Google Ditching APKs Doesn’t Mean The End Of Sideloading Apps On Android: How To Install App Bundles?

You can still download and install (sideload) APKs from third-party websites.


Google recently announced that developers who submit their apps to the Google Play Store in “.apk” format would have to switch to publishing them as app bundles. The reason for this is, there are several things that app bundles improve, such as smaller app download sizes for users, etc.

Many users think that moving to app bundles will restrict users from sideloading apps on their Android devices. If you don’t know what the term “sideloading” actually means, Android allows you to “sideload” (Install) apps by transferring the APK files from your computer using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB). The “sideloading” that people refer to here is the ability to download APKs from third-party websites and install them. Will Google’s decision affect users who regularly sideload apps? Let me explain. In the end, we’ll also look at how to install App bundles.

No! Google Isn’t Taking Away The Ability to Sideload APKs

Yes. You read it right. Sideloading isn’t going anywhere neither are APKs. You will still download APK and install app bundles by yourself using tools from the Google Play Store. You will still have the option to download either APKs or install app bundles.

One of the most popular third-party APK download sites, APKMirror, allows you to either download the APK or app bundle. If your next question is, “But how do I install app bundles?” Here’s how you can.

How To Install App Bundle On Android?

All you need to do is download this tool called the APKMirror Installer from the Google Play Store. Here are the steps to install the downloaded app bundle using the Installer.

1. Head over to, search for the app you want to download.

2. Clicking on the “See available APKs” will take you to a bunch of options. There, you can either download an APK and install it as you’d normally. We’ll be downloading the App bundle.

3. After it’s downloaded, open the APKMirror installer app.

APKMirror installer

4. Tap on the “browse files” option and select the app bundle you just downloaded.

select app bundle

5. Tap on the “Install package” option, and finally, tap on the “Install app” option.

Install package

6. Toggle on the “Allow installing from this source” option and click on “Install app.”

allow from this source

7. Tap on the “Install” option that usually pops up when installing the Android app bundle.

Install app

8. Voila! That’s how you can download and install app bundles. Wasn’t that too easy?

Of course, there are various other websites where you can download app bundles. Here are some of them.

Google says that the top hundred apps on the Play Store have already shifted app bundles. Th giant introduced app bundles in the 2018 Google I/O, and while they do make the download size smaller, I don’t think people who don’t know about installing APKs care about how an app is installed on their device. As long as it works, it’s great.

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar is a Linux and Tech Writer. Hailing from a Computer Science background, the start of his love for Tech dates back to 2011, when he was gifted a Dell Inspiron 5100. When he's not covering Tech, you'll find him binge-watching anime and Tech content on YouTube or hunting heads in competitive FPS games. You can also find his work on Android Police and How-To Geek.
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