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App manager

X-plore contains App manager, a tool to explore all apps on your device. It can show installed apps, or even system apps preinstalled on device. To show system apps, long-click on App manager item and choose the option from menu.

Working with App manager

The App manager shows installed apps, with their unique package name, version, size, icon, etc. Clicking on app opens app’s default activity, as you’d expect.

X-plore can do more with the apps. You can copy out apps as APK files, or delete apps, which means uninstalling them. But note that system apps can’t be uninstalled this way.

APK format

Android’s app distribution format is APK, that means a file with .apk extension. When you copy app using X-plore, it is copied as APK file.
You can also install APK files onto device, but for this you may need to enable special permission for installing app in system settings.

Explore content of APK

APK is actually a ZIP file, with special content inside, and .apk extension. You can long-click on some app and choose Open as ZIP, then the app can be explored as a ZIP, and you can explore all files making the app.

In case of Split APK, X-plore shows virtual folder containing app APK files as individual ZIP files.

Working with APK

Many users are familiar with manual installation of APK files on their devices. Some users even backup apps from their devices, or copy apps across devices, and X-plore makes this easy by allowing to copy apps from its App manager. Usual format is one APK for one app.

Split APK

Since some time, Google Play store installs some apps as multiple APK’s, which is format called App bundle. Google is pushing more on app developers to use this kind of distribution, where apps are distributed as multiple APK files. Reason is that only needed app parts are downloaded to actual Android device, depending on its capabilities, which results in smaller app downloads, and less storage usage on device.

But this breaks the simplicity of one APK representing one app, and adds more challenges when it comes to app copying. Note that your device may contain only some parts of the app, needed for your device, so installing such copied app on another device can make it nonfunctional. However, installing such saved app on same device will usually work as expected.

Copying Split APK app out of App manager is done in ZIP format, which contains all individual APK files.

Installing apps

X-plore can install apps in APK format. Simply click on the file, and it will be installed.

In case of exported Split APK app, things are more difficult, since app is saved as ZIP file. In such case, open the ZIP file, and X-plore will detect that it’s saved app (by finding file named base.apk in the zip). In such case, X-plore shows Install button inside of the ZIP, and clicking on this will install all APKs making the app.

Explore app in-depth

Inside of App manager, click on grey dot on left side of app, and you’ll get context menu with some useful information. Click on APK tab, and you’ll get detailed list of information about internals of the app, such as permissions, activities, certificate, etc. This may be useful for app developers, or users who understand the details.