APK short for Android Package Kit is a package file format used by the Android Operating System for distribution and installation on mobile apps.
It is similar to the .exe file extension available for Windows. Installing these apk files is kind of similar to the exe setup files on Windows.
APK files are a type of archive file, specifically in zip format packages based on the JAR file format, with .apk as the filename extension. To make an APK file, a program for Android is compiled, and then all of its parts are packaged into one file.
An APK file contains all of that program’s code, resources, assets, certificates, and manifest file. As is the case with many file formats, APK files can have any name needed, provided that the file name ends in “.apk”.
When you install any application from the Play Store, it automatically installs the APK file for you on the device. However to install a separate AKP file from a third party you need to provide Android device permission to do so.
The steps on how to install an APK file in your Android device are given below:
- Go to any third party websites like APKMirror, AppBrain, AndroidFreeware etc. for free APK files of applications. Click on the app you want to download.
- Now on the next screen scroll down and click the name of the APK file version you want to download.
- Click on the Download APK button.
- Go to Settings App on your device.
- Click on the Security option.
- You will find an option with the heading Unknown Sources. Allow the installation of applications from unknown sources by clicking on the checkbox or the radio button.
- Then Click OK.
- Go to Downloads where the APK file in the first step was downloaded.
- Click on the APK file. A screen similar to the following will appear.
- Now you should be able to view your Installed application in the device menu or home screen.