Is it possible to get any information about the package or the application from the apk file without installing it in the Android environment?
An apk file is really just a zip archive with a different name. Rename x.apk to x.zip, where x is the name of the file, and you will be able to open it with any zip tool. It really depends on what information you're after as to whether you can find it in the apk file. I can say that you can access the AndroidManifest.xml file in which key information about the access rights of the app etc is stored in a fairly readable form, provided you know what you're looking for. What do you want to find? If you're looking for a readme or something then you almost certainly won't find it in there.