Android TV, Google TV moving to Android App Bundles this May 2023

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Google TV and Android TV will need archivable Android App Bundles starting May 2023 to save storage for users.

Over 10,000 apps are on Android TV OS. Software has grown exponentially. But TV hardware is still limited in capacity compared to phones.

In 2022, most smartphones have a minimum storage size of 64GB. But smart TVs have an average of 8GB.

Less storage means uninstalling apps and hindering the overall TV experience.

Then came the Android App Bundles in Nov 2020.

Android App Bundles” (AABs) are the standard publishing format on Google Play (phones, tablets, TVs, etc) that have replaced “Android Package Kits” (APKs).

App Bundles are smaller, faster, fresher, and better than its precursor.

Key benefits include:

  1. Smaller Download/Storage Size – App Bundles create an average of 20% total size savings compared to its equivalent APK counterpart by optimizing for each device.
  2. Less Likely to Uninstall – Since App Bundles enables users with the option to archive (which reclaims ~60% of app storage), users can keep these and more apps on their TV despite limited storage. A quick archive/unarchive user interface is built-in to the TV. Developers can also maintain state for a frictionless later return.
  3. Applicable to All Android Surfaces – App Bundles are helpful for all Android surfaces using the Google Play store including TV, phone, tablet, watch, auto, & more.
  4. Streamlined Delivery & Security – For easier delivery, a single artifact with all of your app’s code & resources allows Play store to dynamically serve an optimized app for each device configuration. For greater security, developers can also reset the upload key if it’s lost or compromised.

Google TV and Android TV will require App Bundles from May 2023 for a 6-month transition.

Google estimates it will take one engineer about 3-days to migrate an existing TV app from Android Package Kit (APK) to Android App Bundle (AAB).

Developers can configure archiving for their mobile apps. And TV apps must be archivable so that all users and developers can benefit on storage-constrained TVs.

For TV apps that fail to transition in time, Google may hide them from the TV surface. If you’re working on a brand-new TV app, use Android App Bundles from the start.

Developers can read more on how to do it from here.

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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. He has been writing about social media and technology for more than 10 years. During off hours, he relishes moments with his wife and daughter.

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