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Google replaces APKs with App Bundles starting August 2021

Starting August 2021, Google will require new apps to use the Android App Bundles format in order to be published on the Google Play Store.

Meet, Android App Bundles.

According to Google, this will set AAB as the new standard compared to the previously commonly used format, which is the APK (Android Package).

The format was introduced back in 2018 and now, over 1 million apps are published as app bundles to date, majority of the top 1,000 apps include Adobe, Duolingo, Gameloft, Netflix, redBus, Riafy, and Twitter.

Source: Android Developers

Furthermore, the Android App Bundle comes with Play App signing that protects an app’s signing key (or, your app, if you’re a developer) from being loss, thanks to Google’s secure infrastructure and it offers the option of upgrading to a new, cryptographically stronger signing app key.

There’s also a Play Feature Delivery that gives the ability to customize what feature modules are delivered to a particular device, and a Play Asset Delivery that reduces user waiting time by dynamically delivering large assets while cutting delivery costs. Games using Play Feature Delivery can use texture compression in which gives users the only assets suitable for their device.

Google also said that there is very little work required to build an AAB instead of an APK.

There’s no announcement yet on when will it take effect on other third-party app stores such as Amazon App Store which makes Android apps work on Microsoft’s latest Windows 11 operating system.

Source: Android Developers Blog