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  1. Hardware
July 25, 2016

Google adds algorithms to reduce Android app download size

The new algorithm also applies to the APK expansion files.

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology giant Google wants its Android apps to consume a small amount of data while users update to latest versions.

The search engine major plans to invest in improvements which cut the size of the data consumption for its app downloads.

Google in a post on its Android Developers blog said that Android users installed over 65 billion apps in the last year from its Google Play Store.

Google Play's Anthony Morris said: “We’re also seeing developers move to update their apps more frequently to push great new content, patch security vulnerabilities, and iterate quickly on user feedback.

“However, many users are sensitive to the amount of data they use, especially if they are not on Wi-Fi. Google Play is investing in improvements to reduce the data that needs to be transferred for app installs and updates, while making data cost more transparent to users.”

 In 2012, Google launched "delta" updates to enable Android users to download the updated portions of the app instead of installing a new version.

The facility has the ability to reduce data consumption significantly for users those downloading latest versions of apps on the smartphones, reported.

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Morris said: "For approximately 98% of app updates from the Play Store, only changes (deltas) to APK files are downloaded and merged with the existing files, reducing the size of updates.”

Google recently launched a delta algorithm, bsdiff, that further decreases patches by up to 50% or more compared to the previous algorithm.

The company said: “Bsdiff is specifically targeted to produce more efficient deltas of native libraries by taking advantage of the specific ways in which compiled native code changes between versions.

“To be most effective, native libraries should be stored uncompressed (compression interferes with delta algorithms).”

Google’s delta algorithm also applies to the APK expansion files to further cut update size.

APK expansion files enable users to include additional large files up to 2GB in size (e.g. high resolution graphics or media files) in the app, which is especially popular with games.

With its expanded delta and compression algorithms for these expansion files, Google said that it has reduced the download size of initial installs by 12%, and updates by 65% on average.

Google is making available the improvements to reduce download size and information about data used and download sizes in the Play Store.

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