GOOGLE HAS ANNOUNCED that it has found a way to reduce the size of Play Store updates for Android even further.
After previously managing to knock 47 per cent off a download size, its new method, known as File by File Patching, will shave a further 65 per cent off the size of app revisions. In some cases, Google says that figure could go up to 90 per cent.
The technique involves going into an existing .apk folder and replacing only the individual files which have changed. This is particularly important as apps become more sophisticated. Since late 2015, Google has allowed initial app downloads of 100MB. If an app that size is updated once a month, using the old method, that’s over a gig of data.
The result of the change is that the update file on the server is smaller to download, and quicker to implement, which is great for limited bandwidth connections, but users of lower-end handsets may well see a drop in performance because of the additional compute it will take to expand, alter and recompress (or "deflate" in Google parlance) the file.
In approximate terms, the patch size halving doubles the time spent processing, compared to current methods.
Or as Google analogises in its Android Developer Blog: "Imagine you are an author of a book about to be published, and wish to change a single sentence - it's much easier to tell the editor which sentence to change and what to change, rather than send an entirely new book. In the same way, patches are much smaller and much faster to download than the entire APK"
In one example, the Amazon Kindle app, which is a hefty brute anyway at 52.4MB was updated with just 8.4MB of data, which is an 84 per cent drop compared to the old compression technique.
To allow for the extra processing time, apps will only use the new process during background updates - those that occur when the phone is idle. That was the time spent is immaterial. Manually triggered updates will use the previous compression system.
And if you're a developer who thinks all that sounds intimidating to implement, good news. Google is doing it all. It’s rolling out to all compatible apps automatically. µ
So that's why she's smiling…
How many Zuckbucks to the pound?
Alexa, is this exploitation?