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Google Play displays app size and uses compression algorithm to shrink apps

Gabe Kwakyi | August 8, 2016

Feature Image Credit: Android Developers Blog

With more and more gigabytes of apps and streaming content floating through carrier networks to user phones comes a rise in cost-controlling measures by shrewd phone companies, who have slowly begun altering their data plans to squeeze customers on data limits, shut down unlimited data plans and charge exorbitant overages should users overstep their data allowances. Even my own data plan went from unlimited data to imposed limit, leaving me paying $100/mo plus whatever extra charges are accrued by my kids breaching the data limit.

Well - since my daughter isn't, at least Google Play is looking out for the little guy. In order to protect users, who downloaded over 65 billion apps in the past year, comes Google's latest release of their bsdiff algorithm, which uses compression technology (Pied Piper anyone?) to make the size of Android apps smaller and hence easier on limited data plans.

Android app download size

Image Credit: Android Developers Blog

The update will also provide users with more transparency into how large app updates are. Now you can be more selective when perusing app candidates and better decide which apps you decide to take back to your home screen.

Android size of app download

Image Credit: Android Developers Blog

A couple questions arise from this move by Google. Will larger apps be penalized by Google's Play Store ranking algorithm, or does this mean that even more stuff can be packed into apps with less impact? Is Google's compression algorithm update a marker of solid progress as Google paves the way for Android instant apps? Stay tuned for more updates.

The Bottom Line: As data becomes a larger pain point for users, Google is looking to soothe the pain by 1) launching a new Play Store algorithm that can shrink app size by 50% and 2) more prominently displaying information on app and update sizes so customers can make better decisions. 

Original Source: Aaron Mamiit for Tech Times

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