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What is an Android APK, how is it installed and differences with normal apps

Have you ever wondered what is the format of applications in Android? Like any operating system, Android has its own APK files  that allow you to install applications. These files can be installed from the application store itself, or for free, through third-party pages.

This last form has always been allowed by Google , who incorporates an application installer in the system so that any APK file that we download can be installed. In short, an APK is an installation package that contains the data of an application.

The APKs contain the data necessary to install the applications


Each application requires a series of data to be able to run on an operating system. In the case of Android, this app data is compressed within the APK (Android Application Package) file. These files can be shared between Android phones (just send them the way you want), and to open them you just have to click on them. APKs are executable files for Android. They drink from Java’s .jar format, and allow you to install packaged components on the system.

In most cases, APKs contain all the data necessary to run the application. However, there are cases in which, after installing the APK, it is necessary to download even more data for the application to function.


So if we have an APK but for some reason we cannot download the missing data, what is the solution? This is where XAPK files come into play . These files contain both the APK itself and an OBB file that contains the additional data. They are quite frequent in heavy games , in which the APK of the OBB files is usually downloaded separately.

How to install APK files


Installing an APK is as simple as going to the Google Play Store and downloading the application you want. Although Google does not show us the format, you are not downloading more than an installer of the application that you are going to run. Therefore, the installation time depends largely on the weight of the app (among other factors, such as the type of memory you have, processor, etc.), since the APK must be unzipped in your terminal to install.

The files that we download from the Play Store have gone through a lot of controls by Google (although from time to time they miss something) so, in general, If you want to check the APKs that you have downloaded to your terminal, you can make a backup copy of them with third-party applications.

You can check which APK file has been downloaded by backing up the app . To do this, just download an application such as APK Extractor , which will allow you to obtain a copy in APK format of the applications that are on your terminal, something quite useful.

Install APK files

In order to install APK files externally, it is necessary to activate the unknown origins of our phone . These are in a fairly accessible location.

  • Settings
  • Safety
  • Unknown origins

Once we have activated this box, we can install applications from outside the Play Store . Of course, we recommend deactivating Google Play Protect, since this Google security system is responsible not only for analyzing the applications that you download from its store, but also those that have been installed from outside. If Google ‘sees’ something that it doesn’t like (like an application from its store not supported in your country) installed, it could delete it.

To deactivate Google Play Protect we only have to go to its settings in the Google application store, and deactivate the option to ‘search for security threats on the device’.

As we said, to install APKs it is enough to have the unknown sources activated but, in the case of XAPK files, we do need third-party package installers, such as APK Pure.

Is it dangerous to install external APK files?


No, if you do it with caution . Just because a file hasn’t passed Google’s controls doesn’t mean it’s malicious. From Xataka Android we recommend you resort only to reliable download sources. One of them is APKmirror , a website where we can find applications even earlier than in the Google store , and which has been demonstrating the security of the files stored there for years.

The problems with APKs come when we download them from untrustworthy sources. Would you download a program for Windows or Mac from an untrustworthy page?

Leaving these safe directories and downloading APK files from pages whose reputation we do not know can lead to a malicious file on our hands. However, we repeat, if we do it with caution, there is no risk of downloading APKs externally , as long as we are clear that we are doing it from a secure directory.

What is Mod APK? Is it legal to download the Mod APK?

The apps have made everything easier and there is no denying that. Whenever we think of apps or downloading apps, the first source that comes to mind is the Google Play Store. However, in today’s technological world, the options and alternatives are endless.

There are many other sources besides the Google Play Store from where users can download applications. These applications are called third-party applications, clearly because they have been downloaded from a third source.

There are several types of third-party applications. One of the most common application types, which I am sure most of us have heard at least once in our life, is Mod Apk. So what are these Mod Apk? Read on to learn more.

What is Mod APK?

A Mod Apk is an application that can be downloaded from a third party source. Basically Mod Apk is a modded application. The original application is adjusted and modified by the developers and presented as Mod apk.

The main purpose of a Mod Apk is to offer users the services and features that the original application lacks. Another important feature of Mod Apks is that it is free.

Now you could say that most of the apps on the Google Play Store are free. Yes they are. But these apps also have some in-app purchases. Now, not everyone wants to spend large amounts on such simple functions. This is where mod APKs come into the picture.

Developers tweak and tweak such apps so that users get all their features for free and some additional features too! Isn’t it amazing?

Take, for example, a general original app, available on the Google Play Store that includes ads. And you can still remove these ads by making an in-app purchase. But when you use the Mod Apk for such an application, you will not have to pay anything and the ads will be removed as well.

Is it legal to download the Mod APK?

Technically speaking, it is illegal to develop an app similar to others with free features that were otherwise paid for in the original app. This is like making a clone. And therefore, copyright issues can occur.

However, downloading a Mod apk is not illegal and you will not be charged anything for that.

Is it safe to download Mod Apk?

Yes and no. As much as you may not want to answer your ambiguous questions, these are the answers you will get.

Mod Apks can also be built or modified to add viruses or malware to them. When such mod APKs are downloaded, users will face various serious issues on their devices.

However, mod APKs downloaded from trusted sites like will not be a cause for concern. These sites do not indulge in any kind of harmful activity and offer the best for their users.

So basically download Mod Apks only from sites that are trustworthy and popular. If you find a site even slightly dodgy, don’t participate in it.

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