PSA: Don't fall for shady Minecraft Earth Android APK downloads

Minecraft Earth is rolling out among a limited pool of testers this July, kicking off with Seattle and London, recently joined by Stockholm and Tokyo. Microsoft's all-new augmented reality (AR) endeavor takes its blocky universe to the real world, analogous to mobile sensation Pokemon GO. Early days with the beta highlight a promising foundation, collecting blocks and mobs while crafting towering AR worlds.

However, while Minecraft Earth is slowly branching into new regions, the beta client remains exclusive to iOS devices for invited participants. Apple's developer "TestFlight" platform hosts initial trials, paired with the benefit of iOS's limited diversity in handsets.

As the ongoing beta fosters attention, I've seen several supposed APK download links circulating – Android's file format for mobile app distribution. Minecraft Earth is headed to Android later down the line, but isn't available in July 2019. This article primarily serves as a warning for prospective Minecraft Earth players to avoid opportunistic APK files, packing malware disguised as a legitimate beta app.

Google Play serves as Android's integrated storefront to deliver safe downloads and reduces the risk of widely available APK downloads. While Google's in-house store is far from perfect, tighter guidelines and curation make for a safer marketplace. Microsoft hosts a variety of beta programs via the Play Store and will be the likely home of Minecraft Earth's Android beta in 2019.

Microsoft is currently hosting sign-ups for the Minecraft Earth beta, securing interest ahead of launch. Expect an email from Microsoft once a chance to play arises, rather than falling for any fishy files.

Matt Brown