Yes, definitely. The Play Store gets APKs it downloads from Google’s servers, and sideloading from a site like Softwsp.com goes through a very comparable process, except your the one making the downloading and starting the installation. As soon as the Play Store sees a version of the application newer than the one you’ve sideloaded, it will commence an upgrade.
– All Softwsp.com uploads are checked before publishing.
– We make certain that the cryptographic signatures for the latest versions of all before published apps match the original ones, which suggests we know if uploaded APKs were approved by the real devs or someone pretending to be them.
Note: Softwsp.com has been secured from the Janus vulnerability in Android from day one.
Softwsp.com is an extremely curated community, so there’s unquestionably no guarantee we will publish your app. The site’s principal purposes are, in the order of importance:
– Allow updates to traditional apps that are rolling out gradually and may not yet be free for you to be downloaded and installed sooner.
– Get around geo-restrictions and sideload favorite apps that may not be otherwise available in your country.
– Provide an archive of traditional apps along with changelogs and descriptions, so that you can roll back to a previous version if a new one begins crashing or delete features you’ve grown to like. Moreover, you can also use the archive for research purposes to examine changes from one version to another, for example.
– Support for alternate distribution of preferred apps, at the discretion of our administration and editorial teams.
As you can notice in the top list, #4 is in the last place. One of Softwsp’s signature features is accurate curation, so, statistically, most new apps that get uploaded will possibly get rejected, depending on circumstances.
If your application is new, doesn’t have a demonstrated track record, and not novel, it will probably not be approved. If the application is in beta, lacks a significant description, or any arguments for why it should be accepted (or we can’t confirm its legitimacy), it will likely not be approved.
If you don’t have plausibility as a developer (existing successful apps, name in the field, etc.), your opportunity of getting approved go down. We get hundreds of uploads every day, there are millions of apps out there, the preponderance of which (if we’re frank) are not very good, and we have no other choice but to be selective. We hope you understand why.
There could be different reasons for installation errors. Here are some of them. You’re trying to install an APK:
– with a cryptographic signature that doesn’t fit the previously installed one. All APKs hosted on Softwsp.com are signed with official release keys, so make sure the app you’re trying to update was not prior re-signed.
– with a version smaller than the one already installed. In other words, you’re trying to downgrade without uninstalling the active app first.
– with libraries dedicated to a device with various CPU architecture. For instance, if you’re using a 32-bit arm device, you’ll get an error trying to install an APK with arm64 libs inside. However, 64-bit OSes are backward-compatible with 32-bit ones, so you should have no difficulties installing APKs with arm libs on an arm64 device.
Disable any screen-dimming apps, like Lux or Twilight. For security reasons, Android will gray out the Install button when an app like that is active. See this HowToGeek article for more info.
The most straightforward way to extract an APK is by using an APK extractor app built for this idea, or a file manager with extracting abilities. For instance, ML Manager APK Extractor, APK Extractor, or Apk Extractor Lite. If you insist on going in manually, keep in mind that pre-installed read-only versions of system apps live in /system/app, but updates to them as well as new apps are in /data/app.
No, you do not need root if you use an APK extractor app.
Note: If you insist on a manual method and try to browse /data or /data/app, you’re going to have a wrong time without root, as Android won’t let you list the dirs. You’ll need to know the exact name of the APK file to pull it.
Softwsp.com has a no-piracy policy and does not host paid apps.
Note: There are occasional exceptions to the no paid apps rule. Seldom, developers make updates to paid apps available to the public, normally to test beta announcements. In such cases, there is typically a license check included making sure the apps were before purchased. MX Player Pro is a famous example of such an exception because J2 Interactive, the app’s developer, gives test APKs on its site.
– DPI: screen density, measured in dots per inch. Each device has a specific DPI metric, and some APKs are optimized for specific DPIs.
a. nodpi: APKs marked nodpi, or not marked with any DPI-related info at all, is meant for all devices.
b. 120, 160, …, 640 dpi: these APKs are intended for specific DPIs only. See the next numerous questions for more details. arm (armeabi, armeabi-v7a), arm64 (arm64, arm64-v8a), x86, x86_64, mips, mips64: these are CPU architectures. See this FAQ entry for more info.
Update 1/23/18: HowToGeek published a comprehensive explainer here: How to Find Your Android Device’s Info for Correct APK Downloads.
If you’re sure of your device’s DPI (dots per inch) value, go ahead and download the APK that most nearly matches it. If there is no exact match, pick the APK with a higher DPI than your device, if available. If not, you’ll presumably be alright with an insignificantly lower DPI.
Contrarily, it’s secure to download the nodpi variant – it originally contains resources that should look right on any device. The only downside of a nodpi APK is that it’s almost always larger in size since it’s not optimized for a specific DPI.
Rule of thumb: When in doubt, go for nodpi.
After trying various system info apps, we are currently advising Droid Hardware Info. It contains the DPI (Device tab), architecture (System tab), Android OS version (Device tab) as well as a plethora of other info.
Since 64-bit operating systems are backward-compatible with 32-bit apps, but not vice versa, it’s secure to install 32-bit apps on both 32-bit and 64-bit OSes, but not the other way around. 32-bit APKs installed on 64-bit devices may not be as optimized, so if you have a 64-bit machine, install a 64-bit APK when it becomes available if it exists at all. Many developers just don’t bother building 64-bit-optimized APKs.
– arm on arm device: OK.
– arm64 on arm device: Nope.
– arm on arm64 device: OK
– arm64 on arm64 device: OK
Same for x86 and x86_64, mips and mips64, etc.