How to download Android apps without the Play Store, and why APKMirror is the best place to get them

Google’s Play Retailer is the overwhelming supply of apps for most individuals working Android on their telephones, tablets, TVs, and different units. Nevertheless it’s not the one manner you will get apps, not by a protracted shot. In contrast to iOS, Android offers you the liberty to put in apps from wherever you want, and we expect APKMirror is the  greatest place to get them. It is safe and secure — we run the location, and we stand by it — and it even presents break up APK App Bundles for stuff you often cannot get anyplace however the Play Retailer, for apps like Netflix, Disney+, and different fashionable companies.

obtain and set up apps from APKMirror

(Disclosure: APK Mirror is owned and operated by Illogical Robotic, LLC, which additionally owns and operates Android Police)

Today, Android has each “regular” APKs, and one thing referred to as break up APKs, or App Bundles. App Bundles save bandwidth and space for storing, however they made it exhausting for folks to share apps with each other outdoors the Play Retailer. That is as a result of each cellphone is technically working its personal barely totally different model of an app. However APKMirror and the APKMirror Installer app eradicate that downside.

Whilst you can sideload most Android apps with out using one other app, with the rise of “bundling” and break up APKs on the Play Retailer, we wished this information to cowl all apps, not simply those who nonetheless aren’t utilizing bundles, so our unified directions that cowl each use the APKMirror Installer.

The very first thing you will wish to do is set up the APKMirror Installer. You may get it from the Play Storeor you may set up it from the APKMirror website — both is ok, however the Play Retailer is simpler.

APKMirror Installer (Official)
APKMirror Installer (Official)

Putting in the APKMirror app from the Play Retailer is as simple as tapping the widget or hyperlink above and tapping “Set up.”

As soon as you have received the app, putting in apps from APKMirror is fairly simple, and just about the identical, whether or not you are downloading an App Bundle or not — you do not even want a separate information for the 2 processes.

Go to APKMirror.com

Navigate to APKMirrror (apkmirror.com), and seek for the app you would like to put in. Word that not all apps you will get from the Play Retailer could also be accessible.

Discover the app you are searching for

If essential, you may browse apps by APK names, app names, and developer names as you hunt for no matter it’s you are searching for. Whenever you’ve discovered the app you need within the model you want, simply faucet the obtain icon on the suitable facet of its itemizing.

If you find yourself sorting by app or developer, moderately than APK, you will then must choose the model of the app you need — in the event you do not care or do not know, the most recent non-beta model is most likely high-quality. Scroll all the way down to “All variations” and discover the one you want, then faucet the obtain icon to the suitable.

Choose the suitable model of the app

On the App itemizing, scroll all the way down to the “Obtain” part — additionally simply accessed by tapping “See accessible APKs and Bundles.” Right here you’ll have a couple of possibility accessible. If that is the case, you will must check the FAQ and do a little bit of analysis to find out which model is suitable on your cellphone. Faucet the colourful label for the variant you’d prefer to obtain.

Though the method later ought to gracefully fail in the event you obtain the improper model, it’s best to double-check earlier than persevering with that you’re trying on the proper one. (Typically talking, you may’t mess it up too badly, although. If it installs, it was suitable, although you would possibly run into some smaller points with issues like DPI.) Usually, all trendy Android telephones are arm64, and a nodpi model ought to work more often than not.

Obtain the app you wish to set up

On the following web page, scroll all the way down to the massive colourful “Obtain APK” or “Obtain APK Bundle” button — whichever it’s you get, that may fluctuate primarily based on the app. You may be requested by your browser if you would like to save lots of the file, and also you would possibly get a warning that the file format/extension is probably harmful. For those who’re keen to belief APKMirror as a supply, you may permit it.

Open the downloaded app in APKMirror Installer

As soon as you have downloaded the file, you want to discover a option to open it. You possibly can faucet the obtain notification on the backside of the display in the event you’re utilizing Chrome, for instance, however you would possibly must faucet a obtain notification in your standing bar or navigate to the place you downloaded the file with a file supervisor and open it manually, relying in your browser.

If prompted, open the file with APKMirror Installer. The APKMirror Installer app will load up the APK and get issues prepared.

Set up the app in APKMirror Installer

Cut up App Bundles (left) provide you with a extra verbose set up display than regular APKs (proper).

APKMirror Installer will feed you a pile of particulars relating to the app you are putting in if it is an APK Bundle — your greatest guess is to belief the app’s judgment, although you may tweak issues in the event you run into hassle and should reinstall later. For those who’re not putting in an APK Bundle, you will get a less complicated immediate. Whichever you get, faucet “Set up app” to proceed.

The primary time you do that, you would possibly run into hassle. On latest variations of Android, you will be prompted to permit the APKMirror Installer app as a supply for app installations as a simple toggle. Whilst you should not allow this setting for simply any app, it is okay to do it for APKMirror. However it’s there to guard you from apps that may set up malware.

On older variations of Android (Pre-Android eight.zero Oreo — contemplate upgrading on your personal safety in case your cellphone is that this outdated), you will should manually allow a separate setting to put in apps from unknown sources. That is often in Settings -> Safety, or you may search within the Settings app for “Set up apps” or “Set up unknown apps.”

As soon as the permission has been granted, you may return till you are again within the APKMirror app, which can proceed the set up course of, or you can begin over, making an attempt to run/set up the app you downloaded out of your browser or file supervisor.

APKMirror will put together the set up, then your cellphone will ask (once more) if you would like to put in the app, with the wording various barely if it is an replace to an current app or a brand new app on your cellphone fully. Faucet “Set up” to proceed, and also you’re mainly accomplished.

As soon as APKMirror Installer has completed putting in the app, you will be prompted to open it, however you ought to be working the model that you just put in.

For those who run into any issues throughout this course of, APKMirror Installer will let you realize, spitting a big warning if the app set up fails for any motive. So in the event you unintentionally choose an x86 APK when your cellphone is arm64 (like 99% of all latest telephones), it most likely will not work.

You possibly can even set up the Play Retailer if you wish to

Utilizing your new tips, you may even finagle the Play Retailer itself onto your system, in the event you like. All you want are 4 apps (although you would possibly want totally different variations relying on how outdated your cellphone is, or what model of Android it’s working). It additionally might not work on all units, and particularly outdated or uncommon units would possibly require monitoring down particular variations of the suitable APKs. This information is non-exhaustive.

With out opening any of those till you reboot on the finish, set up the next apps on this order:

  1. Google Account Manager
  2. Google Companies Framework — You will want the suitable model to match your Android OS model, so verify in your cellphone’s Settings app to seek out your Android model (Often Settings -> About hone, or Settings -> About cellphone -> Software program data) and obtain the most recent services framework that matches (i.e., Google Services Framework 7.1.2 if you’re working Android Nougat 7.1.2).
  3. Google Play Services
  4. Google Play Store

As soon as all 4 have been put in (once more, with out opening them), reboot and also you ought to have the flexibility to make use of the Play Retailer. For those who get a notification that Play Companies is old-fashioned, don’t be concerned. For those who can register, every little thing ought to ultimately routinely replace to the most recent suitable model.

For those who run into hassle, most points can both be mounted by one of many following escalating steps:

  • Rebooting the system
  • Clearing app information for the Play Retailer and launching it once more
    • go to the “Apps” or “Apps & Notifications” part of Settings, discover Play Retailer, faucet it, choose “Power Cease,” after which go to “Storage,” and choose “Clear information” or “Clear storage.”
  • Clearing app information for Google Play Companies and rebooting
    • go to the “Apps” or “Apps & Notifications” part of Settings, discover Google Play Companies, faucet it, go to “Storage,” and choose “Clear information” or “Clear storage.”
  • Uninstalling all 4 apps, rebooting, reinstalling all 4 apps within the order described above, and rebooting once more.
  • Lastly, you may strive resetting your system as a last-ditch effort, if you’re certain you are utilizing the suitable variations of the suitable APKs and doing issues in the suitable order.

Not all units will in the end work sideloading the Play Retailer, and chances are you’ll expertise subsequent points or odd behaviors relating to some apps or the system because of this, however it’s an possibility.

Why set up apps outdoors the Play Retailer?

There are many causes to search for apps outdoors of Google’s retailer. Odds are in the event you’re right here, you have already got at the least one, however there are some causes you may not pay attention to.

For one, Google generally removes apps from its venue primarily based on content material, performance, or as a matter of censorship to comply with local laws. Typically apps are kicked to the curb for completely authentic and legitimate causes, like containing malware or violating person privateness, however that is not all the time the case. For higher or worse, Android offers you the liberty (and related duty) to get your apps anyplace you want.

One other good motive to obtain apps from APKMirror is solely that they are not even current on the Play Retailer to start with. For instance, the favored Lawnchair 2 alpha wasn’t accessible on the Play Retailer earlier than its formal launch. Apps on the Play Retailer may also be geographically restricted/censored, and customers in some nations haven’t got entry to them. Different occasions, apps that are distributed on the Play Retailer roll out updates progressively, so relating to enjoying with the most recent cutting-edge options that you just examine, the one model you will get may not have them — we’re all beholden to the gradual Play Retailer roll-out.

Lastly, generally updates aren’t all the time for the higher, and APKMirror can present a option to roll again to earlier variations of an app within the occasion you run into a difficulty.

No matter your motivation (and there are a lot), in the event you’ve resolved to get an app elsewhere, you may most likely get it at APKMirror. And, it is also the most secure selection.

You possibly can belief APKMirror

There are 4 major causes you may belief APKMirror as a supply for Android apps:

1. We run it, and we stand by it

Whereas Google may be answerable for the advertisements you see at APKMirror, we have accomplished our greatest to make a great high quality, simply navigated repository of Android purposes. It’d take you a minute to study to navigate issues just like the totally different APK variations primarily based on platform or “DPI,” but it surely’s typically simple to get what you want.

2. Apps are signed by builders and secure to make use of

The apps that you just obtain from APKMirror are unmolested and securely signed by their builders. We ensure that all APK cryptographic signatures are verified to match the originals (both earlier updates or variations distributed on the Play Retailer), and we match new purposes to identified signatures from builders. Within the occasion we won’t confirm an app’s signature, APKMirror will not have it. We additionally block publicly disclosed take a look at/dev/debug signing keys, since they cannot all the time be trusted.

For the non-technically minded, that every one means we’re as certain as we might be that the apps we’re distributing are secure.

three. No pirated or “cracked” apps

Three, there’s completely zero pirated content material on APKMirror. Whilst you would possibly be capable of get round geographic restrictions or censorship, APKMirror would not present “cracked” or pirated variations of apps (although we do host some modified apps, like Google apps tweaked to work with extra units).

Android Police and APKMirror are right here to assist builders, not make their lives tougher or take away their means to earn a residing. Connecting with our earlier level relating to security and safety, many apps modified to offer paid or premium options without cost even have malware or adware hiding inside them, which you don’t need.

four. Do not simply take our phrase for it

Lastly, even in the event you disagree with these arguments on the premise that we’ve a vested curiosity in selling our personal companies, different impartial sources additionally belief APKMirror.

For extra data, try the complete FAQ which may additionally reply different questions, like if apps downloaded from APKMirror can nonetheless be up to date by the Play Retailer (sure), what totally different “arm”/DPI builds imply, or tips on how to troubleshoot some easy errors, must you run into them.