I've been doing some reading on apk down loads. But I haven't really found info if apk is actually better than a standard app? Are there significant benefits for using apk instead of standard apps?
APK is the actual application file, however you don't want to mess around with APK files unless they are from a reputable source. APK files from random sources can be loaded with malware/spyware.
The only situation I would use an APK file is when an app updates and is giving me issues.
Stick with the PlayStore/Galaxy apps unless you know what you're doing
APK is an acronym Application package kit.... it is a different file format that is usually side loaded from the web. But they have different standards than that apps than from the play store, thus safety isn't certain. I would stick to trusted websites like apk mirror and look for trusted venders from either Google or Samsung. But the best practice is ro always trust the Google play store and galaxy app store before all else. These apps have to adhere to strick rules on viruses and other malware. And if they have those things, they get removed from the stores.