What Is APK File/Android Application Package? A Complete Guide 2023

Android APPLICATION PACKAGE (apk) guide

What Is APK File/Android Application Package?

Android application package or APK files are an android application file format that only supports the Android operating system. However, Apks files are used for the distribution and installation of mobile apps, mobile games, and middleware.

The android application package includes APPX in Microsoft Windows or Deb packages in Debian-based systems, and everyone should know how to access APK files from a PC correctly. In addition, APK files were developed using four elements Activities, Services, broadcast receiver, and content provider.


Activity is all about interacting with users as it provides a screen with the user’s interface. It keeps track of users’ behavior to keep running the hosting activity process. The activity also helps the app handle having its process killed to return to activities with their previous state restored. 


Services keep an app running in the background for long-run operations, and it doesn’t provide an interface but music playing in the background. In addition, You can play music in the background while using an APK file, or you can also download something in the background. 

Broadcast Receiver

A broadcast receiver helps the system deliver events to the app outside of a regular user flow. However, it enables the app to respond to system-wide broadcast announcements. With this APKelement’s help, the system can also deliver broadcasts to apps that aren’t currently running. 

Content Provider

The data you store in the file system only possible and managed by the content provider. The content provider can also enable other apps to query or modify the data. In addition, it manages the user’s contact information, location, and other data.

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Contents Used To Develop APK Files/Android Application Packages

1. META-INF directory: Includes manifest file, Certificate of the application, and Resource list

2. lib: A directory with platform-dependent compiled code. Here are directories within the directories, such as 

  • armeabi is a Compiled code for all ARM-based processors only.
  • armeabi -v7a is a compiled code for all ARM v7 or above processors only.
  • arme64 -v8a is a compiled code for all ARM v8 arm64 or above processors only.
  • X86 is a compiled code for x86 processors only
  • X86_64 is a compiled code for x86 64 processors only
  • Mips is a compiled code for MIPS processors only.

3. Res: It has resources that are not compiled in arsc.

4. Assets: It has application assets that the AssetManager retrieves.

5. AndroidManifest: It describes the name, version, access rights, the referenced library files for the application.

6. Classes.dex: These are the classes compiled in the dex file format and are understandable by the Dalvik Virtual Machine and the Android Runtime.

7. Resources.arsc: It has precompiled resources like, binary XML.

How To Install The APK File On The Android Device?

You can install an APK file on an Android device in multiple ways, and 2 of them are mentioned below;

  1. First, enable Unknown Sources on your Android device.
  2. Connect Your Device to the PC with a USB cable. On a Mac, install an application to copy files from your Mac to the Android device.
  3. Copy the APK file (arm-sda-android/app/build/outputs/apk/debug/app-debug.apk) to your Android device.
  4. Uninstall if you have a previous version of the APK on your Android device.
  5. Find the copied file with file manager on your Android device, and click to install it.


  1. Simply browse the APK file you are looking for in Google or any other browser on your device.
  2. When you find it, click to download.
  3. It may ask for permission, give permission and move forward.
  4. After completion of the download, click on the file, and click yes.
  5. Now, the application will be installed.

Also Read – Metronome Apps For IOS and Android

How to Setup APK File/Android Application Package For Android?

You must develop your mobile app with Pega mobile SDK for push notifications and set up a certificate set with push notifications enabled. 

  1. Select the Android switch on the ‘Integrate application panel.’
  2. Optional: Upload a custom icon to change the default icon of your app and customize.
  3. Implement one of the following actions:
  • Create a certificate set if a certificate set does not exist for the app with push notifications enabled.
  •  Select one from the Certificate setlist otherwise.
  • Click Save.

Optional: Enter the release version for your app in the Version field. It will help you track different mobile app versions during the development, testing, and production stages.

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What Is the ‘package’ in Android?

A package is a directory (folder) in which the source code lives. Usually, this is a directory structure that uniquely identifies the android application, such as com. example. App.

What is a Google Android Packageinstaller?

The package installer is abbreviated chiefly as ‘APK’ in ordinary language. It is an analog to the zip file and is used by the Android on your phone to download or install all apps.

Where do I find APK files on my Android?

To find your APK file go to /data/app/directory while the preinstalled ones are located in the/system/app folder, and you can find them by using ES File Explorer.

How to find hidden APK files?

To find hidden APK files on your Android device, go to the “My Files” folder, and check — either “Device Storage” or “SD Card.” now, click on the “More” link at the top right corner. You can now check hidden files.

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