Starting in August, new applications published in the Google Play Store will no longer use the APK format, instead, Google prepared Android App Bundle (.abb) for both developers and users.
Developers will definitely have to use the Android App Bundle format to upload apps to the Google Play Store, just like Twitter, Netflix, Duolingo, among others.
Android App Bundle is the new standard format for Google Play apps
Until now, using the AAB format was optional for developers publishing their apps in the Google Play Store. So developers can choose between APK and AAB, but from August 1, it will be mandatory, as the Android App Bundle format will replace APK.
The Google team highlights a number of benefits that this change will bring for developers:
“The Android App Bundle is Android‘s new, official publishing format that offers a more efficient way to build and release your app. The Android App Bundle lets you more easily deliver a great experience in a smaller app size, which can improve install success and reduce uninstalls,” the company states.
New apps will not be able to use the old APK format
As mentioned by the Google team, it can reduce the size of apps by up to 15%. It also gives developers more control over updates without affecting the user experience. And on the other hand, this decision by Google will make it more difficult for app stores to get new content. And of course, it will also contribute to decreasing piracy and other associated activities.
One detail to keep in mind is that developers who already have apps published on Google Play will not have to modify them to bring them to AAB. In that case, they will continue to work with the APK format and will not be affected by the transition.