The App Slicing feature for the App Thinning in iOS 9 will finally be available again for developers, after Apple fixes an iCloud bug.
App Thinning is among the most highly anticipated features to soon become available on Apple's latest mobile OS, as it will allow users to download apps at significantly smaller sizes and preserve their storage.
"The App Store and operating system optimize the installation of iOS and watchOS apps by tailoring app delivery to the capabilities of the user's particular device, with minimal footprint," Apple explains. "This optimization, called app thinning, lets you create apps that use the most device features, occupy minimum disk space, and accommodate future updates that can be applied by Apple. Faster downloads and more space for other apps and content provides a better user experience."
In late September, Apple announced that an App Thinning feature called App Slicing was no longer available to developers because it encountered an issue with iCloud backup. With this feature unavailable, developers couldn't work to bring App Thinning closer to availability.
Apple has now updated its developers website to announce that App Slicing is again available to developers following the iOS 9.0.2 update, as well as the recent Xcode 7.0.1 update.
The company says that it fixed the iCloud bug that affected App Slicing, and device-specific versions of apps will be available when users running iOS 9.0.2 or later want to download those apps.
With App Slicing, users only download the app assets required for their particular device — not the whole set of assets required to make the app work on all devices. An iPhone 6s user, for instance, will need to download only the iPhone 6s specific files of an app, instead of downloading the full set of assets that include larger iPad artwork and other resources for other iOS devices. This will notably reduce the size of iOS apps so users don't have to fill up their storage space with unnecessary assets.
All iOS users will have to upgrade to iOS 9.0.2 if they want to take advantage of these new storage-saving features. App slicing is unavailable in earlier iOS 9 or iOS 8 versions.