The technical advances achieved in the mobile phone sector over the years, in addition to the many advantages they have brought to our day to day, have also caused some collateral drawbacks: one of them is the fact that mobile applications and games are getting heavier, which means that a good part of the population, the one that still does not have access to cutting-edge devices or high-speed Internet connections, have problems when it comes to getting the latest apps and tools.

That is why, as Google has been developing new versions of Android, it has also been devising solutions with which to make applications not so heavy. One of the most recent was the so-called Dynamic Asset Delivery, which allows developers to prepare their games so that can be executed by users even if not all of your resources have been downloaded yet.

But to make this system a reality, Google relies on other technology that I had already implemented before. It’s about the App Bundles, a format that optimizes the installation package of each app for each specific device, and thus saves space. But there is a problem: the arrival of this format had greatly hindered the possibility of Download and install apps and games from alternative stores to Google Play. Until today.

What are app bundles?

Despite its apparent disadvantages, the truth is that the app bundles They have led to countless improvements in the distribution of applications through the Google Play Store. Broadly speaking, this concept refers to a publication format that includes all the code and resources of the application, but that leaves the task of generate the APK file which will ultimately be installed on the device. In this way, Google Play can take only the necessary resources for the installation of the application on each specific device, getting rid of those that are not necessary for this save space and speed up both the download and installation process.

The operation of this system is fully automated, so that the user does not have to do absolutely nothing. To represent how it works in an example, imagine that you are going to download an application like WhatsApp. Therefore, when downloading an app or game from Google Play, the following happens: if the developers have opted for the app bundle format for their application, Google play will automatically identify what parts of the application are needed to make it work correctly according to the hardware and software of your device, as well as other parameters such as language.

So, when you download the application, what you are really downloading is the base APK file –Which will be the same on all devices–, along with other corresponding compatibility modules, for example, to processor type and architecture, screen resolution, Android version, or configured language. The rest of the modules will not be downloaded, thus saving storage space, and time since the download process will be faster.

But, What happens if you change the settings of your mobile? In case of making any type of modification that could affect the performance of the app due to the lack of the necessary modules –for example, by changing the language of the device or changing the version of Android–, Google Play will install the necessary modules automatically.

So far, all are advantages, both for developers, who save work and time by leaving the process of “packaging” and signing each application to Google; and for users, who make sure they are downloading the most suitable apps for their devices, while saving space. However, the fact that developers who have already opted for this measure have stopped gather all the resources of your apps within the APK files, have made it basically impossible to offer your apps through alternative routes to Google Play. That’s where they come into play .APKM files and APKMirror Installer app.

How to download and install app bundles

APKMirror is one of the Android repositories of apps and games alternative to Google Play most popular that exist, and as such, one of the big ones affected by the arrival of the app bundle format. For this reason, for the last year the team in charge of giving life to this portal – which, by the way, is the same behind the Android Police medium – has been developing a way to download and install app bundles without resorting to Google Play.

The solution is based on two parts: first, a new file type, with .APKM extension, which is nothing more than a compressed and encrypted file that contains both the APK of each application and the optimized resources for each specific device. On the other hand, the application is offered APKMirror Installer, which today is the only one capable of installing applications based on the app bundle format with .APKM format.

Taking all of the above into account, the process for install app bundles on our Android using APKMirror Installer it’s simple. Just follow these steps:

Download any app that supports app bundles from APKMirror. –Some examples of apps with this format are Netflix, YouTube or Pokémon GO; They will be identified by a green label with the text “Bundle” –

Open the APKMirror Installer app and tap the “Browse Files” button.

Find and select the application package that you downloaded in the first step.

Tap on “Install package” wait for the appropriate resources to load for your device.

Finally, tap on “Install app” to install the application. Note that you must have previously activated unknown origins.

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