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Android TV and Google TV switch to app bundles



Android TV and Google TV switch to app bundles

So-called app bundles, a sort of successor to APKs, find their way into Android TV and therefore also its Google TV launcher. App bundles are a prerequisite for the mentioned platforms from May 2023. What’s behind it? To put it simply, developers bundle their apps more efficiently so that less storage space is used when downloading or installing.

This makes sense, especially with smart TVs and media players, because the capacity is usually much lower than, for example. B. on smartphones and tablets. According to Google, app bundles save around 20% on average on storage compared to APKs. Additionally, users can archive app bundles if they don’t want to use an app right now, but also don’t want to completely uninstall it – this saves around 60% storage space compared to to normal installation. The decompression is then done quickly if the application must be ready again.

App bundles are already the standard format of the Google Play Store. While Google now gives developers 6 months to switch from Android Package Kits (APKs) to App Bundles (ABBs), the company estimates that it only takes an average developer 3 days to make the transition. While it is voluntary to offer archiving as an option on mobile devices, it will be a requirement on smart TVs.

Developers who don’t modify their apps before the deadline should expect their apps to be hidden from TV interfaces afterwards. App bundles are already supported from Android 5.0 (API level 21). According to Google, the switchover should almost always go smoothly, because Google TV, for example, started directly with Android 10 (API Level 29).

As a user, of course, you won’t notice much of this change behind the scenes. Ideally, you should just find that some apps’ download sizes decrease, and you’ll just get archiving as a new option for some apps.

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