New Feature: Share link to app installer file

In August 2021, Google Play started requiring all new apps to be published at Android App Bundles (see New Feature: Publish Android App Bundles for details).

We had to disable the “Share app installer file” feature when building an Android App Bundle. However, it is still useful to to have an app installer file (i.e. APK) to share with other for offline distribution.

We have added a new feature to SAB 9.1 that allows you to specify a link to an APK on a website.

When the app is built with this setting, in the app on the Share app page, we add an additional button for Share link to app installer file.

How to enable with Scriptoria

When publishing apps to Google Play using Android App Bundles, Scriptoria still builds an APK for testing. We have added a feature to Scriptoria which provides a friendly download page with text from the Google Play listing information, including the size of the download.

All you have to do is add the publishing property BUILD_SHARE_DOWNLOAD_APP_LINK=1 to your project and the setting will be enable and a URL will be filled in with user friendly page.

Here is a video that shows the feature being used.

Thanks for this Chris!
One question though, does the app builder (us) have to provide the Website URL under the “Share link to app on website” on the Sharing tab, or is that provided automatically by including the BUILD_SHARE_DOWNLOAD_APP_LINK=1 under the publishing properties?

IF we have to provide it, how does one get the URL to put in the correct field?

Lastly, I just went to add the publish property to a current build and see a “BUILD_SHARE_APP_LINK” option. Is this the same link as described in the release notes to be “BUILD_SHARE_DOWNLOAD_APP_LINK”?

Thanks for clarifying this.


BUILD_SHARE_APP_LINK=0 is for disabling the automatic enabling of the “Share link to app on Google Play” (yeah, that is a bit confusing which I will try to explain below).

BUILD_SHARE_DOWNLOAD_APP_LINK is for enabling the “Share link to app installer file” for downloading the APK. When you use the publishing property, Scriptoria will set the URL for you.

FYI, App Publishing Service prior to Scriptoria (when it was run from Doorman) always enabled the “Share link to app on Google Play” since the purpose of the service was to publish to Google Play. When we implemented Scriptoria, we realized not everyone would want this “feature” so we added the BUILD_SHARE_APP_LINK so that at a project or product level this default feature could be disabled. I hope that makes sense.

If I want to create a link for a non-Play Store install, I select the ‘Share link to app on website’ option. Is this correct? In version 9.0.1 I used the ‘Share app installer file’ option. Should the ‘Share app installer file’ option be used any more? If so, when would I use this option in place of or in addition to the ‘Share link to app on website’ option?

You can still use the “Share app installer file” option with APKs.

Here is a bit of a trick (and messes with your mind a bit).

If you are publishing to Google Play as an AAB, you can leave the feature on. You can build an AAB and an APK. When the AAB is build, SAB will turn off the feature for the AAB. When you build the APK, it will have the feature on. You can turn on the “Share link to app on website” with the path the were you will copy the APK. Then, the APK that is shared from the website can share itself with others.