What is an APK file ?

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In order to install the applications on your Android operating system, an executable file is needed. Just like in Windows, .exe is the executable file, in Android the APK file is executable. Normally, whenever you’re downloading an application, it actually has a bigger file which is being downloaded. However, all of this is done in the background. Due to this very reason, you would be just able to get the notification about the download being completed and the installation starts. In the background, it is the APK file which is being downloaded and once the download is complete, installation starts.

The exact contents of this particular file would be changing depending on the type of the application which you’re downloading.

In order to make it easier for you to download the applications and install them, we would be going in the background and it is not a manually initiated process.

Once the download is getting completed the installation would start automatically in order to make it easy for the users to install any application and start running the application.

The Google play store has been designed in such a way that the applications are downloaded in the background. Whenever you’re downloading any play services or any other executable file, it is actually using the APK file.

 

What are the contents of the APK file?

While the exact contents would be dependent on the type of the application which you’re downloading but there are certain parts which are always included like:

-Meta-Inf/

-lib/

-res/

-AndroidManifest.xml

-classes.dex

-resources.arsc

All of these files solve a specific purpose which is necessary for not only installing the application but also running these. That is why, if any of these is missing you would not be able to run the application or install it.

How to view the contents of the APK file?

APK file is normally in the compressed state. That is why, if you want to view the contents of this file you have to use the decompression tool. Once you’re able to do that, it becomes easier for you to view the contents of the file.

How to create APK files?

There are plenty of software options to create the APK file. You can use IDE which is often used by Android app developers.

So, the next time around you come across an APK file, it is nothing but an executable file for the Android operating system.