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Google is currently testing new features on the Play Store every other day. But, in addition to UI changes, the tech behemoth is also working on improving the back-end services as well. And with the ever increasing stream of applications and their updates, Google is also worried about our data usage.

Thus, Mountain View has now introduced a new solution to further reduce file sizes on the Play Store. This new approach, christened File-by-File patching, is completely different from the previous bsdiff algorithm which Google started using to reduce file (apk) sizes on the Play Store. While the latter reduced the size of the app updates by 47 percent, the new algorithm will shrink the size of updates a whopping 65 percent or more.

Talking about the same, Andrew Hayden, Software Engineer on Google Play, says,

App Updates using File-by-File patching are, on average, 65% smaller than the full app, and in some cases more than 90% smaller. The savings, compared to our previous approach, add up to 6 petabytes of user data saved per day!

As for how the technology operates, File-by-File patching spots changes in the uncompressed files as compared to the compressed version (which is a zipped app package). Google says that introducing even a small change in the original version could lead to drastic changes in the compressed file of the same app.

But, in the new process, the old and new app versions are first decompressed to determine the changes between the two. Once through, the changes to the app are added to the old uncompressed file on your device. Then the same is recompressed to yet again convert it into an application package but there’s a trade-off for using this technology. Since the changes are accomplished on the device of the user, thus, it requires more processing power.

This update technology isn’t rolling out to all users immediately but is instead being limited to auto-updates, which happen automatically in the background. This step might have been taken to collect and analyse data on how much time and processing power is being utilized to successfully deliver updates. Most of the new smartphones, with 3 GB/4 GB of RAM, should easily be able to deliver on the processing front for this tech to be successfully deployed to all.

This ensures that users won’t have to wait any longer than usual for an update to finish when manually updating an app,

mentions the blog post.

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