How to download apk file from Android Market (Google Play) to PC, Mac, Linux .. the easy way

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I was interested in implementing a specific functionality in one of the Android projects we are working on. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a easy way to implement the same. Luckily the same functionality is available in an existing Android application so I thought of reverse engineering that application to figure out how they made it work.

Now the problem was how to get the apk file of the application since you can only install it via Google Play as it doesn’t allow downloading the apk file directly. I googled for “how to download apk from android market” and found a popular way of doing it (link). Unfortunately this violates Google Play’s terms of use and may result in suspension of your account so I decided not to go ahead with it.

A couple of days later, I was browsing contents of my Android phone using file explorer and found apk files of all almost all extensions I had installed on my phone. The next moment I knew how I could get my hands on apk file of any android market application. I had rooted my phone few days back and ¬†took backup of all installed applications before that. Some of you may have guessed by now but surprisingly I didn’t find this solution online or may be I didn’t look hard enough.

Here are the steps for downloading apk for any android application from Google play.

  1. Install the application for which you need apk file on your Android phone. For example, if you need apk file for ‘Angry Birds’ then install it.
  2. Next, install this application – App Backup & Restore
  3. Open the application installed in step 2, select the app from step 1 and take a backup for the same.
  4. The backup will create a apk file of the application and store it in your SD card under App_Backup_Restore folder.

That was easy, wasn’t it? Enjoy!