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Google is working on a cool, crowdsourced way to reduce app install sizes

Google is using crowdsourcing to figure out the most commonly used parts of an app.

Published onMarch 17, 2021

HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro Google Play Store
  • Google is working on an app install optimization feature for the Play Store.
  • This uses crowdsourcing to figure out the most commonly used parts of an app.
  • Google will then use this information to deliver streamline app installs.

Today’s Android apps can be pretty big downloads, consuming your mobile data if you’re away from Wi-Fi and also eating into your storage. It turns out Google is working on a rather interesting solution to this problem.

9to5Google discovered that Google is working on a so-called app install optimization feature for the Play Store (Menu > Settings > App Install Optimization). This uses crowdsourced information to figure out which parts of the app people use first.

“When enough people do this, Google can optimize the app to install, open, and run faster for everyone,” the company explained on a support page for the feature.

Why would you want to use this?

This could be useful for something like a social media app, as 9to5Google points out, offering the browsing experience without the editing tools at first. It could also be handy for mobile games, as we’ve seen on consoles, with the first few levels installed to get you up and running quickly.

It’s unclear if the least used parts of the app are downloaded in the background or are only downloaded when needed. But hopefully the former applies, as the last thing you’d want is to be unexpectedly forced to download a part of the app via your mobile data.

Google has also sought to assuage concerns about privacy with this feature. The search giant said it won’t collect any personal information, doesn’t check content downloaded or uploaded in the relevant app, and doesn’t look at anything outside the app.

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