Google Play is the default store in your Android device to install applications of your choice. But, can you install applications from online sources other than Google Play? Before we learn the method to install third party apps, the other question that needs to be addressed here is that Is it safe to install these apps? The android app developers need to test the apps before uploading them to the Android store. So they install these APK (Android Package Kit) files on Android phones directly from their PC.
Just as the application files are in the .exe format, android setup files are available in APK format. All the apps that you install from Google Play Store are also in APK format. There are many external resources where you can find Android apps. Some of the best resources include
- APKMirror. This is the most trusted repository where you can find latest updates and releases of various apps. It has a simple interface where you can find latest uploads under date-wise headings or search apps according to Developers.
- F-Droid. Founded in 2010, this an England based free repository of Android apps. This is an open-source platform where you can download or submit your own developed app.
- APk20. It has a huge repository of APK files pertaining to games and apps. The interface shows latest apps along with the number of downloads and the ratings to assess the file before downloading.
Before you install APK file from external source, you need to allow the installation of files that are not the part of Google play store. Considering the security concerns, Google blocks the downloading files from unknown sources. So to allow the installation of such apps, open settings on your Android device, now under the privacy heading, tap on security.
Next, find the subheading “unknown Sources” that say “Allow installation of apps from sources other than Play Store”. Turn On this option.
You will receive a warning saying that “your system may be vulnerable to attacks….” Tap on Ok and that’s it.
Option-1 Install from Android Device
Next, go to Browser and open any repository of APK files on the web browser. I am using APKmirror to download one file for demonstration. Browse the website and choose the app you want to install.
So I have chosen Samsung Internet browser from the list. Tap on the app and select its variant and finally tap on Download APK.
It will start downloading it and on completion will ask you to install it as shown in image below.
OIption-2 Install APK file from PC
You can open the APK downloader website on the PC, download the required file on your laptop or PC. You can now transfer this APK file to an Android phone in many ways. You can send it via email or Bluetooth. Or alternatively, connect your phone to PC with a USB cable and copy this file to any desired location on the phone. Now open the file location where the file is saved, click on it and start the installation.
Install Apps and Games on Android from Internet
Downloading and installing APK files from external stores can be extremely useful for Android developers to test their apps. You can also find latest updates of apps and games in these stores but you need to extra careful while installing these apps. Make sure you have a good antivirus on your Android phone to block any malware or virus associated with APK files.