APK stands for Android Application Package or Android Package Kit. It is a package file format designed for Android mobile applications. In cooperation with the Open Handset Alliance, it was developed by Google and is a Linux based operating system.
It is mainly used for the installation of mobile games, mobile apps, and middleware. Also, it is used for the distribution of different applications updates and is similar to various other application software developed by other companies like APPX in Debian Operating System
Why We need an APK File for Android?
Basically, an Android application requires all the files and information that are contained by the APK file. Unless your device contains an Android emulator which is part of the Android development tool, APK cannot do anything.
When it comes to enjoying most out of your device and customizing appearance, Android owners have got many of the options. APK apps can easily be installed on tablets, computing devices, or smartphones.
APK File and Android Version
Some APK files demand a newer version of Android OS. However, the basic commands are the same for the installation and running. Live wallpapers, customization of your menu, and a lot more settings can be made and these options are from APK files.
How to download an APK File?
Android application files or APK files are mostly available at Google Play store. Most of these are free of cost and many are paid as well. The file extension is .apk and it can be considered as an archive file for any kind of application. The process of installation is completely automated.
Some parties do not have their Applications registered on Google Play Store either due to the development phase or beta phase or have their own local store. Such applications are installed using APK files from other sources as mentioned by the vendor and manually installed.
While manually installing the APK file is considered as side-loading. One of the advantages of side-loading is that you get early access to all the new exciting features ahead of time. Also, Side-loading APK files let you install even those applications which are not available on Google Play Store. They are saved in ZIP format.
A typical APK file usually involves classes.dex, AndroidManifest.xml, and resources. arsc file as well as a res folder and META-INF. If your Android device lacks access to Google Play Store then only APK can help you get your desired apps from other platforms.
Usually, users don’t see APK files because Android tackles the installation of applications in the background. It is available for Linus, Windows, Mac, and Android programs