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If you want to install an application on Windows, we have an .exe file for that. For Mac OS X, we have .dmg files. Those of you who come from Symbian and Java phones background must be knowing about the .sis, .sisx and .jar files. In the same way way, have a specific file format for Android smartphones that is used to install application on it and it is called an APK file (because it has the extension of .apk)
APK files also allow you to bypass carriers to get the latest Google updates, which can take a a frustrating amount of time to arrive via an over-the-air update from your network, and if your Android device lacks access to the Google Play Store, APK files may be your only option for installing apps on your device.
There are many sources of APK files across the web, but be sure to choose a site which you trust. Some APK files may contain malicious software (malware) which could compromise your phones security, so it is best to be cautious before downloading or installing any app from outside of the Play Store (and even in the Play Store you’re not completely safe!). Generally speaking, APK files found on sites like XDA should be safer to download than from elsewhere, but read some reviews and user comments before downloading or installing an APK.
When you want to install an APK manually, just open the APK installer app and navigate to the folder where you have your APK files saved. Now, simply click on the application to bring on the installation screen. Click the install button to successfully install the application.