What is an APK file and How to Install it?

Android is a popular open source mobile operating system powering billions of large and small devices today. Due to its extreme popularity, developers rush towards it to develop and release their apps. Most of the apps available at Google Play Store are freeware. But there are paid apps and games as well which are also not that expensive. Mostly, people prefer to use free Android apps instead of going for paid ones. That’s the reason most top apps available at Play Store are free.

Apps can be installed through several means. One simple and preferred way is to install them from Google Play Store. Google Play is actually the central hub of all the apps released today excluding those which do not follow the eligibility criteria set by Google. Besides, there are many third party App Stores as well where users can obtain various kinds of apps and games. Users can also install any kind of applications and games through their APK files.

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APK is the Android application package and package file format based on JAR file format that carries all the necessary program codes and files to install an application or a game on Android operating System. This software package has got .apk as filename extension. The method to install APK files is given below.

How to Install APK?
Overall, method for installing APK file on any Android powered device is just the same. Simply get an APK file and execute it. (If asks for “Package Installer / Verify and Install” choose Package Installer for quick installation) Hit “Install” button and application or game will begin installing. It might take some time to finish installing depending upon the size of APK and also the speed of your device. Once installation has finished, the icon will appear in app drawer and also on homescreen from where you can access that app or game. One thing you need to do before installing anything via APK is to make sure that you have enabled “Unknown Sources” setting from Settings menu. There is a slight difference in where this setting is actually located on your device. See the description below:

– On Android Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich OS:
Open Settings > Applications > Unknown Sources (Enable it)

– On Android Jelly Bean, KitKat, Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat:
Open Settings > Security > Unknown Sources (Enable it)

Note that if you are installing a large game that carries a separate data (OBB file), you will need to download that and dispatch that to its required location after installing APK of that game.