What Is an Android App Bundle?
An Android app bundle is a file format for publishing an app on Google Play. It contains the published app code, resources. It is another smart way to postpone the big APK installation and Google Play signing.
Why an Android App Bundle?
It was discovered that millions of users often delete heavy APK files to free up space on their mobile phones. Heavy app files and resources cause this.
The introduction of the Android app bundle created a smart way of minimizing this app file. Google Play allows users to download the required app resources and files for each mobile device configuration using an app bundle. This gives the user the ability to update or install the upgrade or feature they would like to see in the app.
The Origin of the Android App Bundle
The Android app bundle program was introduced in 2018 as a standard for Android app development. After a series of complaints and discoveries by app users and installed apps. In August 2021, it was announced by Google Play that all published apps would require an Android App Bundle (AAB) as the standard publishing format. This standard applies to newly published apps on the Play store; existing apps will still have the APK format.
Features of the Android App Bundle
Google Play Signing
This affords the creator and users of the app the opportunity to use Google app infrastructure. By building your app using Android Studio and uploading it to Google Play, your users can download the optimized apk file for their gadgets. Also, the creator can easily update the app’s features.
Google Play Assets
You can use your app’s Google Play core library and asset delivery. This allows your app to use unlimited cloud infrastructure to assist your app’s performance. Also, your app users can download any feature at a time if it’s not incorporated into your app’s resources, reducing delivery costs.
Google Play Features
App features are important for the safe and exciting running of the apps. Game apps have added features that excite users. These features can be heavy and add to the file weight of the app in the APK format. With the AAB format, users can download only the necessary features they need, not the ones included in the app. The advantage of play feature and play asset delivery is that it affords you the ability to add module features to the app project, and it offers high app performance and flexible delivery by app developers.
Reduced APK Download Size
With the Android App Bundle, users can now download apps with a 35% reduction in the original APK file size. This is a big leap for large apps, and it reduces app uninstalls and affords more app installs, generating optimized APKs for users with specific device configurations.
New Updates for the Android App Bundle
Duolingo was able to reduce the size of its app by 56% by using the AAB standard. This is a big feat for an app whose features are heavily based on the value they provide. So, as a standard, you will have a 35% decrease in your app size if you use the AAB standard app file upload format.
The Android App Bundle has been updated with a new Android platform optimization called the uncompressed native libraries, which allows the app to fetch liberties from the installed APK file.
Currently, apart from Gradle and Android Studio, games using Unity can use AAB for their app upload since it is open source. These updates allow App Bundle to give better app installation and feature value to developers and users alike.
App Bundle Benefits and Drawbacks
The Android App Bundle does not support downloading an APK file, library, or resource larger than 150 MB. The compressed download size restriction specifies that the base APK and the configuration APK file must be within the 150mb limit.
When a developer uploads their app file or demand features, the limit must not exceed 150 MB, or there will be an upload file error. To be able to upload files larger than the specified requirement, you will need to compress them. By;
Also, users should know that the transfer of the same app from one Android device to another won’t be possible as each app downloaded will be unique to that device alone.
The future of app bundles is bright, considering the value discussed above. As a developer, the advantages of using an app bundle to deploy your app outweigh the use of regular APK files. So, for any app deployments, do use the app bundle method to publish your app.
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