For sure you have heard of the fact that the applications that we are going to download from the Google Play Store will have a different extension from the classic. APK we are used to and specifically, the new app extension will have.AAB as its denominator. For the average user, absolutely nothing will change but for the more geeks, it may be necessary to convert from an AAB file to one in APK format and this guide was created to complete this procedure.
Before starting with the guide, however, it is right to remember what the Android App Bundles are, or the ABB files, but we will deal with everything without getting into too many technicalities since we are not developers. AABs are non-executable files that contain all the packages necessary for an app to work universally on Android phones and in this sense you must consider them as compressed files from which you can extract all the information necessary for the application to work optimally on your smartphone.
Then extract only the packages necessary for the specific operation for your phone, and an installable APK will be generated which brings two advantages:
- Mainly, the work of the developers is safeguarded;
- The space that the application occupies in the memory of the mobile is optimized.
GUIDE: Here’s how to convert an AAB file to APK
The main drawback is that if you come across an App Bundle outside of the Google Play Store, turning it into an APK file is complicated. So to carry out this procedure you will need the following tools:
- Android studio;
- The Bundletool app;
- A computer.
At this point, proceed with installing Android Studio on your PC if you don’t already have it. This program is specially designed for Android programmers and becomes fundamental in converting AAB files to APK format, because it uses the Java programming language and also allows you to sign applications, two fundamental requirements for converting an AAB file to APK. The Bundletool tool is required because it will take care of converting the AAB package into an APK file. So let’s see the steps to follow:
- Create a folder where you can save the .aab file and Bundletool app on your computer;
- Within the newly created folder containing the files just mentioned, press the SHIFT key and the right mouse button at the same time;
- You will see a menu appear containing the OPEN POWERSHELL WINDOW HERE function;
- Pressing OK will open the Windows console;
- From the window that has just opened, you will need to write the following line of code: bundletool build-apks –bundle = APPLICATION.aab –output = APPLICATION.apks –mode = universal;
- Again, note that you will need to replace the name “application” with the real name of the AAB application you downloaded;
- Once the command has been entered, enter to execute it: the program will take care of converting the packages into an APKS file;
- Meanwhile, Bundletool will warn you that it will use the Android Studio debug certificate;
- When all is done, you will have an APKS file that you will need to rename with a ZIP extension to unzip it and extract the APK file from it.
Finally, you should know that the application you install using this method cannot be upgraded or installed on previous versions of it.