2011-07-21 21h50_33

As announced back at Google I/O, Android developers now have the ability to upload multiple APKs (individual package files) under the same listing in the Android Market. When you download an application that has multiple APKs associated with it, the Market will intelligently pick the APK that is most compatible with your device.

This gives developers an alternate method of supporting a wide variety of devices (say, phones and tablets) without stuffing complicated logic and graphical assets into a single APK. If used right, the new technique, which is completely transparent to end users, will result in smaller app sizes and eliminate the need for separate Market listings (case in point: Qik).


Source: Android Developers Blog

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • jgalan14

    That's a nice addition :D

  • HeavyD

    geat work Google

  • Arpit

    Hope this will help in making versions of apps which do not support the SD memory card inorder to support Android 2.1 and lower version.

    Looking forward to Google app with move to SD card options.

  • http://www.pretentiousname.com Leo Davidson

    "without stuffing complicated logic and graphical assets into a single APK"

    That makes sense in terms of reducing the download size & install footprint, so I agree it is a good thing.

    I'm not sure it reduces complexity for the developer, however. It's just moving the complexity from the code and APK and into the build & upload processes.

    In my experience, it's much easier to deal with complexity in code than it is in the build process, and having multiple builds of things is a pain (albeit one that is often worthwhile or inevitable).

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah, I can see your point too, and as a developer, I can definitely feel the pain of having to maintain multiple builds. Unless you're using new APIs and want to produce multiple versions of the app because the APIs are mind blowing, there's really no reason to have multiple APKs for tablet and phone apps (just use fragments and the right resource files). I can see this benefiting the regular/HD/XHD app sizes quite significantly though.

  • http://www.themotorsportcalendar.com/ Phil

    I was tempted to do something along these lines anyway, to ensure that Tablets are handled differently from Phones for instance, to make better use of the extra screen real estate.

    I was thinking of having a source, with all of the views in and then making two copies, one for phones and one for tablets.. and then strip out the items that are not applicable to each copy. Generate and upload.

    It is an extra step, but it can be managed, with minimal overheads and possibilities to forget stuff or lose stuff... It needs to be strictly managed.

    Dev copy --> build copy.

    No development should occur in the build copy.

  • ocdtrekkie

    This will be a nightmare for those who grab APKs to put them on unsupported devices.

    • Zigmar

      So you are worrying for pirates? :)