Installing APKs hasn't really changed, but the package installer app has always been a bit of a pain. It never gives you a reason why an APK cannot be installed, and there can be multiple reasons.
Things to check:
- Uninstall any applications with the same package ID
- Try a fresh build and copy ( APK might have been corrupted in the copy )
- Ensure your using a debug APK, as unsigned release APKs cannot be installed
- Check your minimum version is lower than the target device
- Ensure "Allow install from untrusted sources" is enabled in settings
One other thing to look out for is Play Protect. This is Google's system for preventing malicious applications from being installed. They have 2 blacklists as far as I can tell, a global "don't install this app" list which every device has and a second list which the device maintains. If the app is on either it will silently fail to install. Sometimes when installing an APK it will ask if you trust it, not trusting it is the default action and will add it to the local blacklist. Preventing you from installing it in future ( it won't ask again, and you cannot change your mind ). I think building a new version of the APK works around this, that or it is removed from the list after awhile. But it can be frustrating when testing many APK files ( like I have to... ).