Android Market welcomes multiple APK applications

Google made a move that many people may not see the importance of at present, but one that represents an exciting new future for Android developers. The APK file format is used by Android devices, and stands for 'Android Package Kit'. It is roughly the same as a .exe file on Windows. The benefit of allowing multiple APKs to be listed under one name is that Google will now be able to download the most suitable version of an application to your device. Google's official Android Developers blog also explains the change and the benefit it brings to developers.

TechCrunch describes it with an Android user who wants to download a game entitled Fruit Ninja. The game is listed twice in the Android Market, as 'Fruit Ninja', and 'Fruit Ninja THD'. The 'THD' version of the game is intended for Android tablets, which tend to run on the Tegra processor. As would be expected, it has been optimized for that one processor, and therefore may not have the same performance on any other processors. It also may have issues with different screen resolutions. The company that makes Fruit Ninja, Halfbrick Studios, would now be able to list the game once and let the Android Market identify your device before selecting the version most suited to the device it is downloading to. Halfbrick Studios embraced the change extremely quickly and used the opportunity to release a free version of the game. 

Google has always encouraged developers to try and use one APK file across all Android devices, though as time progresses, it becomes clear that this is an extremely difficult task. Android is known for having been fragmented over the course of time, due to the large number of devices that run it. Many of these devices have different internals, which make the OS handle differently on different devices.  Another positive of the new change in the Android Market is that developers will be able to draw all user reviews under the one application, further making the Market more easily navigated and read.

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