If you have an Android device , chances are you’ve already heard the term APK . This abbreviation is often cited by users of Google’s mobile operating system when it comes to distributing and installing apps. But what is APK and what is it used for? Below, I will explain these issues.
APK is the abbreviation of Android Package, Android Package Kit or even Android Application Package, basically a file format that Google’s system uses to distribute and install applications. An APK contains all the data an app needs to install correctly on a device.
The APK is a zipped file, that is, it contains various other files and metadata from an application. Since most of Android is built in Java, this format is a variant of the JAR (Java Archive). At its core, an APK is a ZIP file, but it needs to deliver additional information to work seamlessly on the Android device.
For what is used?
APK files are used to install apps on an Android device. Opening one on your mobile phone, it displays installation instructions and asks for certain permissions. This is to notify the user of what is being installed.
When downloading an app from the Play Store, the Google store automatically installs the corresponding APK. That is, it basically acts as a package manager, allowing for easy installation, update and removal.
Any Android device can install this type of file outside of the store, as the system only asks for a few confirmations. However, downloading APKs from unknown websites poses a danger, as there is a possibility that the device may be contaminated with malware.
How is it created?
To create an Android app, developers often use Android Studio, Google’s official development tool. After finishing it, the software compiles the files and puts everything in one place, thus creating an APK.
Normally, APKs keep the .apk extension so that the operating system can identify and execute it. For example: “com.google.android.dialer_73.0.414822266.apk” is the abbreviation for the name of the Google phone app — the numbers represent the current version, which changes with each new update.
Okay, now you know what APK is and how this file is used on Android.