Publishing APK or AIA files?

I'm about to publish an app to the amateur astronomy community and would appreciate advice. Would publishing it as an APK file using Google Play, or as an AIA file, be more appropriate? APK files would be more convenient but might be less secure.

I intend to publish the App using a combination of App Showcase, Git Hub for more detail and firmware source code downloads, and a YouTube video overview.

Are very different things.
Aia file get access to all code and also all keys or account settings you used. Like firebase , airtable , cloud etc .
Apk Is only for testing and only for android as you know or android emulator.
To publish to Google play you need aab file , an account as developer (25$) and a procedure to respect all Google policy and rules (for now and for all the updates Google will ask).

So you have to decide how many data want to share with your community or how much control about your app.

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An apk is also for sharing your app in other ways because you don't want to use Google Play. There are app stores that use the apk format. So it is very useful not just for testing.


Thanks. Yes of course. I had to explain better . I was talking about this

and forgot the other stores :+1:t2:

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Hi Raffaele and Peter,
Thanks for your reply - certainly food for thought. I'd like to collaborate with other amateur astronomers in the northern hemisphere on testing and maybe further developing the app. Especially if it turns out modifications are needed for the Northern Hemisphere. The AIA sounds safer than using an APK but it could be a bit inconvenient for a non-programmer to have to compile it. Also, there might be an issue if someone republishes it with malware included. I like the idea of the AAB file's quality control but note that APKs downloaded using Google Drive are already checked for malware anyway. I'd like to hear more about the relative risks of APKs. AAB's and AIA's.