Google has introduced new changes to the Play Store keeping in mind user's data charges. The tech giant has introduced a new algorithm that reduces the size of app updates, while also revealing the actual size of every update, before the user decides to download it.
The new Delta algorithm claims to reduce the app update size by as much as 50 percent. "For approximately 98 percent 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. We recently rolled out a delta algorithm, bsdiff, that further reduces patches by up to 50 percent or more compared to the previous algorithm. 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)," the company explains on its Android developer blog page.
Google says that the number of updates pushed out by developers has been on a steady rise, and while it's great to see app makers bring in new features and fixes regularly, it does result in massive data usage. The tech giant has introduced this new algorithm to reduce the burden of data usage when the user is not on Wi-Fi. It is worth noting that this new Delta algorithm works only on uncompressed native libraries, and apps that don't support it will only see a probable 5 percent decrease.
The new algorithm has also been applied to APK Expansion Files for further reduction in sizes. "APK Expansion Files allow you to include additional large files up to 2GB in size (e.g. high resolution graphics or media files) with your app, which is especially popular with games. We have recently expanded our delta and compression algorithms to apply to these APK Expansion Files in addition to APKs, reducing the download size of initial installs by 12 percent, and updates by 65 percent on average," the blog post reads.
Earlier, Google Play used to just show the app size while the update size remained unknown to users. However, Google looks to change that with this new update. Google says that the changes are rolling out to all Google Play users, and if they aren't reflecting on your screen at the moment, they should in the coming weeks.
Google Play is used by many users worldwide, and in 2015, more than 65 billion apps were installed by Android users. With the app culture becoming an increasingly predominant habit, this move is aimed to provide a little relief to the pockets of Android users. Google recently even introduced the Family Library feature to allow users to share purchased apps, movies and books with up to five more people.