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Get Ahead of the Curve: Android TV to Require App Bundles in 2023

At Google’s 2018 Developer Conference, the company revealed that Android TV will soon be requiring app developers to use app bundles to submit their apps to the Play Store to get them onto Android TV devices. Google claims that this change will happen in the first half of 2023, but it didn’t give any concrete details on when exactly it will start enforcing this requirement more heavily. In this article, I’ll explain why you need to start preparing now, what app bundles are and how they work, and how you can implement them with Android Studio today.

What Are App Bundles? 

App bundles are a new way for developers to group multiple apps and offer them as an up-front purchase. It’s only been a few months since Google first announced app bundles for its Play Store, and it’s already making waves in the mobile app industry. Developing countries like India already have access to app bundles, but they’re not available everywhere yet. Here are five things you should know about app bundles if you’re developing or publishing an app:  

1) App bundles can be offered across all platforms  

2) A bundle may contain multiple items  

3) Users don’t need to buy all the items upfront  

4) The developer sets an upfront price  

5) They can exclude their apps from the bundle 

Why Is Google Making This Change? 

Google said it’s making this change because app bundling makes it easier for developers and users to find apps. Users will be able to search for a specific app, rather than scrolling through a lengthy list that may contain irrelevant apps. When they find an app, they can install multiple ones with one click, which Google says is more convenient than downloading them individually. Developers will be able to submit bundles in bulk instead of individually submitting each new version of their app.  

Google also noted that it wants developers to provide their best work by releasing updates and new features as soon as they’re available, rather than waiting until they have enough content or features for a new release. This will help keep users engaged by providing fresh content regularly. 

How Does This Affect Developers? 

Android TV is a new platform that developers should be aware of and create apps for. With this new trend, there will be a requirement for app bundles from the beginning of 2021. This means that instead of having one app with all your updates, you will have two versions (one for Android TV and one for other devices).  

Developers will have to focus on creating separate apps for each device which can make things more time-consuming and expensive. It’s important to know about this new trend so you can get ahead of it before it becomes too much work.  

It is unclear what this means as far as downloads go because people would need both apps if they want their phone and TV updated. 

What Does This Mean for the Future of Android TV? 

Google has announced that the next version of Android, codenamed Pie, will require app bundles for TV apps. This means developers must submit an app bundle for their tvOS and Android versions of their apps.  

This is a huge change for developers. It’s not just about creating two different apps and making sure both run on all devices. Developers must now create separate versions of their tvOS and Android apps, each with its interface, features, and layout (which can be quite a challenge).  

This also has implications for consumers as well. With more work required from developers, we may see an increase in price points or there may be some apps that are no longer available.

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