Google Play Moving to Android App Bundles (.AAB)

Jul 05, 2021
By: Matt Tubergen

Good news for the industry, including Users, Developers, Telcos and Digital Turbine

Last week, Google announced timing on a change for Play developers that was first previewed last summer during Google I/O. As of August 2021, Google will require that all new Play apps are published using the Android App Bundle (.AAB) format. At Digital Turbine, this transition has been long-planned, with work to support it kicking off back when the news was shared in 2018, and we launched .AAB support in 2019.

Today we are currently distributing Android App Bundles with many of our advertising partners across all our on-device products, such as SingleTapTM and Dynamic Installs, Wizard, Notifications and more.

What is actually the difference between pre and post Google’s transition? Your phone will still download and install your applications, but the app bundles will create an optimized install build for your specific Android device moving away from a one size fits all APK download. Per a Google blog post about Android App Bundles, they explain that the requirement applies only to new applications, and tout many potential improvements with the new format, such as smaller app downloads for users.

For some in the mobile advertising business, this could present some challenges as the format does represent a shift. Android App Bundles are a format developed by Google for Google Play publishing, which could complicate app redistribution for distributors not using Google Play applications. For Digital Turbine there is no impact to our customers or partners.

This is a welcome change for both developers and Digital Turbine, reducing administration and support of an increasing set of device types and classifications. Mobile Network Operators, Device Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s), and Application Distribution partners benefit from a reduction in application installation time which should help improve end consumer app install conversion rates.

Still have questions? Below are a few helpful resources about Google’s new framework. We’re also happy to discuss how we can work with you and your applications in more detail – please contact us.

By Matt Tubergen
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