Demand for better and faster apps is never slowing down, and this also motivates the developers to add more features. But indirectly, this leads to an increase in the application size.
The large-size applications take up more storage and memory, which leads to your device slacking off in the middle of important work. Not surprisingly, Google has asked its developers to create small apps, and to help them with the development process they are also providing appropriate tools.
Issues that large-sized apps face
As per a report, over 90% of mobile devices run on the Android operating system by Google. To support so many users, Google Play Store has around 2.8 million apps on the platform.
Now, as per Google, as soon as the apps cross the download size of 150MB, the chances of users installing that app drops down by 30%. Previously the ideal app size was 100MB. Every 6 MB of increase in the app size lowers its download chances by 1%
Further, large apps increase your data consumption to load more resources. In a scenario where you have poor internet connectivity, this might lead to a poor user experience.
App development companies and developers should worry about this because most users consider the app’s size before installing it. The fewer downloads your app gets, the fewer chances of it becoming successful and making any money.
But why do large-size apps still exist?
As technology has evolved, with that demand of users has also increased. Here are primary reasons why app sizes have increased:
- The growing set of features
- Increasing use of dynamic UX
- More number of devices with different screen sizes to support
Here’s how you can reduce the size
Compress image files and use a webP file format
High-quality images have always been able to attract users to your app. But today, most smartphones use a good resolution display; so you can reduce the image size by diluting the image quality. If your images are in jpeg or png format, then you can convert them to webP which are much smaller in size.
Therefore instead of reducing the quality of images use the webP file format for all photos on your app. Many online tools such as pngcrush and Guetzli can convert your standard jpeg and png images to webP format.
Remove dead code
The speed of how fast your app loads is directly related to its size. The lighter your app, the faster it will load. Also, it’ll occupy less storage and use less memory. So any dead or unused code kept there would add more to the baggage.
Removing dead code won’t affect the overall performance of the app but will only make it faster. Removing dead code also makes it easy to maintain the database and makes debugging easy. This is why it is necessary to eliminate it from your app database so it remains as snappy as first installed.
APK analyzer will help you determine the size of your APK, it is a crucial tool in mobile app development. It can show you the raw size of your app, which is the on-device app size. Once you upload the app on the play store, it also applies its own compression to make the app smaller, so the app size you see mentioned is the amount of data that will be used to download the app.
APK analyzer can be easily downloaded as a plugin from the marketplace in Android Studio. Once the analysis is done, you can see the size occupied by files and folders listed in descending order as per their size. There is also a comparison feature using which you can compare the old and new builds.
Reduce the size of native binaries
If your app is running on native code, then there is a straightforward way to reduce the quantity of native and java codebase. Here are they:
- You can get rid of useless debug symbols using the arm-eabi-strip tool in Android NDK
- By setting android:extractNativeLibs=” false” you can avoid extraction of native libraries
Develop multiple APKs
There is some content in APKs that gets downloaded but is never used. For instance, content like add-on languages that are not necessary but are included in the app package. This not only increases the data consumed but also increases the amount of storage used in your device.
To avoid this, you can divide the app into multiple APK versions based on specific assets. So when the user downloads the app, it receives only those features and settings that complement the device.
If you want more users to download your application, you need to make it user-friendly, and to do that, you need to reduce its size without compromising on quality. Large-size apps fail to stand out on the platform and impact negatively on the user device who downloads the app. Therefore you can follow the above guide to reduce your app size and make it successful.
In case reducing the app size seems a bit challenging to you, then there is nothing wrong to go look for a top app development company that can help you with this. Platforms like GoodFirms can turn out to be a great place to look for development companies that can provide you with reduced app size.
Author Bio: I am Greg Wilson, a Content Writer working with GoodFirms, a research and review platform for service and software companies. I am passionate about blogging, creative writing, social media, and content marketing. I write blog posts for GoodFirms about eCommerce softwares, Cloud computing, IoT development, and many more such categories.