Last year Google made it easier for Android developers to utilize modular development with the release of Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery. Over the past year, developers have implemented these new models in over 60,000 applications, resulting in reduced app sizes and time needed to manage releases.
Now, the Android team is implementing new features in those solutions to make the app development experience even better.
It is adding a new API that supports in-app language pickers. Normally, when developers publish using the Android App Bundle format, Google Play optimizes the installation by downloading only the language resources corresponding to the device locale. With the new languages API, developers will be able to create in-app language pickers, while still retaining the benefits of smaller installs gained by using app bundles. Apps can now request that the Play Store download resources for a new language configuration.
It is also adding a more streamlined way of publishing instant-enabled app bundles. This means that instead of having to create and upload two separate app bundles for installed and instant versions of apps, developers can upload a single app bundle that contains modules to enable instant experiences.
Another new feature is the ability to opt in to app signing. App signing needs to be enabled in order to publish apps using an Android App Bundle. The Android team has improved the sign-up process to make it easier to initialize keys for signing apps. Developers will now be able to upload their existing key without having to first upload a self-signed artifact, the Android team explained. Alternatively, developers can start with a key created by Google Play, allowing the key used to locally sign an app bundle to become the upload key.
Finally, the Android team has introduced the ability to uninstall dynamic feature modules from the initial installation of an app. This will enable developers to further reduce the install size of their apps.