Google has been on fire lately with announcements like over 550k phones being activated daily, to over 250,000 applications in the Android Market. Today they are announcing what I think will be an awesome advantage and offering for the Android Market — and that is multiple APK support.
Google is now allowing developers to upload multiple versions of their applications at the same time. Multiple APK support is a new publishing option in Android Market delivering to those developers who want it, extra control over distribution. This new option should be available for developers starting today. Until now, each application listing or game had a single APK uploaded at a time and only one version available for download.
There will not be more than one listing for any said product so we wont see the same application multiple times. Instead developers can upload multiple APK’s addressing a different subset of their customers.
These APKs are complete, independent APKs that share the same package name, but contain code and resources to target different Android platform versions, screen sizes, or GL texture-compression formats. When users download or purchase your app, Android Market chooses the right APK to deliver based on the characteristics of the device.
This will allow for single application listings, yet there will be multiple versions to target phones or tablets. This will also come in handy for when new platforms become available and developers want to test or try an application without updating and hurting their current customers or user base.
Developers can access and start using this new service right away. Google has updated the Developer Console with these new control options and hopefully we start seeing this soon as all the developers just on board. This is another exciting change for Android and I can’t wait to see what Ice Cream Sandwich brings in the future.
[via Android Developer Blog]