What is an APK file and how do I install it on Android?
The APK file is nothing more than an application created for the needs of Android. It can be a game or program, but it can be run only in the Android environment. During normal use of your smartphone, you probably won’t come across these types of files. The system installs applications directly from the official Google Play store, which means that there is no need to manually download the file and install it yourself. However, there are situations when you need to use the Android program in the APK format – if, for example, you want to install something outside of the Google Play store. How to do it? Get your phone ready The APK file that you want to install on your system will be transferred to your smartphone. Use the usb cable you can do it. Remember the name of the folder where you will put it so that you will not have problems finding it later. Installing external APK files on your smartphone is disabled by default, so you must enable them first. Turn on the phone, go to Settings, and there find the Security option. There, find the Unknown sources section – Allow installing applications from sources other than the Play Store. It looks like this (the menu and its appearance may differ slightly depending on the version of your system – I use Android 5):
If you have already done so, you need to install the so-called file manager. This application is used to manage the content of your phone’s memory. In practice, this means that the program works similarly to, for example, Explorer in Windows. Thanks to the file manager you can move, delete, copy and rename files that you have on your phone. For the purposes of this article I used the File Manager program, but if you want you can choose another application.
Using the mentioned File Manager, find the folder where the program you want to install is located.
After entering the folder, just touch the application icon and confirm the installation. And that’s basically everything! For the purposes of this article, I downloaded and put the latest version of WhatsApp messenger on the system.
However, there are a few things you should know before you decide to install files outside of the official Google store. The option of adding unofficial programs to the system is disabled by default for a reason. Often, programs and applications that come from unknown sources can be illegal or harmful to the system. They can contain viruses that can damage your system, steal your data or expose you to high costs. Therefore, use this option only for programs that you can be sure are completely harmless or legal! To download Android applications, there is an official Google Play store. In addition, any game or program can be installed by downloading its .apk file and cache to a smartphone from a different source. The main problem is that applications installed in this way will not be updated. We solve the problem and think about the rest in this manual. Android is an open operating system, so you can download games and programs from both the official Google Play store and other sources. Each application is installed using an executable file with the extension .apk, and large games require additional data to be loaded, which is called cache.
News For APK Apps
Meet News on Android – the official Google app for sending SMSs and MMSs and chatting (RCS). Send messages to anyone, wherever you are, taking advantage of SMS reliability and chat diversity. Stay in touch with family and friends and send group messages, favorite photos and videos, GIFs, emoticons, stickers and voice recordings. Clear, intuitive and easy to use interface Instant notifications, intelligent responses and a completely new design facilitate communication and make it more interesting. Dark mode allows you to conveniently use the Messages in low light. Easy sharing Take a picture, record a movie or just select and share it – directly in the application. You can even send voice messages to your contacts. Interesting conversations Send audio messages, emoticons and stickers and share your location. You can also send and receive payments via Google Pay. Advanced search engine You can now search for more types of content shared during conversations. Click the search icon and select a contact to view the message history with all photos, videos, addresses and links shared in them. Chat features (RCS) For supported operators, you can, among other things, send and receive messages via Wi-Fi or data transmission and check when your friends have read your message and share photos and videos in high quality. The Messages app is supported on devices with Android ™ 5.0 Lollipop or later.
xHelper, a malware for Android, attacks even after a factory reset. Already 45,000 devices fell victim to it
xHelper is malware for Android that has been harassing smartphone users for several months. Now malware has been examined by Symanteca specialists and the conclusions are alarming. Software can hardly be removed, and the number of infected devices goes to tens of thousands.
xHelper first appeared on victim devices about half a year ago. During this time, this malware spread around the world, hitting the TOP10 threat list maintained by MalwareBytes in August. In turn, Symantec has already recorded 45,000 Android infections with xHelper, and the number of attacks is increasing every day.
Top 25 Essential Android APK Apps
This time we present a must for new Android phone owners. The following list is a summary of the best necessary applications that you should have on your smartphone.
If we should mention some important application in your opinion, let us know in the comment! The list does not include games, which we will look at in the next article.
The Google Play Store offers thousands of applications in various categories. A novice user of an Android smartphone may have difficulty in catching the most suitable ones. With this in mind, we have compiled the best and necessary applications that you need to install to be able to take full advantage of your phone’s capabilities.
For most applications, we’ve included videos to get you closer to the application’s capabilities. In subsequent articles and summaries, we will publish applications that will complement this list.
1. Google Keep
Make a quick note of what’s on your mind so that you can come back to it later at any time. You can prepare a to-do list, record a voice memo, or take a picture and add a comment to it. Notes will be immediately available on all your devices – landline and mobile.
Google Keep allows:
- save matters that are important to you as text, photos, or to-do lists
- automatically convert voice notes to text
- Use the home screen widgets to quickly save something
- mark notes with colors to make them easier to find later
- Archive unnecessary notes with one swipe of the finger
- it’s easy to add (or remove) checkboxes to turn a note into a to-do list
- securely save your notes in the cloud and open them from anywhere on
2. AntTek Quick Settings
AntTek QuickSettings is a decent application that allows you to quickly change device settings, launch the application, create a shortcut for quick connection with a given contact. This application gives you the ability to support quick settings from the Jelly Bean system already on Android 2.1 + with a lot of personalization (you do not need ROOT!). This is more than just the quick settings you already knew. You can customize everything to add various things (application shortcuts, contacts, etc.) to the quick settings panel, including (over 75 built-in settings shortcuts).
- setting switches: WiFi, data packets, Bluetooth, enabling / disabling the lock when the device wakes up, rotation, airplane mode and WiFi and USB tethering, GPS, NFC, etc.
- sound / vibration, sound / silence, sound menu
- brightness mode / auto-brightness / 3 predefined brightness levels
- quick action: music (previous / next / pause), battery, camera, direct connection with a given contact, direct message, direct e-mail
- Web shortcut, contact shortcut, new events, new messages, quick notes, screen lock, free RAM memory
- Launching the application (better than sidebar launchers)
- Options for rooted devices: restart, shutdown, recovery mode, wireless ADB, etc.
- Access to hidden system activities and more …
How to start: to perform the action, you need to pull the quick settings panel down (from the very top / right corner of the screen and select the desired action. Simple and easy!
You can long press to access a larger resource of options (only in the PRO version).
Chrome is a fast web browser that you can also use on your Android phone and tablet. When you log in to it, the settings will synchronize with your computer, so you will always have your data at hand.
- Quick search:
searching and navigating between pages is instant and takes place in the same field. The results already appear when entering the query
browsing is more enjoyable thanks to faster loading, scrolling and enlarging pages
Simple and intuitive operation:
you can open an unlimited number of cards and quickly switch between them. On the phone, all you have to do is make a gesture as if the deck is spread out in a fan, and on the tablet – move your finger from one edge of the screen to other
you can sign in to Chrome with your Google account to sync your open tabs, bookmarks, and omnibox history between your computer and phone or tablet. Thanks to this, you will return to browsing in exactly the same place
You can send Chrome pages on your computer with one click to Chrome on your phone or tablet so you can read them when you’re out and about – even when offline
in incognito mode, you can browse pages in complete privacy
4. Kingsoft Office
An easy to use and fully functional office package absolutely free. Intuitive and The application includes 5 modules: Desktop Widget, Writer, Spreadsheet, Presentations, File Manager. The ability to save to the format of documents from Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint (97 to 2010). It supports 23 types of files (among others: .doc, .docx, txt, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf).
Dropbox is a free service that lets you take all your photos, documents and video with you wherever you go. After installing the Dropbox application on your computer, all files saved in Dropbox will be automatically saved on all your computers, Android device and even on the Dropbox website! With the Dropbox app, you can have everything that is important to you with you.
Read documents or browse albums while outdoors. Save photos or videos to Dropbox and share them with your friends with just a few clicks. Even if you accidentally leave your Android devices in a taxi, your Dropbox content will always be safe.
- you always have your data with you no matter where you are
- you save photos and videos thanks to the Dropbox service
- you share photos and documents with family and friends
- you save email attachments directly to Dropbox
- you can easily edit documents in Dropbox
Have a chat with friends and family using free messages, voice calls or video calls via Skype. Join millions of people around the world who use Skype to keep in touch with people they care about most. Skype gives you a lot of possibilities that you can access directly from your hand.
- find all your friends and family members – among 250 million Skype users you’ll definitely meet people you know
- let your fingers speak – thanks to free messages, your friends are always at your fingertips, no matter where you are.
- talk to the whole world via Skype – enjoy free voice calls and video calls via Skype with all your friends and family members via a data connection * or WiFi
- cheap calls to landlines and mobiles – stay in touch with people living on the other side of the globe or in another part of your city, even if they don’t use Skype, thanks to cheap calling and texting on landlines and mobiles
- share your favorite photos – you definitely have some. Send them via Skype to your friends and family without worrying about email limitations or high MMS fees
- talk to everyone anywhere in the world – Skype is available on smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, and even on TVs. No matter what devices your friends and family use, Skype just works. It’s easy
7. Flash Alerts
A solution that is known to iPhone owners. The application allows you to enable notification of an incoming call or text message using a flashing led,
- when a call comes in, a new text message will flash
- you can adjust the flashing frequency
- you can set flashing on / off
8. Clueful Privacy Advisor
The moBILET service is active in over 100 cities throughout Poland, including in the agglomerations of Kraków, Łódź, Tricity and Upper Silesia, in Warsaw, Poznań, Szczecin, Toruń and Lublin. The current list of cities, range map and a detailed description of the system can be found at www.mobilet.pl.
moBILET is an application that allows:
buy electronic tickets for public transport (buses, trams, subway, railways)
pay for the actual parking time in the paid parking areas (charged after the parking has ended!)
To use the application it is necessary to activate the account in the moBILET system.
Public transport timetable for Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw – 60 Polish cities and agglomerations in total! The application works offline, schedules updates are downloaded from the network.
In many cities you can buy public transport tickets directly from the program – cooperation with mPay and SkyCash!
Timetables available free of charge. Advanced features (GPS, maps, widgets, grouping of stops) optionally in the subscription for PLN 10 per year.
More at www.transportoid.com
11. Hangouts (zastępuje Talk)
Google Hangouts takes individual and group conversations to a new dimension by adding support for photos, emoji icons and video calls – all for free. Connect with friends regardless of whether they are using a computer, an Android or iOS phone.
add more life to your conversations with photos and emoji icons
check when your friends are hanging out, when they are writing a message and if they have read it
Turn ordinary conversations into a video meeting with up to 10 people at once
send messages to friends even when friends are offline
use Hangouts on computers and iOS and Android devices
More interesting things on Google Hangouts:
you can start a Hangout on one device and continue it on another device
many colorful emoji icons will let you express what you think
remember what you talked about in the past, see shared photos and video meeting history
only one notification. Once you read the notification, it will be removed from the other devices
view collections of photo shared from each of your Hangouts
postpone notifications if you prefer to reply later
Note: Hangouts, unlike Google Talk, do not support “invisible” status.
12. Deezer/ Spotify/ WiMP
Thanks to the Deezer (Orange subscribers), Spotify or WiMP (Play subscribers) and subscription applications, we can listen to music on our mobile phone without restrictions. You can try the applications for free, or subscribe to, for example, access offline music. Our choice fell on Deezer, so we will present its functions in more detail. With the Deezer app you can:
- Listen without restrictions to over thirty themed radio channels and thousands of radio stations playing the music of your favorite artists
- search for songs and add them to your playlists
- listen to your MP3s previously downloaded by your computer
Register at Deezer and try Deezer Premium + for free. After the trial period, you will only be able to listen to the first 30 seconds of the 20 million songs in our catalog. If you want to listen to music without restrictions again, go to Deezer.com!
So go to a higher level and choose the Deezer Premium + service:
- unlimited listening to 20 million titles: the ability to create your own music library like a real collector and listen to everything you want, anywhere, anytime
- Your music is with you everywhere: on your mobile / tablet, even without an Internet connection / 3G network – you no longer need to be connected to the network!
- discovering new songs: you’ll always be hot knowing the latest releases and songs recommended by Deezer and your friends, and through radio channels
13. TuneIn Radio
TuneIn allows you to listen to radio from around the world (music, sports, news, talks, and comedies streaming from every continent). Over 70,000 live radio stations and 2,000,000 podcasts, concerts and entertainment programs on iPhone, iPad and iPod, all for free. TuneIn Radio is fully integrated with tunein.com, so you can synchronize your favorite stations between devices.
14. Pogoda Yahoo!
Yahoo! Weather liven up every season of the year thanks to instantly available forecasts combined with beautiful photos from your location that match current weather conditions.
Enjoy the Yahoo! Weather – into the sun and rain – thanks to dazzling Flickr photos showing your current and favorite location. Stay up to date with an instant five-day forecast and quick access to detailed information from The Weather Channel. Yahoo! Weather that’s all the information you need, plus photos you’ll love.
The Ceneo application allows you to check and compare prices in the most popular Polish price comparison site. The products are cataloged into transparent categories, presented in the form of a list with links to online stores.
The application allows you to search for products and compare their prices. After selecting the best offer, the user can go to the e-store and make a purchase. The application also provides access to user reviews, an extensive photo gallery and product technical specifications. Before going to the store’s website, the user gains access to the store’s contact details, can contact the seller directly, and check how the store is rated by Ceneo users.
The storage box is a very convenient function – the user can add products to it so that they can come back to them at a later time. In addition, the application provides access to the history of recently searched products.
Ceneo on Android is equipped with a barcode reader. Just scan the code with the camera available on your phone, and the application will check and search the product in one of the largest product databases in Poland offered by Ceneo.pl. You can also reach products using a text search engine that has hint functions, or browse products in interesting categories.
An add-on to the application is a convenient widget that can be placed on the phone’s desktop. It allows quick access to a barcode scanner, voice search and text search engine.