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Application Package(APK)

APK full form stands for Application Package (also known as Application Package Kit or Android Application Package). The file format is primarily used to transfer and install applications on Android devices. 

For those who have already studied this subject, you might recognise the APK full form in Android as an archive file, in the same spot as ZIP and RAR (and for those who aren’t in the loop, an archive file is one that contains multiple files as well as a little bit of accompanying metadata).

Talking of lineage, APKs branch out from the JAR (Java Archive) file format. This means, we can conclude that all APKs are ZIP files, but all ZIP files are not APKs. 

Why are APK files used?

Most Android users download applications and games from the Google Play Store. They are similar to the file format used in Windows, known as APPX. So, why don’t we see APKs in use more often? That’s because the Play Store acts as a package manager. In other words, it can install, update and delete software all in one.

However, the open nature of the Android OS means we can bypass Google Play to do the same tasks manually. Fortunately, the APK full form in Android means that the package already contains the information to install itself.

What are the benefits of installing APKs manually?

While some people prefer the security of Google Play, certain advantages of the APK full form keep pulling new users in. 

  • You can get access to new applications and games before they are available on Google Play.
  • You can side-pass regional locks on the Play Store.
  • You can install applications that are further modified/customised in comparison to their Play Store counterparts. 

Learning about the world around us is an important part of building our knowledge. With the advent of powerful technological tools, it is our duty to learn how to use them as well. But a word of caution- keep in mind that all files should only be downloaded when you trust the source of origin, in the interest of keeping your device safe.

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