What is an APK file and how do you install one?

If you own an Android device you will likely have heard of an APK file at some point, and possibly wondered what an APK is. Understanding this is essential if you want to start downloading leaked apps or customizing your Android experience further than would be possible using the Play Store alone. In our guide you’ll learn what APK files are, how to download them, and finally, how to install them.

Jump to:

What is an APK File?

An Android Package Kit (APK for short) is the package file format used by the Android operating system for distribution and installation of mobile apps. Just like Windows (PC) systems use an .exe file for installing software, Android does the same. 

Why would I want to install an APK File?

APK files of new Android builds are often leaked ahead of time, giving you early access to all the exciting new features that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. Also, some apps are restricted to regions outside of yours.

App updates can take a a frustrating amount of time to arrive automatically over the air. Getting the latest APK for your favorite apps will let you jump the queue. Or you might even not like a particular app after an update, and want to install an older version instead.

And if your Android device lacks access to the Google Play Store, APK files may be your only option for installing apps on your device. 

Be careful though, you don’t want to download stolen apps. Some APK services let you download pirated apps. This is illegal and should be avoided. Do some research before you download so you don’t do anything against the law.

How to install APK Files from your computer

There are many sources of APK files across the web, but be sure to choose a site you trust. Some APK files may contain malicious software (malware) which could compromise your phone’s security. It is best to be cautious before downloading or installing any app from outside of the Play Store.

Generally speaking, APK files found on APK Mirror should be safer to download than from elsewhere, but read some reviews and user comments before downloading or installing an APK. 

Firstly, you must find an APK file you want. Search online for an APK file and download it to an easy-to-find location on your computer (like your desktop). 

apk Installing APK files gives you access to apps that aren’t available on the Google Play Store. / © AndroidPIT

Before you can install it on your phone you will need to make sure that third-party apps are allowed on your device. Go to Menu > Settings > Security > and check Unknown Sources to allow your phone to install apps from sources other than the Google Play Store. Android 8.0 Oreo does things a little differently. Rather than check a global setting to allow installation from unknown sources, you’ll be you’ll be prompted to allow your browser or file manager to install APKs the first time you attempt to do so.

If you like, you can also download a file manager app so you can easily find files on your Android device. Use the link for Solid Explorer below or explore our favorite alternatives in our list of the best file explorers for Android.

Solid Explorer File Manager Install on Google Play

Once you’ve downloaded the APK file on your computer, connect your device to it.

At this point, you may be asked if you want to charge your phone or connect it as a ‘media device.’ Choose Media device. Then, find your phone’s folder on your computer. It will be in ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ on Windows (PC). Then, copy the APK file into a folder of your choice in your Android smartphone. 

You will now be able to search for the file location in the My files folder of your device. Find the APK file, tap it, then hit Install. And now you’re done, congratulations, you have your app. Just open it up from your smartphone and make sure it works properly. If it doesn’t, repeat the process with a different APK file. You may have to try a different APK site.

How to install an APK from your Android device

You can also install APK files from the browser on your Android smartphone or tablet. Just open your browser, find the APK file you want to download, and tap it – you should then be able to see it downloading on the top bar of your device. Once it’s downloaded, open Downloads, tap on the APK file, and tap Yes when prompted. The app will begin installing on your device. Simple.

Do you download APK files? Which do you recommend? Let us know in the comments!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to download and install the Google Play Store

The Google Play Store is a treasure trove of apps and content. It’s sometimes necessary to install the Play Store manually if you unintentionally uninstalled it or want to roll back to a previous version to avoid bugs. Here’s how to download and how to install the Play Store, so you can try the new features before the rest of the crowd.

Jump to:

A note on Google Play Store version numbers

The numbering system for Google Play Store versions may seem a little confusing at first, but it’s easy to get your head around. If the jumps between numbers seem odd, that’s simply because Google didn’t publicly release the versions in between. 

Download Google Play Store APK

Please note that the following guide is for owners of an Android device with a licensed version of the Play Store installed. We recognize that is sometimes necessary to re-install or roll back the Play Store. 

The latest version of Google Play is 8.6.22 and as usual, most of the changes are under the hood, aimed at making everything run more smoothly so we haven’t been able to find significant changes to user interface or new features. If you download the update and notice any apparent errors, check out our guide to troubleshooting Google Play.

AndroidPIT OnePlus 2 app drawer Of all the apps on your phone, the Play Store is the one you really want to keep updated. / © AndroidPIT

How to install Google Play Store

The simplest method for how to install the Play Store will already be quite familiar to you if you’re an avid follower of AndroidPIT: just install the Play Store APK manually. An APK is the Android equivalent to an .exe program on your computer.

Instead of downloading an app from the Play Store, you simply install it yourself without the Play Store’s help. We’ve even got a handy guide to help you:

This is of course extra useful to know when the app you want to install is the Play Store itself.

There are two ways to get the Google Play APK installed on your device: directly on your phone or with your computer. We’ll do the easy option first.

Install Google Play (phone method)

  • Enable Unknown Sources by going to Settings > Security, then select Unknown sources and enable it. Don’t be alarmed, unknown sources are simply locations outside of the Play Store, which is critical if it’s the Play Store itself that you want. (Don’t forget to disable this option by tapping it again once you’re done)
  • Using the browser on your device, go to XDA Developers forum or APK Mirror to download the APK for the latest version of the Play Store.
  • You may get a message warning that “this type of file can harm your device.” Ignore it (trust us) and tap OK.
  • Open the APK (you can tap the completed download in your notifications menu), read the new permissions (if any) that the new Play Store version requests, then tap Install.

AndroidPIT google play not working 5 Before you can install APKs, you need to enable Unknown Sources in your security settings. / © AndroidPIT

Install Google Play (computer method)

If you don’t have a data or Wi-Fi connection on your device, you can download the APK to your computer instead. The same process applies:

  • Enable Unknown sources on your device.
  • Using the browser on your computer, go to XDA Developers forum or APK Mirror to download the APK for the latest version of the Play Store.
  • Connect your device to your computer with a USB cable and copy the APK over to your Android device. 
  • Launch the APK, accept the permissions and tap Install.

androidpit USB 1 Sideloading from your PC with a USB cable can sometimes avoid installation problems with APKs. / © AndroidPIT

Google Play Store troubleshooting

Google Services Framework is a crucial service that lets the Play Store communicate with apps on your device, allowing for automatic updates and so on. If these functions stop working, or you experience other problems, then there may be a problem with the service, and you should clear the cache on Google Play Store and Google Play Services. To do this:

  • Go to Settings > Apps
  • Scroll down to Google Play Store, tap it, then tap Clear cache.
  • Do the same for Google Play services
  • That should fix most problems you’ll experience with the Play Store

Note: depending on what type of device you have, it may need to be rooted in order to manually install the Play Store, but that’s a tutorial for another day.

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 edge 10 review Each version of the Play Store can add or subtract features. / © AndroidPIT

What is the one must-have feature you want in the Google Play Store? Do you like the latest updates? Let us know in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Why you should install a parental control app on your kid's new device

There are many reasons for a child to use a smartphone or tablet, like learning math, searching the web for information or just for amusement. The popularity of these devices with adults and children alike is rising, but parents should remain vigilant.

The dangers of Internet for young people

The law is strict: people under 18 are considered minors. What is true in real life is also true on the Internet: Minors must be protected, and there are several things in place which work together to protect them:

  • Parents (of course)
  • Filtering techniques (parental control) at home or elsewhere
  • The law (legal impossibility of doing certain things online)
  • Sites / apps that restrict access to content

We sometimes mistakenly think that there are few minors on the Internet, and very few which use a mobile device. A study released earlier this year has shown the opposite to be true. According to the study, 81% of 13-19 year olds have a smartphone, a really considerable figure that demolishes the prevalent idea that young people do not have access to technology. The balance is different for tablets: “only” 36% of 7-12 year olds and 34% of 13-19 year olds have their own tablet.

AndroidPIT tablets for kids 1 Not all content is optimized for kids. / © AndroidPIT

Still not convinced? After all, even if they have a tablet, they aren’t necessarily going to dangerous sites, talking to strangers or engaging in other blatantly risky behavior. But, 77% of them go on Facebook and 80% have a YouTube account. It is common knowledge that anything and everything can be found on social networks, including malicious individuals and images/videos that should not be seen.

Parental control as the ultimate solution?

In short, many minors are likely to be bothered online. As explained above, the first thing you need to do as a parent is to keep an eye on your home, but it’s not easy, especially with teenagers looking to get away from the sometimes prying eyes of their parents. Is parental control the most appropriate and practical solution?

This is not a quick fix that can protect your child in every case. In addition, a crafty teenager will find a way to escape this situation. But while some parents can make their children understand, most prefer not to take risks and use parental controls. There are several kinds of them, you will find our top picks in this article.

Do you use a parental control app on your kids’ devices? If so, why?

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to download and install YouTube Go – Free Android APK

After a long period in beta, the light version of YouTube, which is aimed at developing countries, is at last available in its final version. With YouTube Go (the name of the app), you can download videos of various qualitiy and send local copies to nearby friends via Bluetooth. It even works in areas with weaker connections. You can download the application directly from the Play Store or if you prefer, you can also download the APK.

What is YouTube Go?

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a fast internet connection or an unlimited data plan. That’s why YouTube has launched a light version of its YouTube app. It’s a free application that allows you to download YouTube videos to watch later. Therefore, before leaving the house, you can download a video that you want to watch later without having to use up all your data.

androidpit youtube go What YouTube Go looks like. / © AndroidPIT

Where can I download YouTube Go for Android?

Here’s the official link through which you can download YouTube Go for Android.

Where can I download the YouTube Go APK for Android?

This version of the app is compatible with versions from Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. 

Download the latest version of YouTube Go:

How to install the YouTube Go APK for Android

Follow these steps to install an external app:

  • Activate install applications from unknown sources (You can find this in Settings>Security>Unknown Sources)
  • Search for the APK in Play Store files in the Downloads app
  • Open the file and install the new version of YouTube Go!

galaxy s7 install unknown sources Before downloading the YouTube Go APK, you have to activate “unknown sources” in Settings. / © ANDROIDPIT

Have you already tried the app? Tell us what you thought!

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to download and install the Android O launcher

The second Android O Developer Preview can already be installed on the Google Pixel and 2015 Nexus devices. In particular, the design of the Pixel Launcher has impressed some fans. This is now available as an APK file, so those with older phones can try it out. 

Choose Driving or Action-adventure.

  • 5530

    Votes

    Oops! Seems like something went wrong. Reloading might help.

    Driving

  • 16562

    Votes

    Oops! Seems like something went wrong. Reloading might help.

    Action-adventure

Android O Pixel Launcher: download and install

If you’re stuck with a phone running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but you’re dying for the Android O experience, you can get the version of the Pixel Launcher that came with the Android O Developer Preview.

The XDA Developers community is one of the most effective when it comes to providing Android smartphones with new features. Occasionally, certain software elements are made available which are intended exclusively for a particular smartphone or a software version. This is exactly what happened with the Pixel Launcher for Android O.

Opinion by Brittany McGhee

I wish I had a Google Pixel

What do you think?

1705 participants

You can use a so-called “backport” to install the aforementioned launcher, as it is now available in the XDA Developers forum. The only requirement is that your phone has Android 6.0.1 or later and you’ve enabled the option to install apps from unknown sources. The APK file can be downloaded from the main post in this thread. Install the APK file with Android Installer and then press the home button.

Android O Pixel Launcher: this could be your home screen

The backport of the Android O version of the Pixel Launcher has been outstanding. We tested it with an Android 7.1.2 device. In the latest update of the launcher since the Android O public beta was released, new app shortcuts were added. By doing a long press on app icons on the home screen, we were able to get the context menus to pop up.

pixel launcher add app shortcut to home screen App shortcuts are becoming more and more practical. / © AndroidPIT

From there you can grab these app shortcuts from the menu and drag them to your start screen or to a folder, so you can access a particular function in an app or quickly start a chat with a favorite contact from the new shortcut.

pixel launcher cute drawer arrow animation The arrow over the app drawer is animated to swing up and down as you move it. / © AndroidPIT

The app drawer has a physically animated arrow. If you drag the list up, the arrow will show a straight arrow pointing upwards and vice versa. The wings of the arrow appear to move somewhat sluggishly, which is a beautiful detail.

pixel launcher widgets options The widgets can now be reached via app shortcut. Options allow for adaptive app icon shapes too – theoretically. / © AndroidPIT

Another new app shortcut is for quick access to the list of widgets for an app. If you think about it, the launcher developers could have come up with this idea earlier. Searching for widgets was sometimes so complicated that only you could only find out what widgets an app offers by stumbling upon it when scrolling through the long list. Now, widgets are more actively pointed out.

Opinion by Eric Herrmann

Searching for widgets has been too complicated in the past

What do you think?

9 participants

In the options, you can activate the Google button if the Google app is installed. Notification dots still don’t work unless you have a true Android O smartphone, as older Android versions still lack the necessary programming interface.

To change the background wallpaper in the launcher menu, you need Google’s app, but that’s no problem, as it’s available in the Play Store. Just install the Google Wallpapers app to get nifty wallpapers from the online catalog that change automatically.

Wallpapers Install on Google Play

Do you like the new look of the home screen, app drawer and navigation bar? Let us know in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to download and install Android Oreo

The final version of Android 8.0 Oreo coincides with the total solar eclipse over New York on August 21, 2017. With such a dramatic entrance, we’re sure you’re excited to get your hands on the latest version of Android. Here’s how to download and install Android Oreo.

I would love to be part of the AndroidPIT team.

What do you think?

8834 participants

Android Oreo final release

The presentation of the final release of Android O happens during the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 at 2:40 PM local time, and the live stream video of the event (and the eclipse) is on Google’s website. Sometime after the presentation, Android Oreo will be available OTA (over the air) or to download and install on certain devices.

The Android O Developer Preview images were made available for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, Pixel C, Pixel and Pixel XL, and these devices will be the first devices to get the final version of Android 8.0 Oreo. You can read about all the new features in the update here.

How to install Android Oreo

You can download the newest available system images here, and then flash (install) them to your device. The following section contains the instructions from Google on how to flash a system image. For information on specific devices, see here if you need more help.

To flash a system image:

1. Download the appropriate system image for your device below, then unzip it to a safe directory.

2. Connect your device to your computer over USB.

3. Start the device in fastboot mode with one of the following methods:

• Using the adb tool: With the device powered on, execute:

adb reboot bootloader

• Using a key combo: Turn the device off, then turn it on and immediately hold down the relevant key combination for your device.

4. If necessary, unlock the device’s bootloader using one of the following methods:

• If you are updating a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P device using the hammerhead or angler builds, update your fastboot tool to the latest available version (>=23.0.1), and then run this command:

fastboot flashing unlock

• If you are updating an older device, run this command:

fastboot oem unlock

The target device will show you a confirmation screen. (This erases all data on the target device.)

See Unlocking the bootloader for more detailed instructions.

5. Open a terminal and navigate to the unzipped system image directory.

6. Execute the flash-all script. This script installs the necessary bootloader, baseband firmware(s), and operating system.

Once the script finishes, your device reboots. You should now lock the bootloader for security:

1. Start the device in fastboot mode again, as described above.

2. Execute:

fastboot flashing lock

or, for older devices, run:

fastboot oem lock

Locking bootloader will wipe the data on some devices. After locking the bootloader, if you want to flash the device again, you must run fastboot oem unlock again, which will wipe the data.

Let us know what you think of Android O in the comments.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

Download and install the latest Google Play Services APK 11.0.X for free

I have some great ideas for topics that AndroidPIT could write about.

What do you think?

4348 participants

Jump to section:

Google Play Services 11.0.X: what’s new?

The latest version of Google Play Services is 11.0.X, and it was introduced in June of 2017. Versions 11.0.4 and 11.0.2 bring fixes for minor issues in Firebase Cloud Messaging and Performance Monitoring, which is relevant information only for developers. In addition, 11.0.1 fixes an issue with apps that use rxjava.

Prior to the newest versions of Google Play Services, versions 10.0.X (the last one to support Gingerbread) to 10.2.X (the last to support Honeycomb) reigned from November 2016 until May 2017. Before that, versions 9.0.X up to 9.8.X were current from May 2016 to October 2016.

AndroidPIT Google apps 2 Google Play Services is the general overlord of apps, and you’re best off when it’s up-to-date. / © ANDROIDPIT

Install Google Play Services: the easy way

The simplest way to always have the latest version of Google Play Services installed is to keep an eye on this page, where we’ll provide you with a download link to the very latest versions available in the Play Store. Just tap the install button below to ensure you have the current version.

Google Play services Install on Google Play

However, as with most things Android, there are always newer and better versions available if you’re willing to put in a little more effort. For example, there are multiple versions of Google Play Services for the different versions of Android you might have. So, if you want the very latest version, just follow the steps below.

AndroidPIT Lollipop Settings About Phone Android Version First you need to know which version of Android you have. / © ANDROIDPIT

Install Google Play Services: the technical way

First, you’ll need to know which version of Android you have. Go to Settings > About Phone and look for Android Version. Then, you’ll need unknown sources enabled on your phone. This just allows you to install apps from outside Google Play. Go to Settings > Security > Unknown Sources and check the box. 

AndroidPIT Lollipop Settings Security Unknown Sources Then we need to enable Unknown Sources in your security settings. / © ANDROIDPIT

Next, you need to know which version of Play Services is right for you. This is where your Android version number comes in. Each Google Play Services version has a three number suffix at the end, following the hyphen.

These three numbers are broken down as follows: Android version, CPU architecture and dots per inch (DPI). You can check the current version of Google Play Services by going to Settings > Apps > All tab > Google Play Services.

AndroidPIT Google Play Services You can see the -446 suffix at the end of the Google Play Services version number (right). / © ANDROIDPIT

The first number is your Android version:

0 = Android 4.4.4 and older

2 = Android 5.0 and 5.1 (starting with Google Play Services v8)

4 = Android 6.0 and above (Note: 4 = Android 5.0 and 5.1 for versions of Google Play Services prior to v8)

7 = Android 5.0

8 = Android TV

The second number is your CPU architecture:

1 = armeabi

3 = armeabi-v7a

4 = arm64-v8a

7 = x86

The third number is your device screen’s DPI (dots per inch):

0 = universal

2 = 160 dpi

4 = 240 dpi

6 = 320 dpi

8 = 480 dpi

So in the screenshot above you can tell I have a Lollipop device running an ARMv8 chip with 320 DPI. If you want to do things the other way around and figure out which number you should be looking for, just grab CPU-Z, which will tell you your CPU architecture and DPI. The good news is that once you know this information it won’t change until you get a new phone.

AndroidPIT CPU Z SoC System On the left, we can see this device has x86 architecture, and on the right, 160 DPI. / © ANDROIDPIT CPU-Z Install on Google Play

Download Google Play Services APK

Now you simply have to choose the right Google Play Services version based on the three pieces of information you just collected. You can find the latest versions of Google Play Services hosted on APK Mirror and select the right one with the right suffix for your device. Then, just download and install Google Play Services onto your phone.

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT

How to install ADB and Fastboot

Jump to a section

What you should know before you start

What is ADB?

ADB (Android Debug Bridge) consists of a client and server part each communicating with the other. In laymen’s terms, it’s a communication tool between your smartphone and PC. It is accessed via the command prompt on Windows and is used to send commands to  Android from a PC. In other words, ADB is very helpful to the Android community for rooting, flashing new ROMs or simply troubleshooting smartphones.

What is fastboot?

Fastboot is basically a diagnostic tool used to modify the Android file system from a computer when the smartphone is in bootloader mode. The commands are basic, and include, for example, to ‘flash’ (install) a boot image or a bootloader.

nexus 5 fastboot locked You can start in recovery mode from the ADB commands. / © ANDROIDPIT

What are drivers?

A driver is a small program that allows an operating system – Windows in this case – to recognize a device and interact with or use it. Each deveice has its own driver, hard drive, mouse, etc. For our smartphones, the system itself uses a driver, the ADB mode and fastboot mode also because the interface is not the same. To summarize, Windows needs a driver for the smartphone, for fastboot and ADB. They are common for all smartphones.

Install ADB drivers on Windows

In our test with a Windows 10 system, we didn’t have to install any additional drivers and could, with any Android smartphone, immediately access the ADB interface. On Windows 7 and earlier OS versions, connecting your smartphone and PC via ADB was somewhat more complex.

On Windows 7, the ADB interface will rarely be recognized. If the appropriate ADB driver is missing, your smartphone and PC will not be able to communicate. Thankfully, the ADB Driver Installer offers a universal solution to the problem. Make your way to this site and click on ADB Driver Installer (9:22 MB). Open the zip file and start the .EXE file contained therein. Confirm the warning regarding user access controls when it appears.

windows adb tools overview ADB on Windows 7 is not a lot of fun. / © ANDROIDPIT

Enable USB debugging

Make your way to Settings, then tap on About phone and press seven times in quick succession on Build number. Go back to the main Settings menu, and you will now see an option for Developer options above About phone. In here, activate USB debugging.

nexus 6 activate android debugging Tap on Build number seven times, enter Developer options, and enabled USB debugging. / © ANDROIDPIT

Now click again on Refresh in the ADB Driver Installer, and your device should appear. If it still doesn’t work, you need to change the USB connection mode. Many smartphones are set to use the USB cable only for charging by default. This is intentional, so your files are invisible to the user of the connected computer.

Pull down the notification from the top of the screen of the smartphone while it is connected to your computer. From here, press on the USB connection type. Then select either MTP or PTP. (We found success with both options).

lg g4 usb mode Tap on USB options and select one of the transfer protocols. / © ANDROIDPIT

Now, when you click on Refresh, you should see your device in the list of ADB Driver Installers. Click on the line displaying your device, and then click Install. This should install the appropriate ADB drivers for your smartphone.

If you have problems, you need to open the Device Manager, delete existing entries with your smartphone and repeat the installation.

Install ADB Tools on Windows

Now we want to make use of the ADB drivers. To ensure everything is as recent as possible, first, head to this website and download the android sdk_ [release number] -windows.zip file from down the page.

install sdk tools How to install and update ADB Tools correctly. / © ANDROIDPIT

Unpack the archive and open the SDK Manager.exe file. Wait ten seconds, until the right window (see above) opens. Since we’re not looking to program an app, we can remove a lot of the checkmarks. In fact, only Android SDK Platform Tools needs to be left checked. Note: repeat this procedure if ADB Tools begins to misbehave at any point.

Next, open up the new platform-tools folder in the previously extracted folder. Hold shift and right click anywhere in the white space of this folder and click Open a command window here. With your smartphone connected via USB to your computer, type in the command window adb devices. On your smartphone, you will see a warning message (bottom-right image).

usb debugging allow device You must authorize USB debugging every time you connect to a new computer. / © ANDROIDPIT

Once you have enabled USB debugging on your device and allowed it from the computer (pictured above), you device should appear in the device list within the command window.

Install ADB on Mac or Linux

The Unix-based systems of Mac OS and Linux make things much easier. Firstly, they eliminate the hassle of drivers. Secondly, the ADB tools keep themselves up to date thanks to simple package management systems. Mac users install the package manager Homebrew and then run brew install android platform-tools. Linux users need to look in the package system for android-platform-tools and install it. Subsequently, the ADB tools should be defined globally, so you are able to use the following ADB commands in the command line.

ADB commands

adb backup -f FullBackup.ab -apk -all: The idea here is that you make a full backup of your app data. In practice, the results are unreliable. Not all apps allow for an ADB backup, meaning you might need to find an alternative method.

adb devices: With this command you will receive an overview of all devices connected to the computer device with ADB support. Here you can see the device identifier and the status. If the word Unauthorized appears, it means you need to allow the computer permission to communicate with your smartphone.

adb reboot: reboots your smartphone

adb reboot recovery: reboots your device into recovery mode

adb reboot bootloader: reboots into the bootloader. Once it is in this mode, you can communicate with the device via the fastboot command.

adb push [directory on the computer / dateiname.endung] [Directory in the smartphone]: this command moves a file from the stated folder on your computer to the stated folder on your smartphone.

adb pull [Directory in the smartphone / dateiname.endung] [directory on the computer]: if you run this command, it will save a file from your smartphone or tablet to your PC. Without specifying the computer directory, the file will land in the path of the ADB executable or /home directory.

adb shell screencap -p /sdcard/screenshot.png
adb pull /sdcard/screenshot.png
adb shell rm /sdcard/screenshot.png:

To take a screenshot, saved to your computer.

adb help: overview of all ADB commands, syntax and help.

ADB to flash apps and updates

adb sideload update.zip: this command is used to install files, such as official device updates, on your smartphone. More complex installations, such as those of Custom ROMs, however, are done through the fastboot interface.

adb install [android app].apk: this can be used to install an Android app (APK) on your smartphone / tablet.

ADB errors: common error messages and solutions

Command Not Found: you have made a mistake, or the command is not yet available in your ADB version. Check the command via adb help or update to a newer version ADB.

No Device: Your USB cable is not connected properly, the ADB interface on your phone is not running or your computer does not recognize your smartphone. Try using a different USB port, another cable, enable USB debugging, check the drivers, the computer, and restart your device.

Server is out of date: The version of ADB Tools on your computer and the version of Android on your smartphone must be compatible. If they are not, this error occurs. Update your version of ADB Tools.

Waiting for device: This error is largely the same as the No Device error. Your computer does not recognize your smartphone. See above for the solutions.

What now?

Now you are aware of all the ways you can go about modifying your smartphone. Be it sideloading an update, rooting, or whether it is the installation of different firmware, you now have full control over your smartphone.

Need any further help? Put your questions in the comments section below. 

Android News + App Reviews + Hardware Reviews – AndroidPIT