Google is moving away from APKs on the Play Store

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Google has announced a big change for developers who want to list their apps on Google Play, which could impact the Android app ecosystem. Right now, the standard format for publishing apps is the APK, but starting in August, Google will require new Play apps to be released using the Android App Bundle instead.

On a Google page on Android App Bundle, the company touts many potential improvements with the new format, such as smaller app downloads for users. But the format has a catch: Android app bundles are a format that only Google Play uses, which could make redistributing apps difficult.

The timing of Google’s announcement also comes just days after Microsoft announced Windows 11, which lets you download Android apps as APKs. Google’s move to App Bundles may mean there will be fewer apps available to run on Microsoft’s new operating system, although you can also get Android apps on Windows 11 from the. Amazon Appstore.

The requirement to use Android app bundles only applies to new apps, according to Google. “Existing apps are currently exempt, as are private apps published for managed users of Google Play,” the company said. And if you’re a developer planning to release a new app, there’s little time to make sure you’re using the new format.

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