For apps that need more than 150MB, App Bundles introduce a new feature to replace OBBs called Play Asset Delivery. Using better data compression and dynamic delivery strategies, this PAD system promises faster downloads for non-code assets as well, perhaps even while already playing the game. Future updates can also be smaller because PADs won’t contain all the new assets but only what changed between different versions of the assets, a.k.a. their deltas.
This definitely sounds great, at least for users, but it does come with one subtle fine print. All of these features are available only on Google Play Store, which sounds like a no-brainer but has important implications for some Android developers. Unlike APKs, Android App Bundles cannot exist outside of Google Play and cannot be distributed outside of it. This means that developers switching from APK to App Bundles can no longer provide the exact same package or experience on other app sources unless they opt to maintain a separate APK version.
So we'll have to see how the analysis unpacks this all over the next month or so. But certainly, if the dev is no longer producing a separate APK file, the days of sideloading outside of a region etc maybe at an end.
See Android App Bundles are replacing APKs – why it matters
Google Play Store is constantly evolving to meet the growing needs and demands of Android users and developers. Many of those improvements rely on automated systems powered by AI and machine learni…