Google changes the application installation package from APK to AAB
Recently, Google officially announced on its developer blog that the application installation package distributed through the Google Play Store will be replaced from the traditional APK format to the AAB format.
The AAB format is a new technology launched by Google in 2018. This technology only needs to be used to streamline the installation package, reduce user downloads and install useless content, and improve efficiency.
It is worth noting that the AAB format is only used in the Google Play Store, so many of the media believe that this is Google’s approach to tightening the Android ecosystem.
So will the subsequent Google switch from APK format to AAB format affect ordinary users? This starts with the original intention of Google to develop the AAB format.
We know that the entire Android ecosystem is extremely complex, and it is very troublesome for developers to just adapt to various screens of different sizes and devices of different architectures.
But in order to be able to support all users or most users, developers must support most screens and architectures in their applications to avoid abnormal usage.
This results in the completed application installation package containing a variety of different components and libraries, and users only need one type of component library for their own devices.
Component libraries suitable for other screens and processor architectures will naturally not be used all year round. Downloading and installation will cause a waste of bandwidth and space.
So Google developed the AAB format — this is equivalent to the application package. After the developer submits the package to Google, Google uses on-demand download when distributing it to users.
That is, when users download, they only download the installation package that adapts to the screen and processor architecture of their own device. In essence, it is still in APK format but the size of the installation package has shrunk dramatically.
This can not only reduce the bandwidth of the Google server during the download process, but also reduce the download time, and reduce the space occupied by the redundant content on the device.
It can be seen from the entire structure of the AAB format that this is actually beneficial to users, and for ordinary users, Google’s switch to the new format has no potential impact.
In particular, Google only uses this format for distribution on its own app store, and other app stores can continue to use the traditional APK format for users to download.
The most important thing is that the developer tools provided by Google can freely package the APK format, but developers need to use the AAB format when submitting applications to the Google Play Store.
Therefore, regardless of whether the user is using the Google Play Store or other stores, they can continue to download the application, as long as the developer packs an APK when the application is released.
In addition, some application stores also provide AAB-like installation for synchronizing Google updates, but users need to download the corresponding tools to install.