The Google Play Store has millions of apps. But even with its large stock of Android apps, not every app you want may be available on Google Play Store. For example, Fortnite is no longer available on the Google Play Store. The only option is to sideload the app – installing from unknown sources.
But thanks to Google for keeping Android open, you can sideload apps from the internet and install them on your device. You can also install apps outside of Apple Store for iPhone users, but it’s not easy relative to Android.
How to Sideload Apps on Android
Go to APKMirror.com – among the safest place to sideload your Android apps
Search for the app you wish to download using the search bar
Once you find an app you wish to download, you can select the exact version of the app as well if there’s multiple
Tap the download button next to the version of the app
Click the “Download APK” button on the next page. Your download will start shortly.
Since you’re installing an app outside the Play Store, you’ll be warned about the implications. But don’t worry, tap the Ok button to confirm the download.
Wait for the download to complete. When finished, you can now install the app.
Tap on Open or the notification to start the installation process
You’ll be required to allow app installation from unknown sources. Tap Settings and toggle on “Allow from this source” on the next page.
Go back, and you’ll now see an “Install” option. Tap Install to start the process.
Once the installation process is finished, you can open the app.
For those willing to venture into the wild to find their favorite app, you should be aware of some things.
Before you download apps from the wild, it’s essential to keep the security implications. Most notably, downloading apps from the internet bypasses Google’s and Apple’s security protocols that scan apps for potential threats to your device – and your data.
On Android, Google’s Play Protect will not scan the sideloaded app for potential malware, stalkaware, adware, or other malicious code.
In saying so, it’s also vital that you should thoroughly check the apps you want to download. While Google Play Store has its fair share of laxities when it comes to keeping bad apps at bay, the risk is multiplied when downloading apps from the internet.
Is it safe to install apps from unknown sources?
No. Google and Apple both recommend users to download apps from respective official application stores. The main reason behind this is the security implications because apps sideloaded from the internet cannot be scanned by Apple’s and Google’s built-in security filters to check for malicious code.