The standard for mobile and TV apps has been APK (Android Package Kit) for a long time. It is slowly being replaced by AAB (Android App Bundle), which allows for faster and smaller applications that save storage and optimize performance.
Josh Wentz from the Product Management team at Google TV revealed starting from May 2023, Google TV and Android TV will also require App Bundles. The company is giving a six-month notice to developers to repackage their apps lighter, although Wentz believes it might take about 3 days.
The key benefit of App Bundles is about 20% lower storage footprint as the app only uses the necessary resources while the rest is archived. TV apps will also have an archive/unarchive button which would reclaim more app storage. Wentz said over 10,000 apps are now available to Android TV OS, and lack of storage pushes users to uninstall apps, that’s why their team is pushing for a switch.
The difference between Android TV and Google TV is the former is the core TV product, found in Xiaomi TV sticks, as well as some Sony and Sharp TVs. The latter, however, is a software layer on top, infused with Google AI recommendations, based on personal usage and is making its way to new and modern TVs.