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Building APKs for Android emulators and devices

The default file format used when building Android apps with EAS Build is an Android App Bundle (AAB / .aab). This format is optimized for distributing to the Google Play Store, but AABs can't be installed directly to your device. To install a build directly to your Android device or emulator, you need to build an Android Package (APK / .apk) instead.

Configuring a profile to build APKs

By default, EAS Build produces Android App Bundle, you can change it by:
  • setting buildType to apk
  • setting developmentClient to true
  • setting gradleCommand to :app:assembleRelease, :app:assembleDebug or any other gradle command that produces APK
{
  "build": {
    "release": {},
    "preview": {
      "android": {
        "buildType": "apk"
      }
    },
    "preview2": {
      "android": {
        "gradleCommand": ":app:assembleRelease"
      }
    },
    "preview3": {
      "developmentClient": true
    }
  }
}
Now, to run your build run eas build -p android --profile preview. Remember that you can name the profile whatever you like; we named the profile "preview", but you could call it "local" or "simulator", whatever makes most sense for you.

If you haven't installed or run an Android emulator before, follow the Android Studio emulator guide before proceeding.
  • Once your build is completed, download the APK from the build details page or the link provided when eas build is done.
  • Open up your emulator.
  • Drag the APK file into the emulator.
  • The app will be installed in a few seconds. When it's complete, navigate to the app launcher, find the app icon and open it.
  • You can share this build, it will run on any Android emulator or device.

  • Once your build is completed, copy the URL to the APK from the build details page or the link provided when eas build is done.
  • Send that URL to your device. Maybe by email? Up to you.
  • Open the URL on your device, install the APK and run it.

  • Install adb if you don't have it installed already.
  • Connect your device to your computer and enable adb debugging on your device if you haven't already.
  • Once your build is completed, download the APK from the build details page or the link provided when eas build is done.
  • Run adb install path/to/the/file.apk.
  • Run the app on your device.