Start today with Android Studio 3.2 Canary
Start today with Android Studio 3.2 Canary

Not all the news presented for Android are for its next big update, during the Google I / O 2018 has also presented an important novelty that will affect all versions of Android: these are the new modular applications.

The modular applications of Android is Google’s solution to those applications that are increasingly larger and contain files and libraries that are occupying space foolishly when not used by the user or the device.

In addition, that an application occupies a lot of storage is harmful, since the more size has less download will receive on Google Play, which developers welcome with open arms this novelty that puts their applications to diet.

Android App Bundle and Dynamic Delivery

Android App Bundle (Android Application Package) is the new loading format with extension .aab that includes all the resources and the code of an application, but unlike the APK, it is not an installable one. The Bundle App postpones the generation and signing of the APK through Google Play.

An App Bundle includes the base of the application and then separately all libraries and files by screen density, processor architecture and languages. When a user wants to download a Google Play application, he will look at the Bundle App and will then generate the APK through the new Dynamic Delivery component, downloading the base application and then the specific files for the processor, screen and language of the device. discarding the rest of files, which the application will occupy less space.

For example, if a Samsung Galaxy J5 is configured in English then Google Play will generate an APK for an xhdpi screen, an arm processor and the English language.

For a Pixel 2 XL configured in English and French then the files will be downloaded for a xxxhdpi interface, an arm64 processor and the English and French languages. If then your user configures their device in another language, for example Portuguese, then Google Play will automatically download the Portuguese language for all applications.

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The devices that will benefit most from this novelty are those with Android 5.0 Lolipop or higher, since it uses the split APK mechanism available from that version, which allows you to download the same APK in parts.

In previous versions of Android 4.4 KitKat backwards, App Bundle will generate APKs per processor and screen density. You will not be able to delete the languages ​​because later when the user changes or adds another language of his device, his applications can not be updated to the new language. Also, if Google has to create an APK per language, density and processor would be hundreds of APK per application, which would saturate the servers.

That means that the devices ** with versions prior to Android 5.0 Lolipop the savings will be much lower ** to include in the APK all the files of the languages, which in some applications can be dozens of languages.

Google announced that soon the savings from Android 5.0 Lollipop will be much higher, especially at stake, because the APK can also be generated with the texture compression format and the graphic API (OpenGL ES or Vulkan) that is compatible with the device.

Savings in applications

Google reports that the average savings is 20%, but there are applications in which the savings is much higher, reaching 50% as we can see in the graphics that the company has shared by comparing the current size of an application with the size that have with the App Bundle. Much of the savings is due to the languages ​​and libraries of the processor.

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