How to install AAB files on Android

Technology and the Android world are continuously evolving and although since 2018 the new AAB format presented by Google to contain its applications has been known, it was not until August 2021 when it has come into play drastically. Which has had an effect on developers, but also on users.

A change that seeks to improve the user experience, giving them less waiting times and offering a higher level of security than they currently enjoy. With this, Google Play also seeks to differentiate itself from its competitors, since there are more and more application stores that offer the same as Google, although without as much security.

install AAB files on Android

A big difference

All these changes end up directly affecting those who install applications from sources other than Google Play. In Google’s own store, it is herself who is in charge of transforming the files that developers upload to Google Play as AAB in APK so that our mobile can detect, install and start it.

However, in other external portals that advantage does not exist and the possibility of accessing an application is very complicated, regardless of whether it is paid or free. A change that has nothing to do with the Android versions, since in any case they will work on smartphones as APKs and not with the customization layers either.

Why can’t you install App Bundle on Android?

To find out the reason for this, we have to know in depth what an AAB file consists of. This mechanism is based on a series of APKs integrated into the same package, also called Split APK. But not all APKs are necessary for our mobile, as each of them integrates a series of essential elements for operation, based on the language or content processed at different resolutions to improve performance on each of the smartphones. Something that becomes very important in the king operating system, since in Android we have a huge list of smartphones with different characteristics.

Nombres de postre Android

With this, Google wanted to save on weight and consumption of mobile data, since when we from Google Play touch to download an application, from the server it will only send to our mobile the set of AAB files that our mobile needs and gives shape to the APK required. A process that involves less weight than having to install all the languages and graphic elements, even if they are never going to be used on our mobile. It also marks a before and after for Google’s own resources, having to download fewer elements.

All this leads us to find the incompatibility of the new files on Android smartphones, as they contain several APKs inside. As much as we try to install an App Bundle or it will be impossible without first having made the change to an APK and that is the problem that we can find the most if we try to get apps from various sources of third parties.

Pass an AAB in APK

If you are thinking of carrying out this process manually, we have to warn you that it is not something simple that we will be able to do quickly, at least until now. There are two ways to choose from, one of them fast, although limited and easier, or another that requires some knowledge and patience, although unlimited.

The first option is based on an app called App Bundle Installer, a tool that makes our work much easier since she took care of doing everything for us. Even, for greater security, it offers us the option to analyze the .aab files in search of malware. To use it, we just have to download it from Google Play, which is free.

app aab

Once inside, we just have to choose the AAB format and tap on “Select AAB”. This will take us to the file explorer, in which we have to choose the element that contains this format. In a matter of seconds and with a limit of up to 75 MB, causing larger archive parks to have to go through the checkout. Once the APK format is ready, we can start the installation without having to worry about anything else.

The method for experts requires that we install the latest version of bundletool on our computer from the official website and once inside execute the following line of code: java -jar bundletool.jar build-apks –bundle = bundleapp.aab –output = out_bundle_archive_set .apks

This will generate a file that ends in .apks, which we are going to manually rename to .zip. After completing this, all you have to do is use a shared file manager to see each and every one of the APKs inside it and extract the one you want to install on your mobile.

Are AABs dangerous?

Although they do not have to become a danger by themselves, since as we have seen they contain the same elements as APKs, but divided correctly, they can also contain viruses if they have been manipulated. For this reason, we recommend choosing to choose the place from where we download an AAB file well so as not to risk that malware can enter our Android smartphone. Until now they are new files that have not been manipulated for this purpose, but little by little it will become more common.


To be sure and clearer that we are not going to make this mistake, we must look at the name of the AAB file, but especially the name that is generated once we have extracted the APK once we have followed the previous steps. If we find some strange term that does not refer to the developer or the app itself, we can become suspicious. To have more information about the apps, we can look at the URL of each app in Google Play from the browser, since most names will appear here or should if they have not been manipulated.