Google has finally gone ahead and announced a drastic change for all the developers who want to list their apps on the Google Play Store, and this new change could have a massive impact on the Android app ecosystem as a whole. At the moment, the standard format for app publishing on the Play Store is through APK. But starting August, later this year, Google will require that the new Play apps are published using the Android App Bundle.
On the page about Android App Bundle, Google has listed many potential improvements that come with the new format, such as smaller app downloads for the users. However, this new format will have a catch, Android App Bundles are a format that only Google Play uses, which could complicate the overall app redistribution.
Google's Decision to Move Away from APKs and Shift to Android App Bundle Could Be Huge
Google's announcement of moving away from APK comes a few days after Microsoft announced Windows 11, which lets you sideload Android apps as APKs. Google's transition to App Bundles could mean that there will be few apps that will be available to run on the new Microsoft operating system. However, you will also get the Android apps on Windows 11 from the Amazon Appstore.
The requirement to use Android App Bundles only applies to new apps, and according to Google:
Existing apps are currently exempt, as are private apps being published to managed Google Play users.
This means that if you are a developer planning on releasing the new apps, you have a short time to ensure that you are using the new format.
Currently, it is hard to determine the importance of Android App Bundles. Still, we are looking forward to seeing how this new format affects Android as an operating system and how the developers react. Additionally, we are not sure if the existing apps will also be converted to the new format or not.