In order to open APK file you need to have a device with Android operating system installed. APK files are compressed archive files used by Android OS apps to install themselves to the devices. APK files contain all information required by the app to install itself to the device. This includes application codes, images, videos, resources, icons, configuration files and many more. All information in APK file is compressed for faster download speeds. Only Android OS or Android OS emulators can correctly open APK files and install the app from it.
In order to open APK file on Android device you need to perform following steps:
Typically, APK files are not visible to the end user of the device. All the installation magic happens inside the Google Play store app. When you tap “Download” or “Buy” button next to the app in the Google Play store, the corresponding APK file will be downloaded to your device, its content verified and installed. Once installation is complete the Android OS will delete the APK file.
But there are cases when APK file needs to be installed directly. This may include cases when test version of the app needs to be distributed to the end user, or the app is not yet available in the Google Play store. Make sure that you are very careful when opening APK file from the internet or other unchecked sources. App installed from the APK file will request certain permissions from you and once granted it may have power to do certain damaging actions on your device and with your data.
You can also open APK file with any popular decompression software including WinZIP and WinRAR. APK file is an archive and typically uses LZ4 compression.