What is an APK file?
An APK file is an application that is generated for Android, Google’s mobile operating system. Few apps come pre-installed in all the Android devices, while other apps are allowed to be downloaded from the Google Play store. Apps that are downloaded from the Google Play store are automatically installed in your device, while those downloaded from different sources must be installed manually by the users. A file having the APK file extension is an Android Package file that’s used to allocate applications on Google’s Android operating system.
APK files are stored in the ZIP format and are usually downloaded directly to the Android devices, mostly via the Google Play store, but can also be found on other websites too. APK stands for the Android Package Kit (also known as Android Application Package) and is the file format that Android uses to download and install the app; actions. It consists of all the elements that an app requires to install properly on your device. Just like the EXE files on Windows, you can locate an APK file on your Android device to install the app. Manually installing apps using APKs is called sideloading.
How to Open an APK File?
OPEN AN APK FILE ON ANDROID
To open an APK file on your Android device you just need that you have to download it as you would do for any other file, and then open it when asked. However, APK files are installed outside the Google Play store which might not install right away due to the security block put into the place
To bypass this download restriction and install APK files from unknown sources, navigate to Settings > Security (or Settings > Application on older devices) and then put a check in the box next to Unknown sources. You may have to confirm this action with the click on the OK button.
If the APK file doesn’t open on your Android device, then try to browse for it with a file manager such as Astro File Manager or ES File Explorer File Manager.
OPEN AN APK FILE ON WINDOWS
You can open an APK file on a PC by using either an Android Studio or a BlueStacks. For example, if you are using BlueStacks, go into the My Apps tab and then select the Install app file from the bottom right corner of the window.
OPEN AN APK FILE ON A MAC
ARC Welder is a Google Chrome extension that is meant for the testing of Android apps for the Chrome Operating system, but it works on any OS. This means you can open an APK on your Mac or Windows computer as long as you have this app installed within the Chrome browser on your computer.
What Are APK Files Used For?
You will find several benefits in installing the APKs file manually. One of the major benefits is to get access to apps that are ahead of time. When a major Google app (like Calendar) releases the biggest update, it may take a week or more than it for your device to get it. Installing the APK lets you skip the wait and update it right away.
Sideloading APKs also lets you install apps on your device that are not existing on the Google Play store. But, just like desktop software, downloading APK files from any random website is not a good idea. This is especially in the case when the site promises you for a paid app for no cost.
How to Convert an APK File?
Though a file conversion program or service is generally necessary to convert one file type to another file type, they are not very helpful when dealing with the APK files. This is just because an APK file is an application that is meant for the particular devices only, unlike other file types like MP4s or PDFs that work on a different number of platforms. Instead, if you want to convert your APK file to the ZIP file format, you’d use the commands. Either open the APK file in a file extraction tool and then repackage it as a ZIP or just simply rename the.APK file to.ZIP file extension.
Like it is already discussed earlier, you cannot convert an APK file to IPA for the use on iOS, nor can you convert the APK to EXE file extension to use the Android app in Windows. However, you can generally find an iOS substitute that can work in place of the Android app that you want to install on your iPhone or iPad. Most of the developers have a similar application with them that is available on both the platforms (both an APK for Android and an IPA for iOS).