If you have updated large apps, you would have noticed that the entire app doesn’t get updated. For example, when you are updating a 250MB app, only the update gets downloaded incrementally and not the entire 250MB app. Popular as the delta update, this was a revolutionary update mechanism introduced by Google in 2012. Who would want to waste precious bandwidth trying to download whole apps for just a small update? These days, most smartphones are configured to download/update apps only over WiFi.
If that’s not enough, the new update shrinks the size of apps itself! A new tweak in the delta update algorithm makes this possible. It compresses the size of patches for apps and games. According to android developers, one app patch that was 22.8MB is down to about 13MB while a smaller one about 15MB is now down to just 4MB. So that means, you as the end user will see significantly smaller delta updates. You can save on your monthly data plan! Basically, only the delta updates to APK files are downloaded and merged with the existing files.
The new algorithm has also been applied to APK Expansion Files to allow users to include large files of up to 2GB in size. This essentially means that the download size of your first install will be lower by about 12%, while updates will be lower by roughly 60%.
The actual download size of the apps are updated in the Play Store descriptions, so as to help you decide whether to download the app while your phone is not on Wi-Fi. These changes are being rolled out to users and you should be getting it soon.
Let us know if the new update has helped you save some bucks on monthly data plan!