We know that doleful moment when your phone notifies you “Updates are available” and you’re like, “Ah! Not again”. The gloomy part is not that it’s not worth updating. The gloomy part is the amount of data which needs to be galloped to update the apps, the battery it drains and the time it wastes. That hurts, especially when you’re on limited data plans and tighter schedule.
Google nevertheless has updated Play Store with what it calls “Delta Updates”, better put as “Smart Updating features”, in order to put an end to our agony. This feature was long-awaited, following its announcement at Google I/O developer conference.
The new feature would allow apps to get updated smartly, enabling only the required portion of app to get updated. Conventionally, Android users had to download the whole APK file, whenever any update was available. Now, with Smart Updates, Google can now push only the updated parts of the app to user’s device, instead of making them download the whole application.
Imagine the horror in updating heavy games, which range from several MBs to some GBs. With the Delta update, things are likely to get simpler and better.
To implement smart updating, Google has reportedly seperated the code from data. Analytically, developers make frequent updates to the code in an application than the underlying data. (For instance, GPS navigation app may update the interface, but the downloaded maps would still remain the same)
This update from Google would significantly improve the savings on data costs by more than 70%. Generally, not more than 30% of any app needs to get updated on regular basis. Besides, data consumption, this update would also extend your battery life. It would also add 1-15 minutes to your life, as you no longer need to wait for apps to finish updating. Over and above that, as the change is made on the server side itself, you do not have to update your Play Store. The app updates would be optimized by Google from the server side and sent to your device, as and when they’re available.
The update would free the bandwidth of various data providers as no longer would they be required to download large chunks of data. The developers too would rejoice over the fact that users would now update their apps frequently and stay updated with latest version of apps. Earlier, users were a bit reluctant in downloading huge app updates, as most of them are on limited data plans. With Google reducing the size of updates, app developers are optimistic that more and more people would avail the latest updates.
Gift-cards, Wish List and now Smart Updates, seems like Google-God is smiling on us this week.