Google Play will soon replace APK with the Android App Bundle as its standard publishing format.
A post on the Android Developers Blog (spotted by The Verge) says that the new requirement will begin in August, although current apps won’t have to worry at the moment. “As a reminder, the app bundle requirement applies to new apps,” the post reads. “Existing apps are currently exempt, as are private apps being published to managed Google Play users.”
The Android App Bundle, which first released in 2018, is described in the post’s FAQ section as “an open source format supported by major build tools such as Android Studio, Gradle, Bazel, Buck, Cocos Creator, Unity, Unreal Engine, and other engines.” The post lists several benefits for making the switch to the Android App Bundle, which include smaller app sizes, dynamic delivery of large assets, texture compression format targeting, and “the ability to customize what feature modules are delivered to which device and when”.
Another listed benefit is Play App Signing, which offers loss protection for app signing keys and provides an upgrade option in the form of a “cryptographically stronger” app singing key.