What are APK files and why is there a need to download such files? APK files are meant for smartphones such as android phones. They are app files, and can be used to install applications on mobile devices.
The most popular smartphones these days are, of course, Android phones. Applications can be downloaded into these phones through a channel known as the Android Market. Android Market, a website owned by Google, is a marketplace that distributes smartphone apps.
Sometimes, for some reason, smartphone owners are not able to download apps directly from the Market. For example, some models are not supported by the Market, so users can’t login and download directly. But this does not mean that the phone is incapable of running applications. Here is where APK files come in.
APK programs are really application files. In Windows, we are all familiar with executable (EXE) files. They function in a similar manner. When you click on an APK file, you are launching the installer for the application. The app can then be installed directly on the device. So if you can’t access the Android Market for some reason, then your only option is to look elsewhere.
Obviously, for security reasons, you should only download and install these files from trusted sources. Before installing, make sure that your have modified your settings to allow app installations from unknown sources. So where can you find reliable app. files?
Such files can be created by making a backup of existing apps. Most free apps that are available publicly can be backed up into an APK file. The file may then be re-distributed to be installed on other smartphones. Some developers release APK installers for the benefit of all users. These files are usually released in apps-related blogs and forums. You will find a lot of APK installers in developer forums.
How to install APK files.
Step 1: Download the APK files to your PC or your SD card. If you download it to your PC, transfer it to your SD card.
Step 2: Use your file browser (e.g. ASTRO file manager) to locate the APK file and click on it. The installer will now run. Read the required permissions before proceeding.
Step 3: The app. should now be installed successfully on your smartphone and you can use it like any other app.
Sometimes, an app may be updated, causing the smartphone to crash. This means that the updated app is no longer usable. Since you can’t revert back to the older version (there is no option to do that), you will be forced to uninstall the new app and look for the old version. Even when you have access to the Android market, the old version may no longer be available. This is the time to request or search for an APK file.