Android Market To Allow Device-Specific Builds With Multiple APK
Earlier today we learned about some of the many changes Google’s making to the Android Market, giving you more ways than ever to find new apps you in which you might be interested. At the time, we touched on an improvement that was more tuned towards Android developers, letting them create apps that are up to 4GB in size, but it turns out there are even more tweaks coming, giving devs more control over which Android devices will run their apps.
Multiple APK will let developers specify what version of an app get downloaded to which Android smartphones. There can be one general-purpose version of an app, which the developer feels should run with minimal issues on most common Androids. Instead of patching that app each time phone-specific bugs are discovered, a developer will be able to release a separate APK for the app that will only be download for a certain phone model, or group of phones. If there are problems with compatibility with a GPU specific to one subset of Androids, those phones can automatically retrieve the custom APK addressing their issues when the user goes to download the app from the Android Market.
While keeping multiple versions of the same app up-to-date may create new headaches, this sounds like a powerful tool to help in specific cases where certain hardware combinations just don’t want to play nicely. Developers will be able to use the feature starting this June.