There are numerous third-party app stores where you can download the APK files to install them on your Android.
Downloading applications from the Google Play Store is a quick and very, very comfortable process, since you only have to click the “Install” button to add the app to your Android. But what happens when an app is not in the Google store? You must turn to APK files, those that we are going to focus on in this guide to explain what are they, what are the best stores to download them and how can you install them on Android.
Google recommends you not to install third-party apps to protect your devices, but discovering there is life beyond the Play Store is a good thing. As long as you are careful, you can install APK files on your Android and enjoy the applications you want on your mobile. If you still don’t know how these files work, this guide will be very helpful.
What is an APK file
A file with the extension “.APK” (“Android Application Package” or “Android Application Package in Spanish) is a packaged file containing components to install on Android phones and tablets. When you run them, the operating system reads them and begins their quick installation on the device. To give you a better idea of how it works, you should know that it is similar to that of .exe files in Windows.
These APK files are a good way to access applications or new versions of apps that are not available on Google Play. However, not everything is positive, since having to download them from other platforms, you run the risk of opening the doors of the mobile or tablet to malicious software. To protect yourself, we recommend reviewing the guide to find out if an APK downloaded from the Internet is free of malware.
Best stores to download APK files
There are numerous alternative stores to Google Play from which you can safely download the APK file of the applications. Then, We tell you which ones are the best and we will talk briefly about them..
Malavida is a fantastic alternative when it comes to downloading applications and games on Android, since it not only includes those existing apps on Google Play, but also offers us some APK files that, for different reasons, are not available in the native store Android.
F-Droid is an alternative application store, which in its catalog only has with free applications and whose source code is free. This implies several things, among them that many of the popular applications are not available, but on the other hand it is possible to find open source alternatives, perhaps more interesting than the original ones.
APKMirror is another popular store, which mainly houses the free apps that already exist on Google Play. Although it is an alternative store that does not usually include apps not available in the Android market, it can be a good option for those who want download old versions of an app, or applications that are not available in a specific country.
How to install APK files on Android
After explaining what APK files are and which are the best stores where you can download them, it is time to learn how to install them on your Android. Before starting, we must explain that we have selected the store Malavida to do the tutorial. The process to follow in other stores to download the APK file of the app you want is similar, so you don’t have to worry if you choose another repository. Let’s start!
1º- Enter Malavida -or the store you have chosen- and search the application that you want to download.
2nd- Click on the “Download” button and, on the new page, go back to tap on the green “Download” button. Before starting the download process, your Android will warn you that the file may be dangerous. To start the download, click “Accept”.
3º- Before starting the installation, remember that you must activate unknown sources on Android to be able to install the APK file.
4- After downloading the file and activating the unknown sources, go to “My Files”> “Downloads” and click on the APK file to open it.
5th- After starting the installation process, you just have to click on the “Install” button so that the application is installed on your Android.
Easy and fast, this is how to install APK files on Android to be able to use applications that, for one reason or another, are not in Google Play. Remember that it is something you should do with caution and always download files from third-party app stores that are safe. In addition, applications like WhatsApp offer their APK from their own website, so you can search their websites to download apps safely.
The best guides for Android are on Andro4all, discover them in our special guides section!