Google made an announcement that is going to change the android ecosystem and a big shock for the app developers. All the apps should have the Android App Bundles publishing format from August, ruling out the standard APK format.
Dom Elliott, product manager at Google play said, “This will replace the APK as the standard publishing format” referring to the Android App Bundle in a post. This was previously introduced in 2018 which has seen a high-profile adoption over the standard APK method.
On the Android App Bundle page, google advertises many benefits for users like smaller app downloads where one bundle supports the device configurations and languages combination. Google says there would be fewer uninstalls and it would be more secure as it is through Google’s Play app. This is going to be difficult for the app developers for publishing their app as earlier they had the option to choose between APK or Android App Bundle but now it’s only AAB.
Is Android app bundles as a response to Microsoft?
This announcement comes at a time when Microsoft announced Windows can allow sideloading of Android apps into its ecosystem, while Google’s transition makes less availability of apps for Windows. Though the upcoming Windows 11 supports Android through the Amazon App store, the developers are going to face more challenges as each platform needs a separate codebase and also google listed a lot of benefits for developers which they can avail will after switching to Android App Bundles, it plans to shift Android’s infrastructure from APK to Android bundles to have a controlled and organized distribution system.
Existing apps do not need to go through this format change, it only applies to the new apps. “Existing apps are currently exempt, as are private apps being published to managed Google Play users”, the company says. We cannot decide for now how this transforms the Android system or how hard it is going to hit the developers.