An APK (Android Application Package) is a file in which an Android application is packaged. Basically it is the file to install the applications and games on Android. However There are other formats in Android that also allow us to install applications. Today we are going to talk about an extension that we have sometimes come across and it is not as easy to install as .apk.
Its about XAPK format, a new file style that also allows you to install applications and games on Android. We are not facing an official format like the APK is, but it is interesting to know it and see how it can be useful to us.
What is the .XAPK format
If we try directly installing a file with the XAPK format will give us an error. This is basically because the default Android installer does not understand this format and cannot correctly extract the information within it.
What happens then? Is it safe to install a .XAPK file? Yes. Mainly we are facing an alternative to the APK. In fact, a .XAPK file is actually just an .APK file plus the additional OBB data necessary for the game or application to function properly. That is, it is a compressed file that contains the original APK plus some extra data files.
The .XAPK format is an equivalent to .APK but encompasses several files, usually packages associated with the original application.
Normally these extra files are downloaded through the application, but in some cases we are interested in having them already on the mobile directly. This can happen for many reasons, but the usual thing is that the game or application itself is limited and then they do not let us download this necessary data.
Nor is it strange that these data are found independently, so we would have a .OBB file. Cache data such as explored maps, levels achieved or enemies defeated, but also maps related to certain markets, abilities reserved for certain users or additional information that is not integrated within the APK itself.
How to install .XAPK files on Android
The very pages that the .XAPK applications offer usually have a specialized installer.
To install a .XAPK file on Android we will need a specialized installer. Also previously we must activate the option of unknown origins. Once this is done, to proceed to install this file we will download an installer for .XAPK packages such as those offered by APKPure or Uptodown, two websites for downloading Android applications that usually also offer .XAPK applications.
Instead of opening the .XAPK file with the default Android package installer, we must go to the specialized application and select the file. Once we open it, the installation process will be equivalent to the usual one. With the difference that once we have installed the XAPK file we will have both the original APK and the OBB data already added.
It is also important to note that XAPK files are much larger than APK files, since they usually contain more amount of data information. This will also be appreciated when installing it, since the time will be longer.
What kind of applications use this format
If you have come across an XAPK file, it is probably because you want download an application outside of Google Play that is not yet available in your region. This is very common since many games or applications are first launched in the country of origin and then progressively reach other markets.
It happened recently with PUBG Mobile, a game that needed specific OBB data to be able to work, since it is a multiplayer title. In this case, if we had the PUBG Mobile .XAPK file we needed to download a specialized package installer to be able to open it.
Most commonly, the .XAPK format is used for heavy games that require additional packages to work in certain regions.
We hope that with this small tutorial you have learned what XAPK files are and how you can install them in case you have an application or game with this format in hand.
In Engadget Android | There is life beyond Google Play: Android apps that you won’t find in the official store and where to download them