Sometimes the Android app you want to install is not available on the Google Play Store. This can happen for several reasons: it may be blocked for certain countries, may contain adult content, or the developer may have removed it.
But even when the app is not available on the usual channels, you still have ways to install it on your device. You need a copy of the APK to be able to install it.
Several sites specialize in offering APK downloads. But some of them are better than others, so continue reading the Make Use Of information if you want to find the best sites to safely download the APK.
Why is it important to choose a safe place from where to download APKs to your device?
APK files (from Android Package) is the main way to distribute and install Android apps. When you download an app from Google Play, you download and run an APK in the background, but you can not access the APK itself.
Because APKs are installing applications on your system, they can pose a serious security threat. People with bad intentions can change the APK before installing it, and then use it as a digital trojan to install and run malware. That’s why you need to make sure that the site you use is trustworthy.
APKMirror is one of the most popular sites for downloading APKs. For each app, you can take older versions, view different information downloaded from Google Play, and access a list of similar apps. If an app you install from APKMirror receives an update on Google Play after you have installed it on your device, it will automatically go to the latest version.
APKPure is APKMirror’s largest competitor. Like APKMirror, the site adheres to rigorous security practices to make sure that all downloaded APKs are safe and free of viruses. APKPure verifies the legitimacy of all applications before publishing using SHA1 to ensure that the certificate is safe. In terms of usability, APKPure downloads screenshots, application descriptions, and common metadata directly from Google. There is also a list of previous versions of apps in case you want to go back to an older version. APKPure has an Android app.
The previous name of the application was APK Downloader. All APKs are downloaded from the Google Play Store so you can be sure of their security and safety. As with other sites on this list, there are many metadata, which means you can avoid Google Play completely if you want.
Aptoide has more than 200 million users and has registered over six billion downloads. Like APKPure, the site offers an Android app that lets you log in to the store and download APKs directly from your Android device.
yalp Store does not have a web version. Instead, you need to install the application from F-Droid, which in itself is one of the best alternatives on Google Play. Once the Yalp Store app is installed on your Android device, you can use it to download the APK directly from the Google Play Store. This means you do not have to worry about intermediaries who are importing malware into APKs before you get them.