Soon, App Bundles rather than APKs will be required for Android TV and Google TV.

Many homes now have smart TVs, and the majority of these devices run one of Google’s operating systems or a variant. Even while the hardware has become standard, the average storage capacity is still just about 8GB, which is rather low when compared to even the most basic smartphones available today. Google is implementing a software-level adjustment to address this issue because not everyone can be expected to replace TVs on short notice and some people might not even recognise the need for more storage.

Android TV and Google TV will start requiring apps to be bundled in the Android App Bundle (AAB) format starting in May 2023 rather than the current APK format. For Android phones, this need is already in place.

Google claims that this strategy has a number of benefits. Users are less likely to delete AAB programmes because they allow apps to be archived, which cuts storage utilisation by about 60%, and because they have an average 20% lower footprint. AAB apps are also “useful” for all Android form factors, according to Google, because they are distributed more efficiently through the Google Play Store.

As a result, Google thinks AAB is the way to go. The company claims that although the six-month time frame may seem fairly grim, it would only take one engineer about three days to repackage their APK programme as AAB. Developers have been forewarned by Google that their apps can be hidden from TV devices if they don’t follow these timelines. To learn how to repackage your TV app, see Google’s guidance here.

Christopher Woodill

About ME

Enterprise technology leader for the past 15+ years…certified PMP, Six Sigma Black Belt and TOGAF Enterprise Architect. I collaborate with companies to help align their strategic objectives with concrete implementable technology strategies. I am Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Klick Health.

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