If you wonder what would be the best sites to download free and safe APKs for your Android phone, the short answer would be: please DON’T, but we can understand it’s not always that simple. You should try to use the official applications provided via Play Store, otherwise you might be at risk – please read through the end to find out why.
What means APK?
In the beginning you might wonder what APK stands for – it stands for Android PacKage – and is the package file format used by the Android, and a number of other Android-based operating systems for distribution and installation of mobile apps, mobile games and other software components – for additional technical details see wiki page.
Best and Safest APK sites
Even if we totally do not recommend installing APKs from anywhere else than Play Store, if you still insist – we know you might have your reasons – we are not going to recommend a bunch sites, but only 2 – the best and safest and of course FREE APK sites. These sites are:
Scan your APK before installing against viruses
Before installing your APK (even from the above mentioned sites!), don’t forget to scan them against viruses, we are going to recommend a single free website: VirusTotal.com – it is able to analyze suspicious files and URLs to detect types of malware and automatically share them with the security community.
Reasons why people are installing software from APK sites
- Play Store is not available in some countries (e.g. China)
- Bypass geographical restrictions (some apps are regional tied and can only be downloaded from specific countries)
- Allow updates to popular apps that are rolling out slowly and may not yet be available to you to be downloaded and installed yet (new applications might be leaked ahead of time and are available as APK files for download)
- Rollback to a specific version of your favorite app
- Avoid paying for app paid version (NOT recommended, you might get blocked!)
Risks of installing software outside of official Play Store
- APKs might contain viruses (those installed from Play Store are verified by Google and in case of any suspicion they are automatically removed from Play Store!)
- APKs might terrible slow down your smartphone! (again those APKs are not performance tested by Google!)
- APKs might simply steal information (messages) from your phone and share it with 3rd parties – this is especially dangerous if you want to use a mod on top of a communication app (e.g. WhatsApp mod)
- Any other site than the ones mentioned in this post might offer APKs with intended viruses/malware/spyware inside
- Keep in mind that even the virus scan might not detect a virus inside the APK
APK Install errors
Error while installing APKs
- System might not have necessary permission to install the application
Application not Installed
- Insufficient storage space
- Corrupted apk file (the apk might be incompletely downloaded)
- Incorrect app install location (some apps can only installed from the phone memory while some others can be installed on both phone memory and SD card – try to install from other location)
Due to system policy, installation of this APK is not supported
- Double check the permissions and make sure you are allowing to install unknown APKs