Although it sounds impossible or far-fetched, at present, you can install an Android app outside the Play Store. The big question is how is it done? And it is there that we go to the rescue.
You may have heard about side downloads and APK files. Both have to do with installing an Android app outside the Play Store or, in the case of an Amazon device (such as a Fire tablet), with installing an application from outside the Amazon Appstore. The side discharge overlooks the usual app store. In fact, APK means Android Package Kit, which is the file format used by the Android operating system for the distribution and installation of mobile applications.
There are several reasons why you may want to download an APK. There may be an application (or version of an application) that you cannot obtain from the Google Play Store; You may want to try an alternative Android app store; Or maybe you're looking for access to Google candies on an Amazon device. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to do, but before explaining how, some quick safety considerations.
Whether you think Android is insecure, or not, it is advisable to take precautions and be careful. The Google Play Store has several security measures in place, and its applications are scanned to try to prevent some malware from spreading. It may not be the case with an alternative app store or with a website or forum that hosts an APK file. Consider installing an Android security application to reduce the risk of installing malware, and carefully examine the source of your new APK.
How to allow installation from unknown sources
By default, your Android device does not allow the installation of applications outside of formal stores, such as Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore. The steps to remove this protection change depending on the device. Here are some examples:
In most Android phones, you must touch the gear icon to enter Configurationthen look Security and scroll down to Unknown sources. Touch to Allow or Do not allow installation of applications from alternative sources, and touch To accept if there is any box that asks for your confirmation.
In a Samsung Galaxy, go to Settings (or Settings)> Lock and security> Unknown origins (or Sources) to allow installation of applications from sources other than Google Play Store. Touch To accept in the box to appear.
On an Amazon Fire tablet, go to Settings> Security and play on Unknown Source Applications for Allow installation of non-Appstore applications. Touch To accept in the pop-up box
On an LG phone, go to Settings> General> Fingerprints and security and active Unknown sources for Allow installation of applications from sources other than Google Play Store. Touch Allow in the pop-up box
How to get an APK file on your phone
The easiest way to get the APK on your phone is to navigate to a trusted source and download it directly. Most Android now have an integrated file organizer, so by default, the APK file go to the folder downloads.
On a Samsung Galaxy, you see an application called My files on the applications screen. On an LG phone, there should be an application called File Manager. On a Lenovo Moto phone, you should see a cone to downloads on the applications screen.
If you cannot find a file or download option on your device, you can install a free File Management application. We recommend ES File Explorer File Manager.
How to install an APK
Once you have found the APK file, all you need to do is touch it to activate the installation screen. Check the permissions and touch Install.
When the application is installed, we recommend that you return to the configuration of your phone and again disable the Unknown sources. It is a precaution that never hurts.
* Updated on November 30, 2019 by Mara Teresa Lopes.