Google Improves ‘Android App Bundle’ With ‘Play Asset Delivery’ For Games To Have Lower Sizes Using Modular Delivery Optimizations

Google has optimized the ‘Android App Bundle’ to ensure the size of apps and games downloaded from Google Play Store have a smaller size and better data management. The new and improved ‘Play Asset Delivery’ will include several benefits of app bundles that developers can utilize to cutting delivery costs and reducing the size of their creations.

Google is changing the backend structure of apps and games available for the Android Operating System. The search giant promises that developers adopting the new ‘Play Asset Delivery’ can shrink the sizes of app and games downloads, improve user retention, and gain several more benefits.

Google To Deploy ‘Play Asset Delivery’ For Android Play Store Apps And Games:

Google has claimed that over 600,000 apps and games currently use the app bundle in production. The ‘Android App Bundle’ effectively powers over 40 percent of all releases on Google Play. About 50 percent of the top app developers rely on the same to ensure their creations have reduced app sizes.

The newly launched Play Asset Delivery (PAD), claims to bring benefits of app bundles to games and will allow developers to improve the user experience while cutting delivery costs and reducing the size of their games. Google has published some FAQs on Play App Signing — required for app bundles — as well as guidance on how to test app bundle.

About to be introduced as a mainstream methodology for app creation and APK deployment on Google Play, the ‘Play Asset Delivery’ will mandate new apps and games to be published with the Android App Bundle on Google Play in the second half of 2021.

The  Play Asset Delivery primarily focuses on OBB, the legacy expansion files that contain game data. The platform lets games larger than 150MB replace the OBB files and, instead, rely on Play to keep assets up to date. This is similar to the modern-day game library. PAD will take care of compression and delta patching, minimizing the size of the download and getting the game to update faster.

Developers can choose one of three delivery modes, depending on when they want those assets to be served to users: Install-Time, as part of the initial game installation; On-Demand, so assets will be delivered only upon request; or Fast-Follow, which will trigger an additional download immediately after the game installation completes, independently of the user opening the app.

Google will soon be releasing texture compression format targeting, which will allow developers to include multiple texture compression format assets and rely on Google to deliver them to the most advanced format supported by the requesting device.

Google Deploys Optimizations To Achieve Faster App And Game Downloads:

Google claims to have improved the app bundles by enabling modular app development using dynamic feature modules with a range of customizable delivery options. It is now possible to shrink resources in dynamic feature modules as well as the base module when building modular apps. Although experimental in nature, the feature is available from Android Studio 4.2 Canary version.

By default, Install Time Modules are now automatically fused when app bundles are processed into distribution APKs (starting in bundletool 1.0.0). This means developers can separate their app into modules during development while reducing the number of APKs distributed to each device, which will effectively speed up the app’s download and installation.

In addition to the above method, Google recently upgraded the download service Google Play uses. The search giant claims this change alone has sped up the installation of app bundle apps by an average of 6 percent and increased install success globally by 1 percent, resulting in millions of more new installs for developers every week.

Alap Naik Desai
A B.Tech Plastics (UDCT) and a Windows enthusiast. Optimizing the OS, exploring software, searching and deploying solutions to strange and weird issues is Alap's main interest.