Amazon Appstore is working on support for Android app bundles
About a year ago, Google announced that it would force developers to use its new App Bundles format on the Play Store. We’ve already written an article about this new format and why this requirement worries some, but here’s a quick recap.
App Bundles are a new way to distribute apps. By dividing up resources and other files, they allow smaller APKs to be served to users, reducing download size and storage space. But due to how they work, some concerns have been raised by developers and security researchers. Although Google has addressed many of these concerns, there are still many people who are concerned.
One of the main concerns we’ve heard is about distribution to other app stores. Most app stores don’t support the new format, making it difficult for developers to post to both Google Play and elsewhere. Of course, App Bundles are not a proprietary format. As long as they have the resources, any store can support them. And that’s what Amazon is working on.
In a blog post posted today, Amazon announced its intention to support App Bundles on the Amazon Appstore. While there is currently no date on which support will be available, Amazon says it will provide updates throughout the process.
Amazon’s implementation also seems to address some of the concerns people have about Google’s approach. According to the FAQ, App Bundles will be not be required by Amazon. Developers can continue to use APKs, only switching to App Bundles if they wish. Amazon also does not plan to require private keys from developers for signing bundles. The FAQ even seems to imply that they can be signed locally to maintain signature compatibility.
While the announcement doesn’t contain a lot of details, it’s certainly encouraging to see at least one other app store supporting App Bundles. If all goes according to plan, the process might even be more secure than Google’s. It’s nice to see Amazon beefing up its Appstore ahead of the launch of Android app support on Windows 11.