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New Google Play Apps size reduced by 90%, Faster downloads to users

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Having less space on your smartphone? Worried about downloading an application or updating from the Play store? Well, you don’t have to now! Google has announced that it has found a way to shrink the size of the application size and also the updates. This will make sure that the play apps get downloaded faster, and importantly they do not occupy much space on the smartphone. In this way, you the user can download more apps and without having to worry about the space.

Earlier Google could manage to chunk out 47 percent off a download size of an app when compared to the full APK size. This was done by using bsdiff (Binary diff/patch utility) algorithm which showed that they could reduce the delta size up to 50 percent or more when compared to an older algorithm. By applying patches to the binary files, bsdiff produces binary patches up to 50-80 percent smaller than those produced by Xdelta.

Now Google has found a new way to further reduce the size by 65 percent off the size of app revision. Google also said that in some cases it could also go up to 90 percent by using the File-by-File patching technique. Isn’t this interesting? From late 2015, Google play had app downloads of 100MB and if that application is updated once in a month by using the old method it would be more that a gig of data.

Further, most of you might already have an Idea about Android apps getting packages as APK’s, which are converted in to ZIP files with special conversions. The data within the ZIP file will be compressed using a technology called Deflate which will be compressing the data but makes identifying changes in the uncompressed data hard which makes the compressed output of deflate look different. This makes difficult to identify the compressed content which will lead to inefficient patches.

With the new technology, Google has discovered the compatible versions of deflate based on zlib account for all the deflated content. The default setting of level 6 and the maximum compression setting of level 9 are the only settings that are encountered, and by knowing this, they can reproduce the original deflate settings. By this, the data can be uncompressed, a patch can be applied and later can be recompressed to the same size in bytes as initially uploaded.

Google play has limited the use of this new patching technology to auto updates only for now which makes sure that the user does not have to wait longer than usual for the update to complete while updating manually.

Google also gave an example in its 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.

What do you think about this move from Google? Will this help you anyway? Do you download apps from Google play? Drop your valuable comments below and stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more.

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