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How to Run APK Online in a Browser

By Jash Unadkat, Community Contributor -

The constant proliferation of new smartphones in the market introduces new challenges for software teams across the globe. They must consistently optimize their services for newly launched devices. 

This stands true particularly for the Android ecosystem as it dominates the mobile landscape with a significant market share of 68.61%. The numbers clearly indicate that any app seeking to be successful must work flawlessly on Android.

The agile world of software development demands the delivery of new features at lightning speed. To achieve this, teams need an inclusive on-premise mobile device lab that enables developers and QAs to test their APK files across the latest and legacy Android devices.

It is not feasible for all organizations to have such a comprehensive device lab set up as it demands enormous investment and maintenance efforts.

This article addresses this challenge by demonstrating an intuitive method that will help developers and QAs run APK files online directly through a web browser.

How to Open APK Files in a Browser

Change the extension to .zip and unzip it to uncompress the file. Then you can open the file. You can also use a unzip tool to extract the files and folders compressed inside an APK file.

Once you open the APK file, you can view all its contents. All Android files have the same core structure. Here are the common files and folders in an APK file:

  1. AndroidManifest.xml
  2. META-INF/
  3. classes.dex
  4. res/
  5. lib/
  6. assets/
  7. resources.arsc

Apart from opening an APK file, installing an APK file is also simple depending on the Android version of your device.

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How to Run APK Files in a Browser

With the advent of remote testing in the agile world, cloud-based software testing platforms have emerged as an ideal solution for meeting test requirements.

BrowserStack is one such testing platform that provides teams and individuals with a comprehensive infrastructure for hassle-free remote testing. One can instantly upload and run APK files online on the desired Android devices using its real device cloud.

The APK file is installed on a real Android device that is hosted in a secure cloud environment. This means that users can evaluate the performance of their Android app in real user conditions and debug faster.

One can test their APK file on real handsets from popular vendors like Samsung, OnePlus, Motorola, Pixel, etc. Moreover, they don’t need to worry about any complex setup or configurations. Simply Sign up > Upload APK file > Choose the desired Android handset> Start testing.

How to Run APK Online in a Browser

Follow the steps below to run APK online:

  1. Signup for a free trial for Browserstack App Live.
  2. Once the App Live dashboard opens up, click on the Upload button available near the Uploaded Apps section and upload the APK file to be tested.
  3. Select the desired Android handset to test the app on. (Let’s consider testing on Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in this example). Refer to the image below for more clarity on the process.
  4. This will initiate a new App Live session on the desired handset.

  5. The selected APK file is downloaded and installed on the chosen device once the session begins.

Online APK Runner

     6. Start testing the app’s features and functions.

That’s how easily one can
run an APK file online on a real Android device directly through a web browser.

Try Testing on Real Android Devices for Free

Developers and QAs can also leverage the following features available from the floating toolbar:

  1. Device rotation to view the app’s appearance in Portrait and Landscape mode.
  2. Geolocation Testing to test an app’s performance when accessed from different geographic locations.
  3. Network throttler to simulate poor network conditions.
  4. Capturing screenshots.
  5. Viewing Open Apps running in the background. 
  6. Change Language feature to test apps in different languages.

Refer to the complete list of features here.

Talk to an Expert

As mentioned earlier, the constant proliferation of the latest Android devices with distinct hardware configurations has introduced testing challenges for software teams. Teams constantly need to keep track of the newly launched handsets and acquire them for testing and optimizing purposes. This process can prove to be tedious and inefficient in the long run.

Using online APK runners like BrowserStack that offers a real device cloud with the latest devices helps teams to purely focus on their app testing efforts. Moreover, as the device cloud is updated regularly, teams get exclusive access to the latest handsets for instant testing. 

All the APK tests are conducted on real devices, and it helps obtain accurate test results every time without any complex configurations. Signup for free to get started today!

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