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The future of Android App Bundles is here


Posted by Dom Elliott, Product Supervisor at Google Play

Android App Bundles logo

Since we launched the Android App Bundle in Might 2018, we’ve seen our developer neighborhood embrace this new commonplace to profit from streamlined releases and superior distribution options. There are actually over 1 million apps utilizing app bundles in manufacturing, together with nearly all of the highest 1,000 apps and video games on Google Play equivalent to Adobe, Duolingo, Gameloft, Netflix, redBus, Riafy, and Twitter.

To carry these advantages to extra customers and give attention to fashionable Android distribution that advantages all builders, Google Play will begin requiring new apps to be printed with the Android App Bundle beginning August 2021. It will exchange the APK as the usual publishing format.

Fashionable Android distribution

When you haven’t made the swap to app bundles but, listed below are among the advantages you’re lacking:

  • Android App Bundle: Google Play makes use of the app bundle to generate and optimize APKs for distribution for various system configurations and languages. This makes your app smaller (on common, 15% smaller than a common APK) and sooner to obtain, which may result in extra installs and fewer uninstalls.
  • Play App Signing: Play App Signing, which is required for app bundles, protects your app signing key from loss by utilizing Google’s safe infrastructure and presents the choice of upgrading to a brand new, cryptographically stronger app signing key.
  • Play Function Supply: Utilized by greater than 10% of the highest apps utilizing app bundles, Play Function Supply offers you the power to customise what function modules are delivered to which system and when, with install-time, conditional, and on-demand supply modes.
  • Play Asset Supply: Reduces consumer ready time by dynamically delivering giant property whereas slicing supply prices. Video games utilizing Play Asset Supply can use texture compression format concentrating on, so your customers solely get the property appropriate for his or her system, with no wasted house or bandwidth.
  • Future enhancements: Quickly, Play App Signing will begin rolling out APK Signature Scheme v4 to pick apps making it attainable for them to optionally entry upcoming efficiency options accessible on newer units. Tune into the Google for Video games Developer Summit on July 12 to seek out out extra.

Recap of what’s altering beginning August 2021

As a reminder, the app bundle requirement applies to new apps. Current apps are at the moment exempt, as are non-public apps being printed to managed Google Play customers. Because of the 1000’s of builders who’ve been part of the app bundle journey. We look ahead to bringing you extra enhancements and options quickly.

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Solutions to some Android App Bundle FAQs

How a lot work is required to make use of an app bundle vs an APK?

For many apps, little or no work is required to construct an AAB as an alternative of an APK. It’s principally a matter of selecting a distinct possibility at construct time after which testing as regular. The app bundle is an open source format supported by main construct instruments equivalent to Android Studio, Gradle, Bazel, Buck, Cocos Creator, Unity, Unreal Engine, and different engines. Play Core Native and Play Core Java & Kotlin SDKs additionally make it simple to start out utilizing optionally available, superior app bundle options, no matter your most popular coding setting.

Why aren’t growth recordsdata (OBBs) supported with app bundles? Why ought to video games use Play Asset Supply?

APKs require separate recordsdata (OBBs) to serve further assets to customers. Nonetheless, as a result of OBBs should not signed and are saved within the app’s exterior storage, they’re not very safe. With Play Asset Supply (PAD), video games bigger than 150MB can exchange OBBs by publishing the complete sport as a single app bundle on the Play Retailer. Past providing a smoother publishing course of and versatile supply modes, PAD carries advantages over the legacy growth recordsdata: its delta patching of property is optimized for giant apps which means updates require dramatically much less system storage than OBBs. In consequence, fast-follow drives larger set up charge and retailer conversion charge. Lastly, with ASTC now supported on ~80% of units, texture compression format concentrating on allows you to serve ASTC to units that assist it. You may goal the widest vary of Android units whereas making environment friendly use of the accessible {hardware} and system storage.

If I exploit app bundles, can I nonetheless publish by a number of distribution channels/app shops?

Sure, there are a number of methods to realize this. You may both use the identical app signing key all over the place or use distinctive app signing keys for various channels, together with a novel app signing key for Google Play. You may both construct and signal artifacts for all distribution channels regionally or you possibly can obtain distribution APKs from Google Play to be used on different channels. Distribution APKs downloaded from Google Play by way of the app bundle explorer in Play Console are signed with the identical key utilized by Play App Signing.

I’m launching a brand new app. Can I determine what my app signing secret’s?

Sure, this feature is out there within the Play Console. When creating a brand new app, you possibly can select one of many choices to offer the app signing key that Google makes use of. This lets you make a copy of your app signing key regionally, for instance to generate signed variations for distribution by different channels utilizing the identical key because the Play model. Quickly, the Play Console will make releasing an app for the primary time somewhat simpler by providing you with the power to alter your app signing key should you make a mistake, so long as you do it earlier than you publish to an open observe the primary time.

When distributing apps on Google Play, how do I guarantee my app is delivered to customers the way in which I intend?

At any time, you possibly can obtain and examine artifacts from the Play Retailer, from the app bundle explorer within the Play Console, and by way of the Play Developer API to confirm your app. As well as, code transparency for app bundles is a brand new, optionally available function that can be utilized to examine that code working on a tool matches the code that was initially constructed and signed by the developer.

I’ve an app printed on Google Play already. Can I begin utilizing Play App Signing with out offering a replica of my present app signing key?

To make use of Play App Signing as we speak you must present a replica of your present app signing key as a result of Google Play wants a replica of it to signal and ship updates to your present customers. This fits most builders, over 1M apps are utilizing Play App Signing in manufacturing. Quickly, we are going to add a further possibility for present apps to choose in to Play App Signing by performing a key improve. Selecting this feature means Play App Signing can use a brand new, distinctive key for all new installs and their updates. Nonetheless, for this to work, if you add an app bundle, you additionally have to add a legacy APK signed together with your outdated key in order that Google Play can proceed to ship updates to your present customers.

Can I ever change my app signing key?

Sure, some apps can request an app signing key improve for brand spanking new installs in Play Console. Google Play will use your new key to signal new installs and app updates whereas utilizing your legacy app signing key to signal updates for customers who put in your app earlier than the important thing improve. Quickly, Play App Signing key improve may even add assist for APK Signature Scheme v3 key rotation. It will make key improve a attainable possibility for extra apps and assist apps signed with upgraded keys attain extra customers.

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