APK files are Android installation packages that are downloaded from the Internet and are often provided by third parties, such as websites dedicated to hosting the files. These apps can be installed on Android phones, tablets and smart TVs, and you can download APK files sideways on Chromebooks. Compatibility with these files provides users with a wider selection of applications, but some additional steps are required to install them. For each application, you can obtain previous versions, view information extracted from Google Play and access a list of related applications.
If an application that you install from APKMirror receives an update from Google Play after you have installed it on your device, it will automatically update to the latest version. Arguably, APKMirror's biggest main competitor is APKPure. The two sites launched around the same time. Like APKMirror, this APK downloader follows rigorous security practices to ensure that all the APKs you save are safe and virus-free.
So how is APKPure safe? The site verifies the legitimacy of all applications before publishing them using SHA1 to ensure that the certificate is secure. The cryptographic signatures of the new versions of the applications must match the previously released versions, and completely new applications are compared to other software from the same developer. Once again, if APKPure has doubts about the security or origins of an application, the company will not publish it on the site. There are no modified APKs in APKPure.
In terms of site usability, APKPure extracts screenshots, application descriptions and general metadata directly from Google. APKPure also has an Android application available. You must load the application sideways to install it, but once it's up and running, it can replace Google Play. We really like APKMirror and APKPure.
The truth is, you should never have a reason to go somewhere different. But let's be cautious and quickly present you with some other options. All APKs are extracted from the Google Play Store, so you can trust their safety and security. As with the other sites on this list, there's also a lot of metadata, meaning you can avoid Google Play completely if you want to.
Aptoide is another giant in the world of APK downloads; it has more than 200 million users and has been responsible for six billion downloads. Like APKPure, the site offers an apk application for Android that allows you to access the store and download APK files directly from your Android device. Why isn't Aptoide closer to the top of this list? In short, because it allows users to manage their own stores and therefore allows modified APKs to enter the platform. They're well signposted, but if you don't pay attention, you might accidentally download one.
Yalp Store is different from the other apps on this site, it doesn't have a web version. Instead, you must install the application from F-Droid, which in itself is one of the best alternatives to Google Play. Once the Yalp Store app is installed on your Android device, you can use it to download apps directly from the Google Play Store. This means that you don't have to worry about any intermediary injecting malware into the APKs before you stick with them.
If you've rooted your device, Yalp Store can even update apps in the background without you doing so. Best of all, you don't need to have a Google account to download APKs from Google Play. It will be liked by many people who are wary of the Play Store's privacy problem. APKMonk is another popular APK application download site.
The site focuses heavily on gaming apps, and games currently trending take center stage on the site's home page. You can also use APKMonk to download regular applications. Again, they're organized into popular and trending categories. ApkHere is the best APK site for foreign language APK files that aren't available in your region's default Google Play Store.
Of course, there's a lot of content in English that you can dive deeper into, but you'll also find APKs in German, APK in Chinese, APK in Russian, and much more. While the ApkHere APKs are safe, we can't guarantee the security of some of the apps themselves. China and Russia aren't known for their strong security and privacy practices, so you should be careful and do your own research before installing any of them on your device. An apk file is made up of all the other necessary files that the software requires to install and work properly.
It is a unique signature or key that the real developer associates with each application to help identify if the file is in its original state or if it has been modified by someone posing as the developer of that application.