At Google I/O 2019, a number of new features were introduced to Android’s official publishing format called the Android App Bundle. These features are now out of the beta state and are up and running in Android App Bundle. Application such as Netflix are using Android App Bundle to publish their apps for their users.
Android App Bundle is a new format, introduced by Google for developers. The bundle includes the compiled code and resources of your app. If you are a developer and still have not switched to Android App Bundle, here are some of biggest reasons why you should:
- Size reduction in app: Developers who make a switch to Android app bundles witness a significant reduction in the size of their application. Generally speaking, developers see a difference of 20% in size when compared to universal APK. The reduction in size result in 11% more app install, lesser uninstalls and higher update rates.
- Efficient: Every app published with Android app bundles is automatically tailored in an effective manner. This means your users will be able to download and install your applications on a faster rate.
- More optimized: Applications published with app bundles are more optimized and get thorough insights from Google Play Console on how to optimize the apps more. Additional reporting is also offered on these apps.
“An Android App Bundle is a file (with the .aab file extension) that you upload to Google Play to support Dynamic Delivery.”
- Faster release: Apps published with APKs need to have multiple APK release that makes the process longer and hectic. With app bundles, you can release your app faster as Google Play will handle the device configuration for developers.
- Avoid Expansion files: With Android app bundles, developers can upload around 150MB of compressed download size, avoiding any expansion files. On the other hand, apps published with APKs have an upload limitation of maximum 100MB.
- Protection: When you publish your app with app bundles, it gets protected against any key loss. For instance, if you are opted into app signing by Play and forget or lose your upload key, you can simply confirm your identity and be given a new upload key. But if you are not opted into the app by Play, you will not be able to update your app.
These are the benefits for game developers:
- Instant game: Users can try your game instantly without having to install your app first. By building an instant game, users will try your game from the Play Games app or Play Store. This is done by using the same bundle app artifact, which is used by your currently installed app on the user’s device. This is great to learn how the users are responding to your new game and make modifications.
- Large game assets: One of the biggest issues with games is that their assets have large sizes, which evidently increase the size of game. But with app bundles, this problem gets minimized. The large game assets can be packaged as a part of the app bundle so that expansion files are no longer needed.