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Google adopts'file-by-file patching technique to reduce app update size by 65 percent

Users can save up to 65 per cent for many popular apps, and as high as 90 per cent for some cases - meaning customers use up less of their data allowance when updating. Notably, using the new file-by-file patching system, Google Maps update drops from 32.7 MB to 9.6 MB. On average, the process trims download size by 65 percent, saving users some 6 petabytes of cumulative data each day, according to Google's estimates.

The idea is that File-by-File patching detects the difference in the uncompressed data and makes the necessary changes without needing to install a full update. The new bsdiff delta update algorithm has improved delta calculation procedures and helped Google cut down app updates to around 47% of the original APK's size.

There is no doubt in the fact that Android OS is one of the best open operating system that allows nearly all the developers to create and publish their applications on the Google Play store easily.

As he goes on to explain in more technical detail, file-by-file patching is based on detecting changes in the uncompressed data of the new and old files, comparing the two to determine they are a flawless match, and finally recompressing the data back to the original size. This delta is a list of files changes from the old to the new app version.

What's the catch? Processing time.

In approximate terms, the patch size halving doubles the time spent processing, compared to current methods.

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. Such updates are typically applied in the middle of the night when phones are plugged into power.

The end game here is to convince people to download more apps and more app updates.

"These changes are created to ensure our community of over a billion Android users use as little data as possible for regular app updates", wrote Andrew Hayden, Software Engineer on Google Play in a blog post. The benefits of keep apps up-to-date are many - from new features, more stability to critical security and bug fixes - the updates have got them all! The result of this process is significantly smaller app updates.

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