Google is shrinking app downloads and app updates up to 90 percent smaller so they take up less storage and require less data to install.
Apps can make or break a smartphone and even the most amazing apps have slight drawbacks such as data usage or storage size. If you turn on automatic app updates, your monthly data allowance could evaporate faster and your phone storage starts filling up in no time.
While you can solve the mobile data matter by setting your smartphone to only update apps when connected to Wi-Fi, there's not much you can do in terms of preserving your phone's storage so that apps and app updates don't take up too much space. Getting a microSD card could partially solve the issue, but some Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 don't have a microSD card slot.
Google is aware of these potential inconveniences and it's trying to offer solutions. The company has previously made efforts to limit the size of its app updates coming through the Play Store, and it's now making another improvement in this regard.
Up To 90 Percent Smaller Android App Updates
Google has now announced that its latest improvements will allow for app updates that are between 65 and 90 percent smaller, thus requiring less data for downloading and installing the update and taking up less space on the device.
Just a few months ago, Google announced that it was shrinking apps by using an algorithm to optimize the size of an Android Application Package (APK). The company is now taking things to the next level with a new technique called File-by-File patching, yielding even better results.
"[W]e're excited to share a new approach that goes further — File-by-File patching," Google touts on its Android Developers Blog. "App Updates using File-by-File patching are, on average, 65% smaller than the full app, and in some cases more than 90% smaller."
That's a whopping reduction in app size and should go a long way toward preserving data and storage on Android devices.
Moreover, Google says that users will also be able to check just how big an update is before proceeding with the download, so they can decide whether they want to update when a new app version becomes available. The app size will be mentioned in the description section of your Play Store apps.
Google's new approach could lead to an increase of Play Store app downloads, and users could end up keeping the apps they install for longer. A recent study revealed that Android users uninstall apps more than their iOS counterparts, but that could well change if less data and storage are required.