APK means Android Package, and any file that has the extension in its name is an application designed for Google’s Android operating system.
Applications from the Google Play Store are automatically installed, while those downloaded from various third-party websites require manual installation.
What an .APK File Contains?
An APK file is not just a standalone file. It is a combination of different files playing different roles. Check out the constituents of an .APK file below;
XML: XML is the description of the APK file, and it comprises the name, version, and content of the file.
META-INF/: This is where the signature, manifest file, and the resources in the archive are stored.
lib/: Lib contains native libraries that only run on specific device architectures such as x86 and armeabi-v7a.
arsc: These are compiled resources that the app uses, such as strings. You will recognize them with the .ARSC file extension.
res/: Res is the location where you will find resources that have not been compiled into resources.arsc.
Assets/: This contains raw source files that developers packed with the APK file.
dex: This contains the compiled Java classes that the device will run. They have the file extension .DEX attached to them.
Open APK File on Android
APK files are designed for Android devices and are therefore best suited to be opened on Android devices. Here is a look at how to open APK files on Android.
Before you can open an APK on your Android device, you must have downloaded the application either through Google Play Store or from a website to your File manager. APK files downloaded from third-party websites will not install automatically because the Android system has a security block in place that prevents the installation of applications from unknown sources. However, you can bypass this security block by following the steps below:
- Go to “Settings,” and then “Security.”
- Find “Unknown Sources” from the options.
- Tick the checkbox or turn on the toggle switch next to “Unknown Sources.”
- Some devices may require you to confirm this by clicking on “Ok.”
- You can then install any application and open it on your device.
How do I Open APK file on PC Windows?
As mentioned above, APK files are designed for Android devices. But there are ways in which you can open APK files on a regular Windows PC. You can do this by using an Android Emulator such as BlueStacks which is one of the best emulators.
BlueStacks App player emulator is the most suitable emulator to run multiple Android applications and games on your Windows PC. BlueStacks might seem like a means to an end for the sole purpose of running Android apps on your Windows PC, but it does more than that.
- First of all, Download Bluestacks from here.
- Once it is downloaded, Double click on it to start the installation process
- Simply follow the on-screen instruction to install Bluestacks on your PC Windows device.
- Once it is installed, Double click on any APK file you want to open on PC windows and it will automatically launch on Bluestacks.
We want to make sure you know what an APK file is all about, and when you see any file with the .APK extension behind it, you will be able to understand and know the things you can do with it.
We have attempted to discuss everything about APK files, and hopefully, things are clearer. Let us know if you have more questions.