I have downloaded several apps from google play on my surface but they are no where to be found. I have tried search and poked around download files but nothing. Should it really be this hard? Seems ridiculous.
Google Play doesn't download .apk files to your phone but install the application. If you want to find the base.apk though you can find it in:
however, it is off-limits to a non-root user. Your stock File Manager app won't let you browse that partition and third party browsers will return Access Denied when try to reach
/data partition as non-root.