For security reasons, our Android device by default only allows us to install applications through the Play Store. The installation of applications from other sources is blocked, but that does not mean that applications downloaded by other means cannot be installed as many readers already know.
Google Play is not the only Android application store, there are many alternatives, such as Amazon AppStore, Aptoide or repositories such as APK Mirror that always offer us the most recent versions of our favorite applications. And all those alternatives what they do is download an APK file to later install the application or game.
What is an APK?
If we decide to do without the Google application store or some other compatible store such as Amazon or the Galaxy Store in the case of Samsung, we will generally find .apk files. Available on websites such as APK Mirror (an alternative to official websites with original apps), APKPure or by stores such as Amazon Appstore, Uptodown … it is usual that we can get hold of applications also through forums or through P2P programs.
A file with the extension APK (acronym for Android Application Package) is the way an Android application is packaged that contains, as installable as it is, all the files necessary to install an application on our Android-based device.
And once we have the application with the extension .apk (the synonym for exe in Windows or .dmg in macOS), we have to install it on our device, either through a download from it or with an external memory.
How to install apps in APK
A process that has changed since Android 8 arrived, since Google added more security to the installation process external applications. Instead of having a single point in which to give permission to all the apps installed on our phone so that they can use .apk extensions, now that permission must be given application by application.
This means that if we have given permission to Google Chrome (or whatever application) to install .apk files, we will also have to grant it individually to the file browser on duty, to another browser and in general to any app we want. use to install an .apk on our mobile. In summary, we will have to give permission application by application.
Now each application requires a specific permission and if now we are going to install an apk from an application, the system will notify us that we cannot install it unless we grant it permission, for which it tells us how to do it through the settings in the application. . In a much more visual way, the process is such that.
- When we download an .apk file, the application from which we do it will be the one that will warn us that the process is blocked.
- At the bottom of the screen we will see a notice indicating that “Can’t install apps from unknown sources” and invites us to enter the “Settings”.
- Within the application we look for the section “Install unknown apps” and we activate the box.
- Since then, that application has permissions when installing external applications.
These steps will have to be repeated with each of the applications from which we want to install an APK. In addition, it may be that when the time comes we are interested in revoking that permission. To carry out the process we just have to follow these steps.
- Open the “Settings” of the system or the section of “Setting” on your mobile
- Among all the options we seek “Applications”, a field that in some brands may vary slightly
- Once inside we touch on “See all applications” and we select the one whose permissions we want to revoke.
- Within the application we look for the section “Install unknown apps” and we deactivate the box.
How to install applications in APK in versions prior to Android 8.0 Oreo
These are the steps today, at least with the most recent versions of Android, but if in your case you still use a version prior to Android 8, the process to install external applications is even easier.
In this case you will only have to go to the “Settings” and within them look for the section “Safety” in which you can allow the installation of applications that are not from the Play Store. You will only have to activate the option “Unknown origins” And that way, any .apk file that you want to install will have a free hand on your phone.