Android App Bundle
Filename extension
Type of formatPackage format
Container forAndroid
Open format?yes
WebsiteOfficial website

Android App Bundle is the Android application publishing file format. The App Bundle must include the application's compiled code and resources, which allows for the signing and generation of APK files to be deferred to the app store, reducing the initial download size of the app.[1] The file extension used for this format is ".aab".[2]

Google Play requires Android App Bundles for all new apps since August 2021 and for all updates to preexisting apps since November 2021.[3][4] Since May 2023, Android TV requires AABs.[5]

Split APKs

Without Android App Bundles, an APK can support multiple languages, up to four different CPU architectures, and several display resolutions.[6] This meant that each installation file could contain potentially large amounts of bloat irrelevant for a device's specific combination of CPU, locale, and screen size.[6]

Split APKs, which are generated by an app store like Google Play, contain only the code and resources that are needed for the specific device downloading the app.[7] If the user changes their device language or feature set, the app store can then deliver additional split APKs on demand to meet the changed requirements.[8]

Android App Bundles are required for using "play as you download" feature of Google Play, which lets users download and install a portion of the game to start playing and then download the rest while the user is occupied by the first level.[9]

See also


  1. ^ "About Android App Bundles". Android Developers. Archived from the original on 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  2. ^ "bundletool". Android Developers. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  3. ^ Peters, Jay (2021-06-30). "Google is moving away from APKs on the Play Store". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2021-08-04. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  4. ^ "New Android App Bundle and target API level requirements in 2021". Android Developers Blog. Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  5. ^ Amadeo, Ron (2022-11-22). "Android TV will require App Bundles in 2023, should reduce app size by 20%". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2022-11-22.
  6. ^ a b Amadeo, Ron (2021-07-01). "Google Play dumps APKs for the more Google-controlled "Android App Bundle"". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 2021-08-12. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  7. ^ Tim Anderson. "Android devs prepare to hand over app-signing keys to Google from August". Archived from the original on 2021-07-24. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  8. ^ Elliott, Dom (2020-11-23). "A new publishing format for the future of Android". Medium. Archived from the original on 2021-07-16. Retrieved 2021-08-15.
  9. ^ Amadeo, Ron (2021-11-15). "Android 12: The Ars Technica Review". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2021-11-21.