Android TV and Google TV will soon require app bundles instead of APKs

Many households now have smart TVs, and most of them run Google’s operating systems or variations of them.

While hardware has become commonplace, most of the time it’s really not high-spec devices, and the average storage is around 8GB, which is quite small compared to even the budget phones we see nowadays.

However, you can’t expect everyone to replace TVs in a short amount of time – some may not even see the need for additional storage capacity – so Google is making changes at the software level to address this issue .

Controlled YouTube browsing on a child's Google TV profile

Starting in May 2023, for Android TV and Google TV, apps must be packaged in the Android App Bundle (AAB) format instead of the current APK format. This requirement is already in place for Android smartphones.

Google says this approach has several advantages. AAB apps take up 20% less space on average, and users are less likely to delete them because they allow apps to be archived, reducing storage usage by about 60%. In addition, Google stressed that AAB apps are “useful” for all Android form factors as they are delivered in a more streamlined way through the Google Play Store.

Thus, Google believes that AAB is the way forward. While the six-month timeline may seem rather grim, the company says it will take about three days for a single engineer to repackage their APK app as AAB.

Google has warned developers that if they don’t stick to these deadlines, their apps could be hidden from TV devices. You can refer to the Google documentation here to learn how to repackage your TV app.

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