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Sideload Android apps as APKs or App Bundles: How to do it and why


How to Install APK on Android 12




Android 12 is the latest version of Google's operating system for mobile devices. It brings a lot of new features and improvements, such as a redesigned user interface, enhanced privacy controls, faster performance, and more. But did you know that you can also install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store? These apps are called APK files, and they can offer you more choices, flexibility, and customization for your Android experience. In this article, we will show you how to install APK files on Android 12, what are the benefits and risks of doing so, and what are some of the best APK sources you can trust. Let's get started!




how to install apk on android 12



What is an APK file?




An APK file is a package file that contains all the components of an Android app. It has the file extension .apk, and it is similar to other software packages such as .appx for Windows or .deb for Debian-based systems. An APK file can be built from source code written in either Java or Kotlin, and it can be generated and signed from Android App Bundles.


An APK file is usually downloaded directly to Android devices from websites or third-party app stores, but it can also be transferred from a computer using a USB cable. To open an APK file on your Android device, you need to have a file manager app installed, such as Cx File Explorer or File Manager. You also need to enable unknown sources in your device settings, which we will explain in the next section.


Why install APK files?




There are many reasons why you might want to install APK files on your Android device. Some of them are:


  • You want to use an app that is not available on the Google Play Store, either because it is region-locked, banned, or exclusive to another platform.



  • You want to try an app that is still in beta or development stage, and not yet released officially.



  • You want to update an app to a newer version that is not yet available on the Google Play Store.



  • You want to downgrade an app to an older version that works better for you or has features that were removed.



  • You want to customize your device with apps that offer more functionality, personalization, or optimization than the default ones.



However, installing APK files also comes with some risks. Some of them are:


  • You might download a malicious or fake app that can harm your device or steal your data.



  • You might violate the terms of service or warranty of your device or app provider.



  • You might encounter compatibility or stability issues with your device or other apps.



  • You might miss out on important updates or security patches from the official app provider.



Therefore, you should always exercise caution when installing APK files. Only download and install files from reputable and trusted sources, such as APKMirror or F-Droid. Always check the permissions and reviews of the apps before installing them. And always keep a backup of your data in case something goes wrong.


How to enable unknown sources on Android 12




Before you can install APK files on your Android device, you need to enable unknown sources in your device settings. This allows you to install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. Here's how to do it:


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  • Go to your device settings and tap Apps & Notifications (or Apps in older versions of Android).



  • Tap the three dots in the upper-right corner.



  • Tap Special app access.



  • Tap Install unknown apps.



  • Select the app that you want to use to install APK files, such as your browser or file manager.



  • Toggle on the Allow from this source option.



You can also enable unknown sources for individual APK files by tapping on them and choosing Settings when prompted. You can disable unknown sources at any time by following the same steps and toggling off the option.


How to download and install APK files on Android 12




There are two main methods to download and install APK files on your Android device: using your browser or using a USB cable. Here's how to do both:


Using your browser




This is the easiest and most common method to install APK files. All you need is a browser app and an internet connection. Here's how to do it:


  • Open your browser app and go to the website that offers the APK file you want to download. For example, you can go to APKMirror.com or F-Droid.org.



  • Search for the app you want to download and tap on it.



  • Read the description, permissions, and reviews of the app and make sure it is safe and compatible with your device.



  • Tap on the Download button or link and wait for the file to be downloaded.



  • Once the download is complete, tap on the notification or open your file manager app and locate the file in your Downloads folder.



  • Tap on the file and follow the instructions to install it. You may need to grant some permissions or enable unknown sources if you haven't done so already.



  • Wait for the installation to finish and then tap Open to launch the app or Done to exit.



Using a USB cable




This method is useful if you have an APK file on your computer and you want to transfer it to your Android device. You will need a USB cable and a computer with an internet connection. Here's how to do it:


  • Connect your Android device to your computer using a USB cable. Make sure your device is unlocked and in file transfer mode.



  • On your computer, go to the website that offers the APK file you want to download. For example, you can go to APKMirror.com or F-Droid.org.



  • Search for the app you want to download and click on it.



  • Read the description, permissions, and reviews of the app and make sure it is safe and compatible with your device.



  • Click on the Download button or link and save the file to a location on your computer that you can easily access.



  • Navigate to the location where you saved the file and copy it.



  • On your Android device, open your file manager app and navigate to a folder where you want to paste the file. For example, you can use the Downloads folder or create a new folder called APKs.



  • Paste the file into the folder and disconnect your device from your computer.



  • On your Android device, locate the file in your file manager app and tap on it. Follow the instructions to install it. You may need to grant some permissions or enable unknown sources if you haven't done so already.



  • Wait for the installation to finish and then tap Open to launch the app or Done to exit.



How to update APK files on Android 12




If you have installed an APK file on your Android device, you may want to update it to get new features, bug fixes, or security patches. There are two ways to update APK files: manually or automatically. Here's how to do both:


Manually




This is the method that requires more effort, but gives you more control over when and how you update your apps. You will need a browser app or a USB cable, depending on how you want to download the updated APK file. Here's how to do it:



  • Open your browser app or connect your device to your computer using a USB cable.



Go to the website that offers the updated APK file for the app you want to update. For example, you can go to APKMi


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