Android Market Now Supports Multiple APKs, Letting Developers Reach More Devices

Android Market now supports multiple APK (Android Package) files for the same applications, which should make it easier for developers to reach a greater diversity of devices.

One of the frustrations of working on the Android platform is that developers have had to figure out how to support a myriad number and style of devices with different screen densities, keypads or no keypads and versions of the OS.

Before, developers had to work with a single APK, which sometimes became too large or bigger than 50 MB with all of the associated files needed to optimize for every device. Now Eric Chu, Google’s group manager for Android, says that developers will be able to create more than one Android Package file, which can be custom designed for different devices.

These different files can contain code or resources that are optimized for different screen sizes, versions of the OS and compressions formats for OpenGL, which supports 2D and 3D graphics.

Developers might want to have different APKs for tablets and phones, for example. Android Market will automatically find the right APK for a customer’s device, so developers won’t have to worry about that.

Even if an app has more than one APK, it will still be shown as a single product with all of its associated ratings, reviews and comments. Developers still have to charge the same price though, even if they have more than one APK.