The Roles of APK Files in Mobile App Development

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The Roles of APK Files in Mobile App Development

While self-driving cars are still in their infancy and may still take some time before they go mainstream, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas unveiled a self-driving suitcase on the 8thof January 2018.The “robot suitcase” is the brainchild of the California-based startup Travel mate and can be controlled simply with a smartphone app. It touts a whopping speed of 11 kilometers/hour and can easily navigate around obstacles. Priced at approximately $ 1,100, it will be available in the USA the next month and a little while later in Europe and Japan as well.

The above example shows the power of mobile apps that run on handheld devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Smartphones are not a niche device now as they were a decade ago and not a luxury or a status symbol anymore. Just like PCs and Macs, they also require an operating system to run them and Android is the most famous and widely used OS on smartphones with an estimated 85% market share as of the start of the Second Quarter of 2017.

The stat mentioned above is a nod to mobile app developers, as a sizeable chunk of them prefer the Android operating system for app development. In the GCC region and UAE, it is a profitable business as companies look for the best app developers in Dubai and other cities to get a quality app for their ventures. There are many aspects that are critical for the eventual success of a mobile app. designing an app for any business needs to be taken care of, as much groundwork and research is required in this regard.

APK is a critical part of distributing and installation of android files and that I will try to briefly discuss now in this post.

Android Package Kit (APK)

Simply put, APK is the archive file of all the different files and folders created by developers as, detailing its functionalities and resources. APK is a full package containing all the data and files that are required to run any app on a smartphone. It constitutes the source code used to define an app’s functionalities (Referred to as Classes.dex)

Manifest File

It is an important file that specifies 7 of the most vital aspects of APK, namely:
1. Permission needed by the application
2. Flow
3. Package
4. Version Codes
5. Signatures
6. Certificates
7. SHA-1 Digest

Libs, Assets, and Resources

Libs is simply a directory containing the compiled code or jar files, acting as a library for applications. Assets, on the other hand, is also a directory but deals in arbitrary files, such as fonts, audio, texts, etc. Resources define the layout of different pages of the application.

Why is APK Important?

Whenever an app is developed, an export APK is generated, where the developer signs the app with a secret key to have his authority stamped on it. This signed APK is then uploaded to the Play Store for its availability for users.

Suppose that you are about to download a game which you absolutely loved playing on a friend’s smartphone. In actuality, you download and install the APK of that app on your smartphone. There are many websites where you can get apps apart from the Google Play Store. Websites like these offer you Android applications for absolutely free of cost.

Marketing your Newly Developed App

If you are planning to market your newly developed app and want your target market to download your app either from the Play Store or through websites offering APK files, you need to devise strategies that can make it work. History is replete with precedents when companies applied creative strategies and marketing ploys to catch the attention of their target market. One of the best examples is of KFC Australia’s app marketing campaign to boost its sales.

KFC Australia has been proudly sponsoring Australia’s premier T20 cricket tournament, Big Bash, for 7 years now, but in 2013 it devised a clever strategy that helped the company boost its off-peak sales. They turned their full attention to the 15-24 year old demographic. In the game app, players need to navigate through levels as a popcorn chicken character dodges obstacles to reach Colonel’s mouth, and win coupons that can be redeemed at KFC outlets.

The app was a huge success, as it was instrumental in a 20% increase in sales and saw 385,000 downloads in eight weeks according to Ogilvy Australia. The app was downloaded not only from the Google Store but also from websites offering free downloads that partnered with KFC using APK files.

Final Words: 

APK Files are the key to making sure that an app can be downloaded not only from the Google Play Store but also from various other websites. This makes an app not only easy to download but increases its chances of getting the attention of its potential customers while maintaining the authority and rights of the developer intact. Please offer your valuable feedback on this post in the comments section below.

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