What Is an APK File and What Does It Do?

by in Technology
APK File

There are situations where you won’t be able to install the application you want on your device. Maybe it is because it is not supported, or there are other limitations like legal restrictions. When the app is not supported, there is not a lot you can do since it just won’t work with your device. But what if the app can work on your device, but you are just not seeing it for some reason on the app store you are using? In those cases, you can take advantage of the APK of the app. Let’s dig deeper into what an APK File is and what it does. 

What is an APK File?

APK file or Android Package Kit is a file format supported by different Android devices. It is used to install an application without downloading it from an official app store. Most of the time is used as a workaround when an application is not available in the app store. A perfect example is the Google apps that can’t be installed on the new Huawei phones. The only way you can go around this is to install the APKs. 

Many devices have restrictions put on them by the manufacturer. Depending on what those are, some applications might not be visible to you in the app store, and you might not be able to install them if you just download the app from the web. Streaming devices also have such limitations. For example, officially, on an Amazon Fire Stick, you will have access to a limited number of streaming apps. So, if you want a movie app for Amazon Fire TV Stick devices that is not available in the app store, you will either have to find an APK or jailbreak your device. Jailbreaking a Fire Stick is very easy, and once you do it, you will be able to download any app you want. However, jailbreaking other devices might be more complex, and APKs will be the best solution.

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The APK is an archive file, which means you will first have to extract the files and run the .exe one. The archive itself, in this case, is called a software package since it also contains some of the metadata of the app you want to install. So, using a program for extracting files like the most popular ones like WinRAR or 7-Zip will be necessary. After that, you can manipulate the files easily.

Why would you use an APK file?

As we already mentioned, APKs are used to install apps on Android devices. Usually, you will need them if something is blocking you from installing the app from the app store you are using. APKs were very popular in general, but now, people are using them even more after the US ban on Huawei. Google is complying with this ban, which would mean that no Google apps can be used on Huawei, including Google Play Store. But also, Android will no longer be the OS on the new Huawei phones. 

 APK File

Since Google App Store is the most popular app store and used by the biggest number of users, this causes a lot of issues for the fans of Huawei phones. The newest phones of the brand work with their own OS called Harmony, which is an alternative to Android. The alternative to the Google Play Store is Huawei App Gallery, but the number of apps available there is significantly smaller. So, this is where APKs come in handy. For installing the apps, you are not able to find them on the Huawei App Gallery, you can use an APK. In this way, you can even use some of the Google apps. 

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The app store you are using is actually a bit of a repository full of APKs. Just in the case when you install an app directly from there, the app store is installing the APK for you, and you just don’t know it because it happens in the background. In the cases where you install it yourself, you will have to export an archive that contains all the files and run the installation one yourself.

Where can you find APKs?

There are many ways to find and download an APK file. However, you need to be careful about where you will download it. If you are not convinced that the site you found is reliable and have any doubts about the APK it is better to check it with an antivirus tool. APKs are archives, so there is the possibility for malware to be hidden in them if you download them from the wrong place. Some good options for APK sites are Aptoide, APKMirror, and APKPure.


It is very unpleasant not to be able to install an app that you want. Luckily using an APK is the perfect workaround. Now you know more about APKs, where to find them, and how they work. You just need to find the app you want and install it with the help of such a file on your desired device and enjoy. 


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APK File