Robert Triggs / Android Authority
- Huawei has clarified that Google’s switch to a new app format will not affect Harmony OS.
- Google previously announced a switch from the APK app format to the Android App Bundles.
Google announced a fundamental change to Android a few weeks ago when it revealed that Android App Bundles (AAB) would succeed with the APK format. All new apps sent to the Play Store from August must use the new format, although existing apps may continue to use APKs for now.
What does this mean for Huawei and the Harmony OS platform? After all, Harmony OS supports APKs to run Android apps. Well, Huawei boss Wang Chenglu told the state affiliates Global Times the statement that the new format will not affect the user experience of Harmony OS or hinder development.
It is unclear whether Huawei’s Harmony OS and HMS / Android platforms support Android App packages, although documentation seems to suggest that the App Gallery supports the format. We have asked Huawei to clarify the support and will update the article if / when the company returns to us. We hope the Chinese brand works with support if AABs are not already compatible, as we could see a larger app gap between Huawei and Google as new apps are released.
Still, it seems that the new format can make life a little tougher for other third-party app stores and archives as well. Developers must manually export app bundles as APKs if they want the app to appear in alternative stores. This is a double-edged sword, as developers gain more control over where their app appears, but it introduces a bit of friction if you want to support more than just the Play Store.