Now Android updates provided by Google Play don’t require users to download the full app again and again, only what’s changed.

Normally, when an update to an application comes out, the Play Store downloads it in full, which with large apps and slow connections can get quite painful (think 50MB+ sizes). Smart app updates, announced at an I/O session in June, was the solution. When enabled, only the incremental difference (a.k.a. the delta) between the old and new apks would be sent over the wire, thereby saving huge amounts of data for both Google and Play Store users.

Google’s new method of updating means Android customers aren’t forced to download their apps over and over. As an example, ezPDF Reader weighs approximately 6.34 MB, but the delta update only downloads and installs roughly 2.7 to 3 MB of data. Instagram weighs around 13 MB, but the update now only downloads about 3 MB of data. The 100 MB zombie shooter Dead Trigger turned into a mere 5 to 10 MB update.

For tablets, this update method may not be such a big deal. But for smartphones with a limited internal storage capacity set aside for apps, updating can be a real pain. The Xperia Play is a good example: when the app storage falls to 39 or 38 MB, apps won’t install or upgrade. Even more, apps like Kindle, Google Books and Smurfs Village (go ahead, flame on) have grown massive, making upgrading difficult without having to remove apps to make installation space.

Still, the new upgrade method doesn’t mean users can turn their app storage into a compressed drive: it merely means they can initially download and install apps until the storage reaches its limit without really having to worry about downloading the large files again and again. Updates will still make the apps bigger, but management just got a bit easier on Android phones with limited app space.


Posted By

M.Shiva Chaitanya(4/4 ECE) MGIT