Google has announced that it will be replacing the Android Package (APK) with the Android App Bundle (AAB) for all new apps which will be published on Google Play starting August 2021 and eventually replace APK as the standard publishing format entirely across Google Play Store.
The Android App Bundle (AAB) was introduced by Google in May of 2018 and the publishing format is being used by over 1 million applications. This includes the majority of the top 1,000 apps on the Google Play Store, including Twitter, Netflix, Adobe and several titles from Gameloft.
“Google Play will start requiring new apps to be published with the Android App Bundle starting August 2021. This will replace the APK as the standard publishing format.“ said Google in a blog post. However, the existing apps on the Google Play Store don’t need to make the shift at this time since Google is starting off by making the new AAB publishing format mandatory for all new apps being published to the Play Store.
The Android App Bundle (AAB) is used to optimize the APK distribution for different device configurations and languages making apps smaller by 15% on average, which means faster download and installation times.
The Android App Bundle (AAB) is also more secure than the previous APK format used by Google Play Store. “APKs require separate files (OBBs) to serve additional resources to users. However, because OBBs are not signed and are stored in the app’s external storage, they’re not very secure.” explained Google. “With Play Asset Delivery (PAD), games larger than 150MB can replace OBBs by publishing the entire game as a single app bundle on the Play Store.”
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