Wednesday , November 21 2018 Ausdroid » Howto Guides » Need to download a free APK from Google Play? Here’s how.

google-play-logo
We all like to grab an APK occasionally, whether it be for a new version of an app, or if you’re wanting to try out an app on a device that the developer hasn’t deemed compatible. How do you get an APK? Well, you can troll through a thousand different dodgy sites and risk malware or worse, or you can go straight to the source – Google Play.

If you’re looking to download an app – this only works with free apps, we don’t advocate piracy at all – then head over to Evozi’s APK Downloader is ready and raring to go and grab you an APK. There’s two ways to get an APK, an online tool, or a Chrome Extension.

Website

To download an app, you’ll need the package name. To find a package name, look at the URL of the app you want to download in Google Play – we’ll use a commonly searched for app, which is not commonly available to Australians due to Geo-Restrictions: Netflix. The full URL for Netflix in Google Play, is :

Netflix
Netflix
Developer: Netflix, Inc.
Price: Free+

The Package name, is the last part after the “id=”:

The app was not found in the store. 🙁

Copy this and go to the APK Downloader website and enter the text into the search box at the top and click ‘Generate Download Link’:
APK Downloader
Then, you’ll be offered a link to click and an option to save your APK.
APK Downloader Generated Link
You should now see your APK downloading.

Chrome Extension

The tool is reliant on their seemingly US based agent to download the APKs, which sometimes runs out of quota – but you can actually get around this. There is a Chrome Extension which you can install and setup which will let you download APKs when you go to Google Play.

The extension is available in the Chrome Webstore and once added you simply need a couple of pieces of information to get going.
Google Play email address, password and your GSF (Google Services Framework) ID Key. There’s two ways to get your GSF key, the manual way :

  1. Open dial pad, call “*#*#8255#*#*” (without the quotation marks) This should open ‘GTalk Service Monitor’.
  2. Look for a line which has JID and Device ID (your email is your JID and your device ID is a string of characters with “android-” prefixed (eg: android-1234567890abcdef) your Device ID is the string minus the “android-”

Automatic way:
Install the Device ID App from Google Play :

Device ID
Device ID
Developer: Evozi
Price: Free

Enter this data into the page asking for the data :
APK Downloader Chrome Extension

Next time you visit Google Play and an App is available to download, you’ll see an Android icon in the Omnibox:
APK Downloader Omni Box

The you should be right to go, using your own credentials.

Now you have your APK, it’s simply a matter of getting your APK to your Android device of choice. Once you have it there, make sure you’re able to Sideload apps – Go to Settings > Security and make sure that ‘Unknown Sources – Allow installation of apps from unknown sources’ is checked.

Apart from a few limitations on the tool it’s pretty good. But remember, it’s a free tool, so use it as much as you can, and drop a few dollars their way on PayPal, BitCoin or DogeCoin if you find it valuable.

Daniel Tyson   Ausdroid's Editor in Chief

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.

12 comments

  1. Thanks for this little guide but just a quick question. The guide says that “to find a package name, look at the URL of the app you want to download in Google Play.”

    However, for an app like Netflix, if you try searching for it on Google Play it won’t show up (obviously because I’m in Australia). Therefore I can’t see how I can obtain the URL for an app that is geo-blocked. I know you’ve provided the Netflx package details for this example, but for other geo-blocked apps what would be the best approach?

    • What I’ve been doing is find the app in the store on a desktop computer, grab the details for the URL then download it on my phone.

      • But the same issue applies in my experience. I tried looking up Netflix on Google Play on my desktop and it doesn’t appear.

        • instead of searching the play store, go to google and search the name of the app you are after and google play. so “netflix google play” then click on the first link that shows up taking you to the play store. if you try to click install it will say not compatible, but the address bar will still reveal the package name.

  2. Too bad the evozi website is so spammy and malware ridden… ah well, at least I know what’s safe to click on and what’s not.

  3. Awesome info, thanks this will help next time i want to try a geo-blocked app.

  4. I cringe everytime I use that site. So worried about the APKs getting hijacked or something

  5. Awesome! I run into geo-locked apps all the times!!

  6. Haha, I had to do this exact thing this morning for exactly the same app. Ended up just using the website since it’s a one off download. Very handy to know about though.

  7. It’s very very handy for region blocked apks. Although. Have issues with UK apps often.

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