platforms. When you ask what is APK download on your smartphone, it gives your device information about the package as well as installation instructions for your phone.

Normally, when you go to Google Play to download or update an app, the store will automatically install the APK for you. In this approach, the Play Store also performs the function of a package manager, a program that makes it simple to install, update, and remove applications from a device.

However, Google Play is not the only place to look for and download APKs because Android is an open platform. Obtaining an APK file from another source, moving it to your smartphone, and then manually installing it are simple processes. For a detailed guide, see how to sideload apps on Android.

APK Files: How Are They Made?

Android Studio, the official development tool for Android, is most commonly used by developers when they produce an Android app. When an app is prepared for release, Android Studio compiles it and then bundles everything together into an APK file.

APKs can have any name, but they normally need to retain the.apk file extension so operating systems can understand them. An APK typically has filenames like the ones below when you download it:

com.google.android.dialer 66.0.374464860.apk

This is a (condensed) form of the Google Phone app’s APK name. The URL of the app’s Google Play page shows that the whole app name corresponds to the app’s filename:

The numbers at the end indicate the current version, which might be extremely specific because important software like this frequently gets updated.

Read Also: Can’t Install APKs on Android? Here is what to do

Why Would I Manually Install APK Files?

The majority of individuals can install Android using Google Play. An APK file can be downloaded from another website, transferred to your smartphone, and then manually installed.

Getting early access to the newest app versions is one of the main benefits. It may take a week or longer for your device to get the most recent version of an important Google app (like Calendar) from Google Play.

You can add apps to your device that are not on Google Play by sideloading APKs. You might discover an app that isn’t permitted on Google Play because it breaches a rule, or you might wish to test an app that a buddy is currently working on.

Like downloading desktop apps, obtaining APK files from unreliable sources may be harmful. Although Google Play has filters in place to stop malicious apps, there is less secure when you install APKs independently. They might contain spyware or be modified to add malware while still appearing to be legitimate software.

Download APKs only from reputable sources. Any website that offers you a paid app for free should be avoided since it’s likely trying to put malware on your device.

Base.APK: What Is It?

After finding base.apk on your phone, you might have questioned what it performs. These base.apk files are in protected system folders, therefore you can only view them if you have root access on your phone.

This file could be located in the folder for each app. It includes the APK file you initially installed the program with after downloading it from Google Play. The size of this file and the file size listed on the Play Store page for the application should coincide.

These can be used by APK backup apps to create copies of the installed apps on your phone. You can manually copy these files for your own usage to another location if you’d like. But if you’re not rooted, don’t worry about these files because they are not required for backing up your Android smartphone. If you do see them, don’t be alarmed; it’s just how Android operates in general.

How to set up an APK on an Android phone or tablet

1. APK files can be installed simply from your browser on an Android smartphone or tablet.

2. Simply open your browser, navigate to the APK file you wish to download and press it. The download status should then appear in the top bar of your device.

3. When prompted, hit Yes after selecting the APK file in Downloads once it has finished downloading.

4. Your device will start installing the app. Simple.

How to set up APK files on a pc

Without a smartphone, APK files can be downloaded and installed. This is also possible with a desktop computer. This is how it goes.

You must first locate the desired APK file. Find an APK file online, then download it to a convenient spot on your computer (like your desktop).

1. To make it simple to locate files on your Android device, you may also download a file manager software. In our list of the top file explorers for Android, we suggest our favorite file managers.

2. Connect your Android device to your computer after downloading the APK file.

3. You could be prompted to choose between charging your phone and connecting it as a “media device” at this point. Select a media device (File Transfer on some phones).

4. Locate the folder for your phone on your computer. On Windows, it will be in “My Computer” or “Computer” (PC).

5. On your Android phone, copy the APK file into the folder of your choice.

6. Now that the file location is known, you may search for it in your device’s My Files area.

7. Locate the APK file in the file manager, press it, and then choose Install.

Note: Android will ask you for permission to install unknown apps or those that you have not downloaded from the Play Store if this is your first time using the file manager to install an APK file. To enable the program to act as seen in the screenshot above, simply follow the on-screen directions.

Congratulations, you’re done, and you now have your app. Just check that it functions properly by opening it from your smartphone. If it doesn’t, try again with a different APK file. You might need to try another APK website.

Modification for Older Andriod Versions

You must modify a system option if your smartphone’s operating system is older than Android 8.0 in order to be able to install apps that are not downloaded via the Play Store:

1. Launch the Settings app.

2. Select Security.

3. To enable your phone to install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store, turn on the Unknown Sources setting.

We’ve examined how the primary format used by Android to distribute and install apps is APKs. They are largely undetectable when used normally. But even if you’re not aware of it, you constantly interact with APKs because they power all of your phone’s downloads.

One of the best things about using Android is being able to sideload APKs from sources other than the Play Store. To safeguard the security of your phone, you should only do this if you are certain of the integrity of the files’ sources.

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