Phone apps are funny things. You install ‘a few clicks from the Play Store’ with clicks, but you never really see the associated files or have direct access to what is downloaded. In the name of simplicity, our sophisticated mobile operating systems have covered the poor internal performance of application installation and handled file handling.
To a large extent, it is positive. Most phone owners generally do not need to view the application files or know where such assets are. But from now on, one of the exceptions is when you switch to a new phone and suddenly realize a favorite app from your old device is not available on the Play Store.
Well, be aware: Android phones make it easy to find and save app files and then transfer them to another device for manual installation. All you need to do is touch the power-user knowledge.
You don’t know what an Apk is?
First things first: A file containing an application on Android is called an APK or Android application package. You download an app when you install it from the Play Store, and you need to find, save, and share it to transfer the app from one phone to another.
Before we dive in, a quick warning to all the android users. If an app is no longer present in the play store, and it is no longer updated then there is always risk of not being adequately protected or secure with Android standards.
Using an application that is not actively updated is not a pleasant task. And installing the apps yourself should not be disrupted, leaving little room for improvement. So proceed with caution and only if you are comfortable with the risks involved.
On your old device
- From Playstore download Apk Extractor. It’s free for ads or 99 cents (through an in-app upgrade) for an ad-free experience.
- Open the app, accept its terms, and allow access to files on your device.
- Find the app you want to save and tap the three-dot menu icon next to it.
- Select “Share,” then choose a target that you can access on your other phone – such as Google Drive or email to yourself.
For New Device
- Find the file you shared by opening Drive, your email, or where you saved it. It may have a long name starting with the title of the application and ending with “apk.”
- Tap the file to open it. At this time, your phone will probably warn you that it is not allowed to install applications installed today.
- It is where it can be a little tricky. If you have Android 8 (Oreo) or later, you can tap “Settings,” and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can identify that specific app (Drive, Gmail, or an app you’ve shared with). Can authorize applications to be installed.
- On older versions of Android, you will be taken to a screen when you tap “Settings” where you will allow the installation of unknown applications at the wide system level. (You can always go back to settings and revoke that permission later.)
- Now hit the back button, and follow steps to install a new app.
- When the application is installed, it will appear in your app drawer, and your phone will show you a prompt that allows you to open the app immediately.