Deliver apps and features on demand with the Android App Bundle
By publishing your apps using the Android App Bundle, you can reduce the size of your app, simplify releases, and deliver features on demand. Because of its added benefits, the Android App Bundle is the recommended publishing format on Google Play.
How app bundles work
App bundles use a new serving model, known as Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery, to build and deliver APKs that are optimized for each device configuration. By removing unused code and resources for other devices, this delivery model results in a smaller, more efficient app for users to install.
Note: To use app bundles, you must enroll in app signing by Google Play.
Dynamic features: With app bundles, you can include dynamic feature modules that users can download and install on demand via Dynamic Delivery. These modules may represent features of your app and their configurations (such as density, ABI, or language). Learn more about adding dynamic feature modules to your Android App bundle.
Google Play Instant: App bundles also support instant apps. By adding an entry point module to your app bundle, you can offer users a Google Play Instant experience that lets them try your app or game without waiting to install it. Users can select Try Now on your app’s store listing or visit a link to run your instant experience. While using your instant app, users can install your app on their device. Learn more about adding an instant experience to your Android App Bundle.
Benefits of uploading an app bundle
With app bundles, you only need to build, sign, and upload a single artifact in order to support optimized APKs for a wide variety of device configurations. Google Play then manages and serves your app's APKs for you. As a result, you don't need to manage version codes for each combination of ABI, screen density, and locale that you want to support. Also, by using app bundles, you can benefit from ongoing improvements that are added to the delivery process.
Compared to APKs, app bundles:
- Have smaller download sizes and smaller size on disk
- Can use uncompressed native libraries (Android 6.0 and up) that are stored on the APK instead of the user’s device, which can lower download sizes, size on disk, and installation times
- Serve users the functionality and configurations they need on demand, instead of during installation
- Simplify build and release management by removing the need to build and publish multiple APKs
When you upload an app bundle to your Play Console, Google Play sends an optimized binary for the device.
- Android 5.0 and up: Play will generate a base APK, configuration APKs, and dynamic feature APKs (if applicable)
Below Android 5.0: Play will generate multi-APKs server-side
Beta program for publishing apps with dynamic feature modules
If you have permission to "Manage testing track releases" on the Play Console, you can publish app bundles to the open, closed, or internal test tracks.
To publish an app bundle to production, go to the beta interest form to request access.
- Before requesting access, review the list of beta considerations.
- You should only apply to the beta program after you have used dynamic features in Android Studio and know how to incorporate them into your app.
Keep in mind, it may take some time for your request to be reviewed. When the review is complete, you'll see a notification on the App releases page in your Play Console.
Review your app bundle details
To view and download the APKs that Google Play generates from your app bundle:
- Go to your Play Console.
- Select an app.
- On the left menu, select Release management > App releases.
- Next to the track that contains the app bundle that you'd like to view, select Manage.
- Under "App bundles added," select the app bundle that you'd like to view.
- Select Explore app bundle.
- Select the APKs per device configuration or Auto-generated multi-APKs tab.
- APKs per device configuration: This tab includes the base, configuration, and dynamic feature APK details that are served to devices running Android 5.0 and up.
- Auto-generated multi-APKs: This tab includes multi-APKs that are served to devices running anything lower than Android 5.0. These APKs benefit from screen density and ABI optimizations, but they include every language. If your app's
minSdkVersionis at least Android 5.0 (API level 21), you won't see this tab.
APK details and downloads
To view details about APKs generated from your app bundle, go to the top of the screen and select an app bundle from the drop-down.
View the size savings you gained by publishing an app bundle.
Size savings are based on the APK received by a popular device configuration, compared to the universal APK (which contains all of your resources, code, and assets). Size savings typically come from sending optimized language, density, and ABI resources per device.
Download generated APKs
To test your app on a device, download the generated APKs for each device configuration by selecting the download arrow .
APKs generated from app bundles have a maximum size limit. If your APK has a compressed size at the time of download that’s higher than 100MB, you'll see a red error icon in the "Installed APK size" column. Select the row with the error to find the devices where your app bundle is generating large APKs. Reduce the size of your app, then upload a new app bundle.