Google has announced a major change for developers who want to list their apps through its Android App Store that can make an impact in the Android app ecosystem.
Currently, the standard application publishing format is APK. But starting in August, Ask Google publishes new Google Play apps instead using Android App Bundle.
And via Google’s page about Android app bundles, the company is touting several potential improvements to the new format, such as smaller app downloads for users.
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But the format has an issue as Android app bundles are a format only Google Play Store uses, which can complicate app redistribution.
The timing of Google’s announcement also comes just days after Microsoft announced Windows 11, which has the ability to let you download Android apps as APK files.
Google’s shift to Android app bundles could mean that there will be fewer apps available to run on Microsoft’s new operating system.
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However, you can get Android apps via Windows 11 through the Amazon Appstore.
Running Android apps through the Amazon App Store is one of the biggest features of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 operating system.
According to Google, the requirement to use Android app bundles applies only to new apps. The company says: Existing applications are currently exempt, as are private applications that are published to users of the managed Google Play Store.
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Google is moving away from APK files
If you’re a developer planning to release a new app, you have little time to make sure you’re using the new format. There are more than a million apps that use the Android Application Package Format.
Many users hope that Android apps which are not available and popular in the Amazon Appstore can be downloaded using APK files via Windows. Which Microsoft said is possible.
Sideloading APK files poses security risks and other issues. But the reaction to the news seems to bother Windows and Android fans.
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With APK files on the horizon, it can be difficult to download popular Android apps via Windows 11 while the feature is available.
The Android application package format works only with the Google Play Store, which depends on Google Play Services. which does not seem to support Windows 11.
In addition, in 2018, Google launched the Android App Bundle format, which provides a more efficient way to build and release an app.