APK: Android Application Package
File Extension: .apk
An APK file is the file format used to install the applications on android
operating system. A program in android is first compiled, and then all
of its parts are packaged into one single file to make it an APK file.
APK files can be saved in compressed zip format, with any decompression
or unzip tool it can be opened. You can either change the extension to
.zip or open the file directly using unzip tools. They are a type of
archive file. When you are downloading and installing an android
application then actually you are installing an APK file. You can install
an APK file directly from a desktop, or from within a file manager
app without downloading. By default, ability to install from desktop,
or file manager app is disabled for security reasons. TO enable it,
you have to change the setting of 'Unknown sources' from settings.
A file with the APK file extension is an Android Package file that's
used to distribute applications on Google's Android operating system.
APK files are saved in the ZIP format and are typically downloaded
directly to Android devices, usually via the Google Play store, but
can also be found on other websites.
Some of the content found in a typical APK file includes an
startonlinejob.xml, classes.dex, and resources.arsc file; as
well as a META-INF and res folder.
Person looking at an Android smartphone with an APK file on the
How to Open an APK File
APK files can be opened on a number of operating systems but they're
used mainly on Android devices.
OPEN AN APK FILE ON ANDROID
Opening an APK file on your Android device just requires that you
download it like you would any file, and then open it when asked.
However, APK files installed outside of the Google Play store might
not install right away because of a security block put into place.
To bypass this download restriction and install APK files from
unknown sources, navigate to one of these menus, depending on
your Android version:
Settings > Apps & notifications > Advanced > Special app access
> Install unknown apps Settings > Apps and notifications
Settings > Security
Depending on your device, you might need to give a specific app,
such as Chrome, permission to install unofficial APK files. Or,
if you see it, enable Install Unknown Apps or Unknown sources.
If the APK file doesn't open, try browsing for it with a file
manager like Astro File Manager or ES File Explorer File Manager.
How to Install APK Files on Android
OPEN AN APK FILE ON WINDOWS
You can open an APK file on a PC using an Android emulator like
BlueStacks. In that program, go into the My Apps tab and then
choose Install apk from the corner of the window.
How to Use Bluestacks to Run Android Apps on Windows
OPEN AN APK FILE ON A MAC
ARC Welder is a Google Chrome extension that's meant for testing
Android apps for the Chrome OS, but it works on any OS. This
means you can open an APK on your Mac or Windows computer so long
as you have this app installed within the Chrome browser.
OPEN AN APK FILE ON IOS
You can't open or install APK files on an iPhone or iPad because
the file is built in an entirely different manner than apps used
on those devices, and the two platforms aren't compatible with each other.
EXTRACTING APK FILES
You can also open an APK file in Windows, macOS, or any other desktop
operating system, with a file extractor tool. Since APK files are
simply archives of multiple folders and files, you can unzip them
with a program like 7-Zip or PeaZip to see the different components
that make up the app.
Doing that, however, doesn't let you actually use the APK file on
a computer. To do so requires an Android emulator (like BlueStacks),
which essentially runs the Android OS on the computer.
How to Convert an APK File
Although a file conversion program or service is normally necessary
to convert one file type to another, they're not very useful when
dealing with APK files. This is because an APK file is an application
that's built to run on specific devices only, unlike other file
types like MP4s or PDFs that work on a variety of platforms.
Instead, if you want to convert your APK file to ZIP, you'd use the
instructions explained above. Either open the APK file in a file
extraction tool and then repackage it as a ZIP, or simply rename the
.APK file to .ZIP.
Renaming a file like this isn't how you convert a file. It only works
in the case of APK files because the file format is already using
ZIP but it's just appending a different file extension (.APK) to the end.
As you read above, you can't convert an APK file to IPA for use on
iOS, nor can you convert APK to EXE to use the Android app in Windows.
However, you can normally find an iOS alternative that works in
place of the Android app that you want to be installed on your iPhone
or iPad. Most developers have the same app available on both platforms
(both an APK for Android and an IPA for iOS).
Instead of an APK to EXE converter, just install a Windows APK opener
from above and then use it to open the Android app on your computer;
it doesn't need to exist in the EXE file format for that to work.
You can convert your APK file to BAR for use with a BlackBerry device
by just uploading the APK file to the Good e-Reader online APK to BAR
converter. Wait for the conversion to finish and then download the
BAR file back to your computer.