Of course, Google Play Store is the safest and simplest way if you want to install apps on your device. However, there are some reasons for which people prefer to install apps from other sources. Another possibility is that you may want to install apps that aren’t the type you usually find on Google Play, or you can’t find them in your local version. Luckily, there is a thing called sideloading.
What Is Sideloading?
Sideloading is the name given to the process through which you install apps from a different source. To be able to do that, first you need to find the setting that lets you do that. Follow these steps:
- Go to Settings.
- Choose Security and lock screen (or just Security, depending on your phone).
- Choose Allow installation from unknown sources.
Then, you can install APK files you download from somewhere else. When you try to install them, you will see a pop up that asks you to confirm it.
Are There Any Risks?
Well, considering you are straying away from the safe path that is Google Play Store, there are some risks. If you leave the installation of any unknown apps by default, you can wake up to some malicious or malware-infected apps installed on your phone. That’s why it’s better to disallow it by default and only allow an individual app to get installed.
Where to Download Them?
You can just go to the official page of the app, such is the case with WhatsApp, for instance. You may have problems with loading the app directly on your phone, but you can also save the APK file to your desktop. There are many apps which you can’t directly download from the company that produces them though. In this case, an alternative is to use an app repository, such as APKMirror. It lets you download manually various apps that have digital signatures similar to those on Google Play.