What’s an APK file (Android Bundle Package file format)? | Definition from TechTarget

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What’s an APK file (Android Bundle Package file format)?

An APK file (Android Bundle Package file format) is the file format for functions used on the Android working system (OS). An APK file comprises all the information an app wants, together with the entire software program program’s code, belongings and sources. All Android apps, together with these downloaded from the Google Play Retailer or downloaded manually, use APK recordsdata.

Builders who create functions to be used on Android units should compile their software into the APK format previous to importing it to Google Play, the official market for Android functions.

An APK file is a sort of archive format, just like ZIP recordsdata, that include a number of recordsdata and metadata in them. APK recordsdata are additionally a variant of Java Archive recordsdata.

Android customers usually do not see APK recordsdata, as Android handles the app set up course of via Google Play. Nevertheless, different web sites might supply direct APK file downloads for customers to put in apps manually.

All Android apps downloaded from the Google Play Retailer or downloaded manually use APK (Android Bundle Package) recordsdata.

The right way to open an Android Bundle Package file

APK recordsdata will be opened on Android platforms, in addition to on Home windows and Mac OSes.

Apps downloaded from the Google Play Retailer on Android telephones or different units are put in and opened with none additional effort on the person’s finish. Nevertheless, when manually downloading an APK file, customers might should first allow downloads from unknown sources within the Android OS settings. Customers ought to first make sure they belief the file supply earlier than guide downloads, as malware might be hidden within the APK file. Opening a manually put in Android app solely requires customers to obtain it like they might another file and open it upon request.

On Home windows 11, customers can manually set up APK recordsdata utilizing Home windows Subsystem for Android. This software allows customers to obtain Android functions out there on the Amazon Appstore. An Android emulator, like BlueStacks, may also be used to open APK recordsdata on a Home windows OS. The identical emulator additionally runs on macOS for a similar objective.

APK recordsdata can’t be put in on iOS units, nonetheless, as iOS units use IPA file extensions as a substitute, enabling Apple’s walled backyard strategy for iOS.

The right way to create an Android Bundle Package file

APK recordsdata are compiled with Android Studio, which is the official built-in improvement atmosphere for constructing Android software program. As soon as the software program completes improvement, Android Studio compiles the app and locations it in an APK file. Android Studio is out there on Home windows, Mac and Linux.

APK recordsdata can have any identify however should finish in .apk.

Google Play requires APK recordsdata be lower than 100 megabytes in dimension. To assist builders with this limitation, Google Play hosts as much as two APK growth recordsdata for any further content material required for his or her software. An APK growth file is used for storing media recordsdata, high-fidelity graphics or different massive belongings that may trigger an APK to exceed the dimensions limitation.

Contents of an Android Bundle Package file

APK recordsdata include all contents wanted to run the appliance, together with the next:

  • AndroidManifest.xml. That is an extra Android manifest file that describes the identify, model, entry rights, library and different contents of the APK file.
  • belongings/. These are software belongings and useful resource recordsdata included with the app.
  • lessons.dex. These are compiled Java lessons within the DEX file format which can be run on the machine.
  • lib/. This folder comprises platform-dependent compiled code and native libraries for device-specific architectures, comparable to x86 or x86_64.
  • META-INF/. This folder comprises the appliance certificates, manifest file, signature and a listing of sources.
  • res/. It is a listing that holds sources — for instance, photographs that aren’t already compiled into sources.arsc.
  • sources.arsc. It is a file containing pre-compiled sources utilized by the app.

Study some important cell app improvement instruments for Android and iOS.

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