What is a .APK File
Like computers, smartphones use operating systems that allow users to run applications or programs in addition to making calls. One of them is Android, which is associated with the open and use of .apk files.
This class of files are also known as Android file packages and contain software for cell phones with this operating system, in addition to serving as a marker for the device that allows it to recognize and run the program.
Depending on the type of smartphone you have, .apk files can be downloaded directly from websites on your phone or, first on your computer and then installed using a USB cable or SD card.
Of course, the Play Store simplifies this process and makes it more user-friendly, since in one place it makes available all the applications that can be downloaded for the user's device with a friendly interface.
However, for the release of the apps, first you need to go through the approval of Google, which causes that sometimes new versions of them take to get to the store. This is when the .apk files come into action, because thanks to them it is possible to obtain the most recent editions of our favorite programs because some developers upload them in parallel and sometimes even anonymous in unofficial portals.
Programs to Open APK Files
7-Zip - free download
- Price: Free
- Web: https://www.7-zip.org/
Bluestacks - free download
- Price: Free
- Web: https://www.bluestacks.com/
- Price: Free trial / Paid version
- Web: https://www.winzip.com
Google Android SDK
- Price: Free
- Web: https://developer.android.com/studio
- Price: Free trial
- Web: https://www.win-rar.com/start.html?&L=0
How to open APK files
Open an Apk File in Windows
If you want to open and use your Android Package in windows you have to get an emulator.
You can check here: http://developer.android.com/tools/devices/emulator.html
How to run APK Files
In order to open and run an .apk file, you must first authorize the installation of applications that do not come from the Play Store.
To do this, you need to go to the option of Configuring your smartphone and later to the submenu of Security or Applications to activate the Unknown Sources feature.
Once you have authorized the installation of applications from unknown sources, what is appropriate is to download the .apk file you want directly from the page that stores the file through an Internet browser.
This will be stored in the Downloads folder or in the SD card itself and in case you want to transfer it to your cell phone from your computer through a USB cable, you need to download a file browser such as the Astro File Manager.
To conclude the process, you only need to select the desired file and select the Install option to begin the installation process of the application on the smartphone.
Some of the most used sites to download .apk files are:
- APK Mirror,
- Android Freeware,
- Android APK,
- Android Downloadz and
- Go APK.
However, it is important to note that because these files do not follow the official Android method for installing applications, it is possible that in some of them there are viruses or malware that may affect your phone, so the responsibility of its installation rests entirely with the user and Google disclaims any problems caused by them.
Is it safe to open and install an APK?
The biggest dilemma when opening and installing an application from an unknown source is security. Is it safe to install applications from a location other than Google Play?
On numerous occasions we have recommended that to keep your phone safe it is better to go only to official sources, but this does not mean that if we install APKs from a place other than the Google store our phone will start to have problems.
There are web pages that maintain a good reputation in terms of applications in APK format, and in them we can acquire completely legal applications with a security at the height of Google Play. It is also true, however, that there are pages of questionable morality that could infect our telephone.
Our recommendation in these cases is that you do not go too smart and, if you find free payment applications, the most advisable thing is that you suspect. Yes, that free payment application may not contain anything malicious, but most users who fall into the malware do so because of this type of free payment applications.
All these apps are not on Google Play and you should download them.
How to Download APKs
Where can I get reliable and free APKs? On the Internet we can find a large number of sites where we can download free APKs safely. And in some cases without the need for registries. Then we leave a list where you can see what are our favorite sites when downloading APKs.
- Up To Down: A great app store with a huge variety.
- Mirror APK: A website that offers all versions (old and new) of the most popular Android applications.
- XDA Developers: A forum where developers and users share experiences about Android and applications.
- Fossdroid: A repository of Open Source applications.