There are various ways to install applications on Android: the simplest and safest one is to open the Google Play Store and search for apps within it, then there are third-party stores that are just as easy to use. but they do not have the same level of reliability and, finally, you can resort to manual installation of APK packages.
The packages APK are the packages that contain all application files for Android, a bit like .app files on Mac or .exe files on Windows (although technically they are not quite the same thing). They can be downloaded from any website and stored offline to have your favorite apps always at hand. However, as easily imagined, they are not the best in terms of safety. Most of the malware for Android, in fact, spreads through infected APK files that users download from the Internet (from disreputable sites) and install on their smartphones / tablets with a light heart: this is why the Google operating system blocks the use by default by "forcing" users to use the Play Store.
But be careful, APK packages should not be demonized! There are many developers who for a variety of reasons do not publish their apps (legitimate and malware-free apps) on the Play Store and many devices that for bureaucratic reasons do not include Google Play within them, so know how to install APK on Android is crucial. Would you like to find out how? Well, then take five minutes of free time and keep reading, you find everything explained below. I wish you a good read.
If you don't have much experience with the green robot system and you need a hand to install applications found outside the Google Play Store, don't worry, I can help you. But first - I recommend - check the trustworthiness of the site by searching on Google or using tools such as McAfee Siteadvisor and WOT. Also, if you haven't already, choose a good free antivirus for Android and install it to stop any system security threats in the bud.
Having made all these necessary premises, let's take action. The first step you need to take is to remove the protection that by default blocks the installation of apps from sources outside the Play Store. Go therefore to the Settings Android (by selecting the icon in the shape of gear present in the list of apps installed on the device) and select the item Safety from the menu that appears. Scroll the screen that opens all the way, activate the lever located next to the option Unknown origin e pulsing sul pulsating OK per salvare i Cambiomenti.
How to Install an APK Package
Now all you have to do is open the folder Download in which you downloaded the APK files, select them one by one and follow the wizard for installing the apps by pressing the buttons in sequence forward, Install e end. That's all!
If you do not find the link to the download folder in the app menu of your smartphone (or tablet), install the free file manager ES File Manager and use it to browse the folder download for free of your device (or the SD card, if you have a terminal with expandable memory). To browse the download folder with ES File Manager, start the app in question, press thehamburger icon located at the top left and select the icon of Download from the bar that appears on the side (or in any case the icon relating to the folder where the APK package to be installed on the device is located).
Then, “tap” on the del icon APK file of your interest, press the button Install to start installing the app and complete the procedure by pressing the buttons forward, Install e end, it takes a few seconds.
If you downloaded an APK file directly from the browser of your smartphone or tablet, you can also install it by expanding the notification menu of Android (by swiping from the top of the screen to the bottom) and selecting its icon from the latter.
If, on the other hand, you have downloaded an APK package on your PC and want to transfer it to your smartphone or tablet, connect the two devices via USB cable and simply copy-and-paste the file. If you need more precise information, you will find everything explained in my tutorial on how to connect Android to your PC.
How to Install Multiple APK Packages in Series
Have you downloaded several apps in APK format and want to install them quickly on your Android device without having to "fish" them one by one in the download folder? You can download APK Installer, a free app that allows you to install APK in series, avoiding the user the boredom of having to identify, and subsequently select, all the apps individually. Its operation is very simple.
After downloading it on your smartphone / tablet, you have to start it and press the button Install APKs. In the screen that opens, put the check mark next to the icons of the APK packages to install (they are automatically collected from the downloads folder) and press the button Install selected which is located at the bottom right. The installation wizard for each of the selected apps will start automatically.
If you need it, know that APK Installer also allows you to remove applications already installed on the device: just press the button Manage Apps, select the applications to be deleted and press Delete.
Another solution you can rely on is Titanium Backup. It is a backup app that allows you to save, and then restore, all the apps on your device in a matter of seconds: the ideal solution if you need to quickly reinstall your favorite apps after changing your smartphone or having reset yours.
The basic version of Titanium Backup is free but to unlock some features, including the installation of the apps in sequence, you need to purchase the full version of the app for 5,99 euros. Another important thing to know is that to take full advantage of the application's features you need to root on Android. That said, let's take action!
To make a backup of applications with Titanium Backup, start the app and press the checkmark which is located at the top right. In the screen that opens, presses the button STARTS placed next to the item Backup of all user apps, make sure there is a check mark next to the icons of all the apps and start the backup by “tapping” on green check mark located at the top right.
Subsequently, to restore your apps, start Titanium, press on checkmark located at the top right and "tap" on the button STARTS placed next to the item Restore missing apps with data.
How to Install APK Packages on PC
Would you like to install Android apps on your PC? It can be done, but in this case you need to emulate the green robot system on Windows or MacOS, using solutions suitable for the purpose: I'm talking about Android emulators for PC.
Android emulators on PC are nothing more than virtual machines that allow you to run the famous green robot operating system on your PC or Mac. The advantage of using them is that it is not necessary to create partitions within the system. operating mode of your PC.
Keep in mind that to emulate Android you just need to download and install one of the main emulation software. In this way, the Android operating system will be emulated “externally” and confined to the use of a program.
If you want to emulate Android in Windows or macOS to download and install Apk packages to run, you can rely on famous emulators such as BlueStacks, Memu o ARC Welder; if you want to install a full version of Android on your PC, you can use Android x86. I'll explain their main features below:
- BlueStacks: is one of the most popular Android emulator which is mainly chosen by those who are passionate about video games and are looking for an Android emulator optimized for gaming. BlueStacks is also appreciated for the fact that it is also supported by less performing computers from the hardware point of view. To download BlueStacks connected to the official website and first press the button Download BlueStacks and then Download. The negative side of BlueStacks is given by the presence of various advertising banners that come in the form of advice regarding the installation of sponsored applications, even if the latter can be safely ignored. Alternatively, you can remove the ads by subscribing to a subscription at a price of $ 4 / month or $ 40 / year.
- memu: as a valid alternative to BlueStacks it is absolutely necessary to mention Memu as it is an Android emulator that aims to guarantee high game performance and app execution. Unlike BlueStacks, Memu has more configuration options as well as root permissions already unlocked and configured. It is therefore an emulator designed for more experienced users who want a tailor-made user experience. Memu has predefined sponsored applications that cannot be uninstalled and a subscription is not available. To download Memu on your PC, just connect to the official website and press the button Download.
- ARC Welder: for those looking for a lightweight Android emulator that does not require software installation on the PC, the answer is without a doubt the emulator ARC Welder. It is in fact an extension available for the Google Chrome browser that allows the execution of games and apps for Android directly from the browser you use to navigate. Clearly, being an emulator based on a web browser it has some limitations: it allows you to run only one application at a time and does not integrate the Google Play Store. Consequently, to run an Android game or application, each apk package must be downloaded separately. To install ARC Welder on your PC, open Chrome, connect to the Chrome Web Store page hosting the Android emulator by clicking here.
If you want to read more about Android emulators, I suggest you take a look at my tutorials dedicated to Android emulators and how to install Android on PC.