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Google Play Store Apps to Start Using App Bundles Instead of APKs

In order to make an app usable on a variety of devices, most developers end up using an APK. This tends to have universal protocols that can be used to make it so that any and all devices can make use of an app as long as they have the right kind of hardware for it, but this is something that Google has been trying to streamline over the course of the past three years or so.

A big part of this streamlining process was the introducing of Android App Bundles, or AABs, back in the 2018 edition of I/O. This was intended to be a suggested replacement for APKs, one that would enable the total size of an app to be reduced by about 1/6th. A lighter app will function better on various phones and this will broaden the scope of these apps as well. This will also help the apps download faster as well as enable them to take up less space which is ideal considering that phones often suffer from low storage capacity due to massive file sizes.

Google has now made AABs the standard for apps that will be on their Play Store, and all future apps will have to be developed with them. The use of AABs will enable developers to optimize apps based on device configurations in a much more specific way, so alterations can be made to remove features that are not necessary. This is something that could give Android a bit of an edge over iOS as it would facilitate a smoother app downloading experience as well as improve app performance across the board. Three years is more than enough for developers to familiarize themselves with this new programming requirement so the rollout of these apps should go over relatively smoothly in the coming weeks and months.


Read next: Google Takes Steps to Verify Android Developers

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