How to install the Android App Bundle (AAB) on your phone

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Google’s ambitious plan to move from APK to Android App Bundle (AAB) as the new standard for apps uploaded to the Play Store may wonder how to sideload AAB files to Android devices. Is the process of sideloading AAB files as easy as installing an APK? This is exactly what this article describes and how to install the app bundle on your Android device.

Android App Bundle Installation: Step-by-Step Guide (2021)

In this article, we’ve added a brief explanation of what an Android app bundle is, as well as a way to download and install an app bundle. Read through to understand everything about installing Android app bundles on your device.

What is an Android App Bundle? How does it compare to APK?

As part of that effort, Google first announced the Android app bundle at Google I / O 2018. Reduce the size of Android apps.. With App Bundle, Google Play generates APK files based on various device configurations such as CPU architecture, DPI, language and so on. These individual APK files serve a specific purpose called split APKs. Then, Google Play delivers the proper configuration (optimal configuration for the device) of the app through a process called dynamic delivery.

Base apk and split apk android app bundle
Image courtesy of Google

What’s important about App Bundle now is that Google recently announced plans to begin requiring new apps to be published as Android App Bundle (AAB) in August 2021. From now on, new apps on Google Play will use the Android App Bundle (AAB) format. Instead of APK. Similarly, all apps utilize Play Asset Delivery or Play Feature Delivery instead of OBB for extension files normally used in games. For more information, see this detailed description of APKs and AABs.

It’s not a genius to speculate that Google will eventually impose this requirement on existing apps. In fact, popular app makers such as Adobe, LinkedIn, Netflix and Twitter have already adopted this format. Also, with Google’s latest announcement, developers who haven’t previously been interested in app bundles may be rushing to ship to streamline the app delivery process.

So how does the move to AAB affect sideloading of apps on Android devices? Now, with the rise of app bundles, the process of sideloading apps has become complicated. Instead of a single APK installation file, various formats such as .apks (combination of .apk file and all split apk files), .xapk (APK file + OBB data file), .apkm (APKMirror app bundle) There is a website).

You can’t easily find the .aab file for your favorite app on the internet because the .aab file is uploaded directly to Google Play and cannot be installed directly using the native package installer. If you’re a developer, you can use Google’s bundletool to generate an APK from your Android app bundle. However, if you want to test .aab files, we’ve also added a free app at the end of the article that allows you to install .aab files.

How to download an Android app bundle

Because there is no official centralized repository for downloading AAB files on Android phones Must rely on third party app hosting sites like APKMirror For sideloading app bundles. However, there are issues with using APKMirror for app bundles. The APKMirror website uses a unique format for app bundles called .apkm. As a result, you need to install the .apkm file using the APKMirror installer companion app.

Download apkm from apkmirror-Install AndroidApp Bundle AAB file

To download the .apkm file, go to APKMirror (website link), search for and open the list of apps to download, and open.[APKバンドルのダウンロード]Click. The website downloads an .apkm file that can be installed using the APKMirror installer app.

Install the Android app bundle on your device

Once you have downloaded the Android App Bundle, you can install it using the dedicated App Bundle installer app. Now, if you want to install the .apkm file, you need to use the APKMirror installer. However, if you have a base APK and a specific split APK, you can use the open source app Split APK Installer (SAI) to install the Android app bundle.

The APKMirror installer can install .apks files, but you need to see the ads to install the app (you can get a subscription to remove the ads). Simply put, if you want to install the .apkm file, use the APKMirror installer, otherwise use SAI. That said, it’s worth mentioning that in a recent update SAI got .apkm support for unencrypted .apkm files.

Method 1: Install the .apkm file using APKMirror

1. After downloading the .apkm file from APKMirror Open the APKMirror installer app (Free, with in-app purchase). Then select the .apkm file from the Browse File option. Tap the .apkm file name, then tap “Installing packages” From the pop-up menu.

Install the package apkmirror

2. The APKMirror installer will display the details of the app. Next, Tap “Install App” at the bottom, Then tap Install again in the pop-up window to complete the process. When using the APKMirror installer for the first time, Android requires permission to install the app. You will be redirected to the Settings app and you can enable the switch.

installapkm-Install the Android app bundle AAB file

3. Once the installation is complete, you can: Tap “Open app” Start using the app. that’s it. The Android App Bundle is now successfully installed on your device.

Successful apkm installation

Method 2: Install .apks using SAI and split apk file

You can use the Split APK installer (SAI) to install .apks, .xapk, split apk files, and unencrypted .apkm files. SAI is considered the gold standard for installing app bundles in the Android community. Here’s how to install a split APK using the SAI app.

1. Install SAI from the Play Store (free, with in-app purchase), Tap “Install APK” It is at the bottom of the home page. You can now use the internal file picker or system file picker to select the Android app bundle to install. We recommend using the system file picker.

Select File sai-Install Android App Bundle AAB File

2. Select the Android app bundle from the file picker and select SAI will automatically select the split APK that matches your device.. You can also choose a specific split APK, such as if you need additional languages. When you’re done, tap Install.

install splitapk-Install the Android app bundle AAB file

3.3. Press “Install” At the app install prompt, you will see a pop-up message as soon as the installation is complete.

Install successful sai

Method 3: Install the .aab file on your device using the AppBundle installer

Due to the nature of .aab files, ordinary users rarely come across apps of the .aab file type. However, if you have an .aab file, you can install it using an app called App Bundle Installer. This demo uses the PowerMenuControls .aab file, a powerful app for customizing the Android 11 power menu. To install the .aab file on your Android phone:

1. Install the App Bundle Installer (free, including ads), Tap “Select AAB” From the home screen. When the next page appears, tap the Select AAB File button and select the .aab file.

Select aab file

2. Select the .aab file from the selected Android file manager and Then tap the “Install File” button Start the installation process in your app.

install aab

3. The app will prompt you to see how it works. Upload the .aab file, convert the .aab to .apk, sign the .apk file and download it to your device. This is a third-party implementation, so proceed at your own risk..

Check aab and upload

4. When the .apk file is ready, you will be prompted to install the app. Tap Install to install the app, and when the process is complete, press Open to launch the app.

Install aabcomplete-Install the Android app bundle

Easily install AAB files on your Android phone!

This concludes our guide on how to install the Android App Bundle (AAB) on your device. As you can see, sideloading an app as an Android App Bundle is not as easy as installing the apk file using the native package installer. It will be interesting to see how power users will adapt to switching to app bundles in the coming months. Now, if you are interested in mods, go ahead and check out the articles on installing ADB on Windows, running ADB from your web browser, and removing bloatware from your Android phone.