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11 January 2013

How to get .apk files of android apps - Extracting apk files from apps installed using Google Play store/ Android market

How to download .apk files of android apps software  Are you looking for a place to download android apps in the form of .apk files rather than download them from the official Google play store? Actually, the best place to download and install Android apps on your android device is the official "Google Play store" or "Android Market" or whatever you like to call it. The main reason is that downloading apps from the official Google Play store adds a layer of security to your device.

There are a number of other third party websites offering downloads of .apk file packages. The main advantage of  downloading from such sites is that you can store the original installation file (.apk file) somewhere on your memory card or computer. In case your phone is formatted for some reason like malware infection, you do not have to download the installation file again. You can just run the apk file you downloaded earlier and you are done. But, this is not the case with android apps installed using Google play. Google play downloads the software and installs it directly to your android device. The apk package is not seen anywhere. If the phone is formatted, you lose everything and you need to download the software once again.

Considering security issues, Google play has taken many steps to minimize the security risks and you can read them here: http://support.google.com/googleplay/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1368854. In case of third party websites, the risk of getting your phone infected with virus is very high. Some hackers modify the codes of android apps and distribute those malware in the form of free android software packages. People downloading them may get their phones infected with malicious software. To avoid this from happening, always download android software from the official google play store.

But what happens if we download all android apps from the google play store and there arises a need to uninstall a program or format the phone? Well, there is an answer to it. There is a way to extract .apk files of any software installed on an android device and store them as a backup installation file. You can follow these steps to create backups of android apps installed on your android device:

Taking Back Up of an android App using ES file explorer

How to take backup of android apps using ES file explorerES file explorer is a file manager software created by EStrongs company. Estrongs is a web company that offers many more useful apps for android devices.
First download and install ES file explorer on your android mobile phone:
  • Open ES File explorer
  • Click on the menu button of your android phone.
  • Select 'Manager' from the menu.
  • Select 'App manager' from the list. When you click 'App manager', you will be taken to a page which has a list of all apps installed on your phone.
  • Long press on the app to be backed up. A menu will appear. From the menu, select "Backup" option.
  • The .apk installation file of the selected android app will be copied to the path 'sdcard\backups\apps\'.
  • You can use this apk file to reinstall the app any time you want. This makes the process of reinstalling the apps after a formatting session very easy since we do not have to download and install the program every time.
  • You can even send these apk files to your friends via bluetooth and they can install the apps on their devices as well.

Taking Back Up of an android App using Astro file Manager

How to take backup of android apps using Astro file managerAstro file manager is an android file manager software developed by the Metago company. At present, it is the is the most downloaded and fastest growing file management application among android lovers.
In order to create a backup of an android app on your phone, first download Astro file manager software and install it on your android device:
  • Open Astro file manager.
  • Select the menu button of your android device.
  • Select 'tools' from the menu.'
  • After selecting 'tools', select 'Application Manager/Backup' from the options.
  • Choose the apps to back up.
  • Click on back up option.
  • The .apk installation file will be extracted and the file will be saved in the 'backups' folder on your memory card.