Google Play dumps APKs for the more Google-controlled “Android App Bundle”

App bundles versus the non-Google Play ecosystem

Like many new Android features, the change from APKs to Android App Bundles results in a more complex, sophisticated feature set for rolling out apps. But it also gives Google a lot more control over the Android ecosystem. Android App Bundles need to be processed by an app store’s cloud computer in order to be useful. While App Bundles are an open source format, and Google has an open source “bundletool” app that can compile them, some other company would need to build its own infrastructure, pay the server costs to host it in the cloud, and handle the scary app signing requirements (more on that later).

The open source nature of App Bundles allows development tools to more easily support them. But an alternative app store would have to take on so much work and responsibility that it’s doubtful the format will become anything other than the Google Play App Package.

Does /e/ have some ideas on how to address this?

Sideloading some Android apps could get more complicated as Google pushes Android App Bundles

Regain your privacy! Adopt /e/ the unGoogled mobile OS and online servicesphone


Maybe a glimmer of light?

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