One of the many advantages that a mid-range android smartphones have over the latest iPhones is their ability to download and install applications from different app stores. The process, known as sideloading, works like this: you download an .apk file to your device, and then install it. And this is really useful. There are many legitimate apps that are not available on Google Play Store because they violate some terms or conditions, but you may need them. Instead of finding a subpar alternative in the official marketplace, you can sideload an APK of the best app to your Android phone. The process may seem complicated at first, but it’ll get easier with practice. Once it’s mastered, you’ll find that you can use your phone’s features more than ever before! So read on to learn how to sideload apps with Android phones.

APK files: what are they?

APK, short for Android Application Package or simply Android Package, is a software application built for the Android operating system. When it’s installed properly, an APK can not only function like any other app, but also potentially make modifications to the system itself. These files are compiled with the Android Studio (the official integrated development environment or IDE for creating applications on an Android device). Usually APKs are downloaded in a single file that needs to be extracted and then manually installed on your device, but they’re sometimes available in a main file and an OBB file that contains all the additional data necessary to run the APK and modify existing data on your phone.

If you are looking to install an APK file, then you must know the right way to go about it. Check below to know the steps and to install a third-party app with ease.

APK file opening instructions

The first step is to:

It is important to first locate a legitimate third-party marketplace. Many of these websites contain malware, which can seriously damage your smartphone and even steal your data.

The second step is:

Go back to the home screen after you have located the APK file you wish to install.

The third step is:

Find Apps in settings.

The fourth step is:

Click on ‘App Info’ in your browser or other app you normally use to download APK files.

The fifth step is:

You will find a checkbox for ‘Install Unknown Apps’ in the advanced options. Check this box and select ‘Allow’.

The sixth step is:

Once you have downloaded the APK file, click on it and you will see a prompt to install it. Click on install and you are done!

We strongly recommend, however, that if you are not very tech savvy or haven’t used APK files before, you stick to Google Play Store applications. APK files are not verified or protected and can be loaded with dangerous malware, spyware, and viruses that can corrupt your device and steal your financial and personal information. Make sure you know what you’re doing before downloading an APK file.

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