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.

Essential Minecraft Earth accessories you'll love

These affordable Minecraft Earth accessories are guaranteed to help on your digital adventures.

Anker PowerCore 5000 Portable Charger ($18 at Amazon)

Like any augmented reality experience, Minecraft Earth will be power-hungry and drain your battery fast. This 5000mAh Anker PowerCore portable battery pack keeps phone topped up when on the move with a compact, cylindrical silhouette.

PopSockets Collapsible Grip & Stand ($10 at Amazon)

Avoid phone drops on your blocky adventures with this collapsible PopSocket grip that doubles as a stand. Grippy and comfortable to hold, it adds convenience and peace of mind to any Minecraft Earth session.

Minecraft Baby Pig 7" Plush ($10 at Amazon)

Grab your own porky Minecraft Earth companion with this affordable official Minecraft Baby Pig plush. Lined with a soft exterior and embroidered pixel detailing, don't miss out on your seven-inch friend.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.