Google has officially announced that, all the new apps or games that get published on the Google Playstore from the starting of August, 2021, have to be submitted in the form of AAB format [Android App Bundle]. Google has already decided to transform the APK to AAB formats for all the new apps. But it is also assumed that Google will slowly roll over this RULE mandatory for all the old and new apps. For last many years, Android Apps has been developed with the APK format, where APK refers to Android Packages. But in the year of 2018, Google announced a new file format – AAB (Android App Bundle) as the new extension for Android Apps. Currently, there are almost 1 million plus apps using AAB file format, such as Adobe, Duolingo, Netflix, Riafy, Twitter, Gameloft etc.
WHAT IS AAB [Android App Bundle]
AAB is nothing but a new file format of Android Apps. It was launched in the year of 2018. With this format, an App Developer can submit their android app in bits and pieces – which contains different files, such as: different languages, display resolution, different CPU architecture and many more. Now depending on the device, Google Playstore will create a necessary APK file, by using the pieces from AAB. This format is much smaller in size, with respect to the APK file. When a developer wants to update their Android App, they can only push the update for a particular part / pieces – which actually reduces the update file size. The developers can create the AAB file on the Android Studio with just a single click – which makes the life of developers much easier.
ANDROID PHONES THAT SUPPORT AAB FORMAT
Any android phones with Lollipop or the newer Android OS version will support the AAB [Android App Bundle] directory. It means, any android phones that launched in the last 4 years, easily support Android App Bundle directory.
WHAT IS CHAGING FROM AUGUST, 2021
|TYPE OF RELEASE||REPLACED||REQUIRED AUG 2021|
|New apps||APK||Android App Bundle (AAB)|
|on Google Play||Expansion files (OBBs)||Play Asset Delivery or|
|Play Feature Delivery|
|Updates to existing apps||No change|
|New instant experiences||Instant app ZIP||Instant-enabled Android App Bundle (AAB)|
|Updates to instant experiences|
LET’S FIND OUT SOME ANSWERS RELATED TO AAB [Android App Bundle] FAQs
Q1) How much work will be needed to use an App Bundle VS an APK file?
Ans: Theoretically, very little work is required to develop an Android App Bundle. It’s just a matter of choosing few options during the time of app development. The App Bundle is basically an open-source format supported by Android Studio, Cocos Creator, Unity, Unreal Engine, Gradle etc. Core Native, Core Java or Kotlin SDK, make it easier to to develop app bundle features.
Q2) How does App Bundle work?
Ans: Google Playstore uses the App Bundle to create the APKs that are optimized according to the device’s configuration. This means the users will enjoy smaller apps without unused codes needed for other devices. You can easily track the size of your android app in the Google Play Console.
Q3) Is AAB [Android App Bundle] going to make things harder for 3rd party app stores?
Ans: Yes, it is officially reported that App Bundle might make the things harder for the 3rd party app stores. For an example: if you install the android app from Playstore and want to update the app from another alternatives [such as: Aptoide store or Amazon app store], the installation might fail due to SIGNATURE MISMATCH. The reason is: now Google is managing the “Private Signing Key” – so you can not use the same key while updating from other 3rd party app store. You have to use a separate Private Key and in this will cause “Private Key Mismatch Error”.
SHOULD DEVELOPERS AND THE USERS BE WORRIED ABOUT ANDROID APP BUNDLE?
Absolutely not ..! AAB is not an EVIL as it sounds. An user will get a smaller app size, which will save his phone storage and the internet data. Whereas the developers can assure that the android app / game will be available on the authentic android devices. So for sure, Android App Bundle should be an win-win situation for the users & developers both.
From hosting the android apps to managing the respective private keys – Google now controls the app publishing and the distribution on Android. Developers should be happy, as they do not have to manage different APKs. Even we, the users can enjoy our favorite apps or games in a smaller version, perfectly optimized for our own devices.