Do you ever wonder why APK is present on your Android device? What does an APK actually do for Android users? Everything you need to know about this crucial word (APK) is in this post.
Maybe you have heard the word “APK” 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.
At this point, it is important we properly examine what an APK file is. Also, we shall look at why Android needs the APK file.
An APK file is what?
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. The two types of archive files, ZIP and RAR, are surely already familiar to you.
Archive files (like ZIP) are commonly used to combine multiple files into one in order to make them more portable or compress them to save space. 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. Although all APKs are fundamentally ZIP files, they require additional information in order to function properly.
As a result, not all APKs are ZIPs and vice versa. If you’re curious, you can look through an APK file’s contents. Simply use one of the best file extraction applications, such as 7-Zip, to open it like any other ZIP file.
You can’t do anything with APKs on platforms other than Android until you install an Android emulator like Bluestacks.
Why do My Phone’s APK Files Exist?
If you use an Android smartphone, you’ve probably encountered APK files before. Ever questioned what it is?
It is essential to comprehend it if you want to acquire leaked apps and personalize your Android experience beyond merely using the Play Store.
You can download and utilize pirated apps by using APK files. They also provide you with the option to obtain the most recent Google updates without going via carriers.
You might not be able to download some apps because Google occasionally places region limits on their ability to be downloaded. The answer to this issue is also an APK file.
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.
An APK file contains information on the program as well as directions for installing it on your phone when you open it on your smartphone.
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 side-load 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 one 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.
Why Would I Manually Install APK Files?
The majority of individuals can install Android using Google Play. But there are several benefits to manually installing APKs.
Getting early access to the newest app versions is one of the main benefits. Your smartphone might need a week or more to download the most recent version of a crucial Google app (like Calendar) from Google Play.
By manually installing the APK, you can update whenever you want without having to wait.
By sideloading APKs, you can also get apps for your device that isn’t available on Google Play. You can come across an app that violates a rule and isn’t allowed on Google Play, or you might want to test an app that a friend is currently developing.
Similar to 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.
Does Android APK Pose a Threat?
The APK files might be a significant security risk because they allow you to install apps on your system.
Before you install it, the APK could be altered by someone with bad intentions, who would then use it as a Trojan horse to download and launch malware. As a result, you must be sure the website you choose is trustworthy.
You might have asked what base.apk on your phone does after finding it. These base.apk files are in protected system folders; therefore you can only view them if you have root access on your phone.
You may find this file in every app’s folder. 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. And if you do notice them, don’t be alarmed; they are a typical aspect of how Android works.
In a Nutshell
We’ve examined how APKs are the primary format used by Android to distribute and install apps. They are largely undetectable when used normally. However, even though you may not be aware of it, APKs drive the entire download process on your phone.
One of the best features of using Android is the ability to side-load APKs from sources other than the Play Store.
However, you should only do this if you are certain of the legitimacy of the files’ sources in order to protect your phone’s security.
I hope this information was useful. If so, do not hesitate to tell your family, friends, and loved ones.