You’ve finally buckled and joined the hundreds of thousands of people with smartphones. There’s no shame in it. Smartphones, at this point, are an extension of one’s self.
The thousands of apps that are available can fill dozens of different niche functions. Not to mention, it’s convenient to have such a device on hand when you need it.
Like computers and laptops, smartphones need files to run an application. For Android users, these files are known as APK, or Android Packet Kit. These files are tailored to Android phones. If you downloaded an .IPA, the iOS equivalent, on your Android, you won’t have any luck opening it, much less using it.
For one reason or another, you want or need an app, but you aren’t sure of the necessary steps to take.
Visit the Google Play Store
First, you can start by doing what most people do and download an app straight from the Google Play Store. This is where you’ll find just about any of the apps you need.
If you’re looking for a specific function, there’s probably an app for it. It can be dizzying scrolling through the multitude of apps that serve a single purpose.
Luckily, most app stores come with sorting options that include: popularity, the number of downloads, ratings and even customer reviews.
- Select the Google Play Store app. Near the top, you’ll see a search field, inside it says Google Play.
- Search for the app. It should be noted, if you are unsure of an application’s legitimacy, you can always read information provided on an app’s functions, as well as user reviews and judge for yourself. Take user reviews with a grain of salt.
- Click on the app.
- Select Install. This will automatically download the file specific to your phone and install the APK.
The Magic of VPN’s.
Investing in a VPN, even for surfing purposes, is always a welcoming addition to online protection. Virtual Private Networks not only protect your information from prying eyes, but it even helps you download APK files that aren’t available in your area.
Using a VPN can mask your IP address and even list it in some far away location. And because of this, VPN’s inadvertently offer an opportunity to set your location to an area that doesn’t have restrictions on applications.
For example, if you live somewhere in Europe, and an app is restricted there, you could change your location to, say, the United States, where that same app isn’t restricted.
- Download a VPN app. There’s no shortage of legitimate and safe VPN apps to choose from, but like every decision, research the integrity of every app that you’ve set aside for consideration.
- Go to Settings.
- Scroll until you find Apps.
- Click Google Play Store.
- Click Force Stop.
- Click Clear Data.
- Open your VPN app. While every VPN is slightly different, they all offer the same general information. It’ll give you a list of servers to connect to.
- Connect to a server. Make sure that it doesn’t have restrictions on an app you want.
- Open Google Play Store. If you were successful, apps you view should list a foreign currency.
This isn’t foolproof, however. Sometimes it doesn’t work, which means you’ll have to head into your Google Play Store account settings and change your location in Country and Profiles. Change it to match your VPN’s server.
From Computer to Phone
This method requires that you already have the APK file on your computer. At any rate, where you got it should always be considered.
Take APK downloader websites, for example, can seriously lack in security. Ask yourself if it’s worth the risk of a virus before you drop unknown files into your phone.
- Plug in your USB cable to your PC.
- Open File Explorer. You can do this by selecting it pinned to your taskbar, or hitting your Windows Key and typing File Explorer.
- Click on This PC. You’ll see several folders. Underneath Devices and drives, you’ll find your phone listed.
- Click on your device. It will open your phone’s files. Here, you have access to every single file and folder your phone has.
- Drag and drop the APK file into your device’s folder. To make it easier, try dropping it in the Downloads folder.
- Find the APK file on your device.
- Install the APK.
This method is great if you’ve obtained an app that was geographically restricted (and bought it legitimately, of course).