Google Play Store introduces ‘delta’ updates: now you no longer have to download full apps when updatingAugust 18, 2012 3 Email article | Print article
Do you find it annoying whenever you have to re-download a full package just for an incremental update to a program on Windows? Yeah, well, Android has been doing the same thing for a while and it was (is) bloody annoying, especially for those apps/games that are huge in size. Plus, aside from being annoying, it wastes a lot of bandwidth, which is critical in the world of capped data plans. Thanks to Play Store’s new ‘delta’ updates, this has changed.
Google has introduced a new feature in Play Store called ‘delta’ updates which allows developers to push incremental updates for apps. These incremental updates contain only the files needed for a particular update, and not whole apps, so you are no longer download full packages when updating your apps — you only download the changed files. While this may not be a big deal for apps with file sizes of less than, say, 3 MB, it makes a big difference with large apps such as games.
Google hasn’t specified which versions of Android are getting delta updates but presumably all of them are since this is tied to Play Store and not Android itself.
At the user’s end, you don’t need to do anything to take advantage of these new delta updates. The onus is on developers to make their apps compatible with delta updates. All you need to do is sit back, relax, and hit the update button. Still, it is comforting to know you are no longer wasting time and bandwidth downloading unnecessary files when updating your apps. Amirite?