What is the difference between .apk and .aab (android app bundle)?

  • Replies:5
  • Answered
  • Forum posts: 11

Dec 31, 2019, 4:23:08 AM via Website

I just wonder what the actual working process of app bundle is. How does it work in devices in comparison with the APK file?

Best answer
  • Forum posts: 63

Dec 31, 2019, 5:28:08 AM via Website

App bundles are publishing format, whereas APK (Android application Package) is the packaging format which eventually will be installed on device. Google uses app bundle to generate and serve optimized APKs for each user’s device configuration, so they download only the code and resources they need to run your app. Therefore, users can get smaller and more optimized downloads.

James Watson
  • Forum posts: 1,583

Dec 31, 2019, 9:37:07 AM via Website

An apk is a full package for an Android application to be installed on an android device.
But an aab is a file that developers can upload to Google Play to support Dynamic Delivery.

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  • Forum posts: 3

Jul 26, 2021, 12:50:59 PM via Website

APK has been the go-to distribution app package on Android since its inception. An APK primarily consists of app codes, heavy resources such as image, audio, etc., and an app signing key generated by the developer.

AAB is a container that hosts a base APK and multiple split-APKs. Basically, AAB is a publishing format that a developer submits to the Play Store while APK is the packaging format for Android apps that you install on your device.

Ham Khan
  • Forum posts: 4

Sep 16, 2021, 12:36:17 PM via Website

App Bundles also benefit from simpler add-on module loading and enhanced support for large assets such as game content. According to Google, all of this typically results in a 15% reduction in download size, compared to the same app distributed as an APK.

Murtza Abbas
  • Forum posts: 1

May 2, 2023, 7:52:04 AM via Website

Both .apk and .aab are file formats used to distribute Android applications. However, there are some key differences between them.

APK (Android Application Package) is the traditional file format used to distribute Android apps. It contains all the code, resources, and assets needed to run the app on an Android device. When you download an app from the Google Play Store or any other app store, you are downloading an APK file.

On the other hand, AAB (Android App Bundle) is a newer file format that was introduced by Google in 2018. It is a more efficient way to distribute Android apps, as it allows developers to package only the code and resources that a particular device needs to run the app. This means that the file size of an AAB can be significantly smaller than that of an APK, which can lead to faster downloads and installations.

When a user downloads an app from the Google Play Store that was built using the AAB format, Google Play will automatically generate an APK file that is tailored to the user's device. This process is called dynamic delivery and it ensures that the user gets a version of the app that is optimized for their device.

In summary, APK is the traditional file format for Android apps, while AAB is a newer, more efficient format that allows for dynamic delivery of optimized versions of the app to different devices.