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What will change for Play Store and Android

What will change for Play Store and Android

Google wants to get rid of the APK format in favor of the Android App Bundle (AAP). This effort ensures faster and safer application downloads, but should mainly benefit the Play Store and be a little less for alternative sites.

Play Store and Android logos

Android and Play Store icons

On Android, the applications you download and install on your smartphone are in APK (.apk) format. These three characters refer to the “Android package”, which is mostly open format. Thanks to this, users can view applications through it Google Play Store Obviously, but also through other channels: Direct download from the official website (example: Fortnight), Alternative blinds, Sites that specialize in APKs (such as APK Mirror).

However, Google wants to reverse this with a new format: Android App Bundle, Which can be abbreviated with AAB (.aab). In the officially presented facts, this big change ensures a nice and attractive improvement in the user experience. However, the consequences of such an initiative can be quite a headache for some developers and affect the open source DNA of Android, which has been established for many years as one of the key features of the OS. However, do not sound the alarm bells right now, there are some tricks to understand.

Positives of Android App Bundle Design

The goal of the APK files is to provide developers with all the resources they need to build an app on Android and make it work on all devices and different versions. As the operating system evolved, the applications in question gradually required more resources, and the APK files became more and more weighty. Still, we didn’t even talk Games Particularly large amounts of additional data – even in OBB format – have to be downloaded in addition to the APK site.

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Android application bundles want to fix this concern for adaptation. Unlike APKs, AABs are not intended to embed all the resources needed to work on all different models of smartphones and tablets. AAB guarantees that the distribution of apps will be better targeted in the Play Store. Thanks to this, the apps will not have a priori more than 150 MB, so their download will be faster.

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As for the popular big games that need to download additional data, they can go through the Play Asset Delivery and Play Feature Delivery functions. The previous one guarantees better compression than the OBB format while increasing security and ensuring better distribution management – you only download what changes from version to version. Second it allows your smartphone to download only the resources required for its technical configuration. In short, the download speed is optimal here as well.

What’s wrong with the Android application bundle

Let’s see what the Android app bundle can get stuck with this move. Tim Sweeney, the boss of the epic games (Fortnight), quickly expressed his displeasure on Twitter. He condemns the fact that Google wants to kill open source APKs in favor of a design. ” Owner According to him and the media slasher.

Google is moving from open APK format to proprietary Android application format locked on Google Play. Option to their own shop and another way to prevent competition.

– imTimSweeneyEpic June 30, 2021

However, there is one page dedicated to the Android app bundle on GitHub Contains a document explaining that this form is belowApache License 2.0As describedImportant Conditions for Protecting Licensed, Copyright and License Notices. […] Licensed works, modifications and large works may be distributed under different conditions and without source code.»

License Apache 2.0

Apache 2.0 license terms

In other words, contrary to Tim Sweeney and Slash Gear, the Play Store is not the only app store capable of distributing AAB applications. All the alternatives to the Google App Store can be more than just a sigh of relief. We think Amazon Appstore in particular – Based on Windows 11 to deliver Android applications -, Aptoid, Aurora Store and others.

The same is true for the Hawaii ecosystem based on Android (but without Google services). Chinese brand smartphones work with APK files, but can also follow the AAB format.

No panic … but still

As we have seen, the AAB format does not spell the end result of Android’s open source DNA. Not yet, in any case. However, we can clearly doubt that Google is making this effort to make its Play Store more attractive than all other alternatives. In fact, the Play Asset Delivery and Play Feature Delivery functions are very efficient in the Mountain View giant app store. So the gain in download speed will not be significant on other sites.

It remains to be seen whether this can abuse a dominant position. In addition, if developers do not provide the APK version following the AAB version, sites like the APK Mirror will still lose interest. In short, Android App Bundles should not kill alternatives to the Play Store and the open source identity of Android, but in the long run, it is clear that the Play Store is the most beneficial.

Google Play Store is superior to Android, but not always the best solution. Here is a selection of the best alternative app stores for the Google Play Store that we recommend.
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