A few weeks ago Google announced a fundamental change to Android that the Android App Bundle (AAB) will replace the APK format. All new apps shipped to the Play Store starting next August must use the new format, although existing apps can continue to use APKs for now.
How Huawei and Harmony OS platform, supports APK to run Android applications. Through Huawei executive Wang Chenglu told the state-affiliated Global Times outlet that the new format will not affect the Harmony OS user experience or hinder development.
“The AAB format is basically similar to the Harmony Atomic Service,” Chenglu told the outlet.
The company previously described Atom Services as a future-oriented user application on Harmony OS that is free of installation and provides certain functionality.
It’s unclear whether Huawei’s Harmony OS and HMS/Android platforms support the Android App Bundle, although the documentation appears to indicate that the App Gallery supports the format.
Nevertheless, it looks like the new format could make life a little more difficult for app stores and other third-party repositories as well. Developers need to manually export their app bundles as APKs if they want their apps to appear in alternative stores.
It’s a double-edged sword, as developers get more control over where their apps appear, but it creates a bit of friction if you want to support more than just the Play Store.