Here’s why Google is phasing out APKs in favor of Android app bundles

In 2018, Google launched the Android App Bundle, a new posting format that “provides a more efficient way to build and publish” an app. Since then, Android developers around the world, like those at Adobe, Duolingo, Netflix, and Twitter, have taken advantage of it with around 1 million different apps. Now, Google wants to bring the benefits of AAB to more users while modernizing the distribution of Android apps by requiring new apps to use AAB in August 2021.

Announced yesterday on Google’s Android Developer Blog, APKs or Android app packages will be phased out as a standard post format in favor of the new AABs. With this change, AABs will allow apps to be on average 15% smaller than a universal APK. Additionally, AABs improve security, feature delivery, and asset delivery to the end user, improving the overall application experience.

google savings by removing apks in favor of android app bundles

Google further explains that when it comes to switching to this format, “very little work is required to create an AAB instead of an APK”. It is mainly a matter of selecting a different option when creating an application via “Android Studio, Gradle, Bazel, Buck, Cocos Creator, Unity, Unreal Engine and other engines”.

While much of this might sound like gibberish to many, it’s a simple change that aims to improve the Google Play experience for everyone. Updates will be smaller and smoother, and developers should end up with more granular control over app delivery, a win-win across the board.

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