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Google announces Play Store file-by-file patching to reduce app update sizes

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Google has rolled out several Play Store improvements in recent weeks, like better detection for fraud and fake reviews, and today Google announced another new Play Store feature.

Google today announced file-by-file patching, a new feature that’ll help reduce the file size of app updates. On average, app updates using file-by-file patching will be 65 percent smaller than the full app. That size can difference can be more than 90 percent smaller in some cases, though.

Compared to the previous data-saving method, file-by-file patching will save up to 6 petabytes of user data every day, Google says.

File-by-file patching works by detecting the changes between the new and old versions of the app. Google goes into greater detail about how the system works in its official blog post, so if you’re interested in the nitty-gritty of this new feature, you can read up on it.

Google does note that the recompression part of file-by-file patching requires some extra processing power, and on recent devices (like from 2015)), this process can take around a second per megabyte. As a result, Google is limited file-by-file patching to auto-updating apps so that you don’t have to wait longer than usual if you decide to manually update an app.

File-by-file patching sounds like a nice addition to the Play Store. Many folks are on limited data plans, even on their home internet, so saving as many megabytes as possible is important. The good news is that developers don’t need to do anything to take advantage of this new feature, so you should see all apps take advantage of this new feature.

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