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Making The World A Better Place With Smaller iOS And Android Apps


Imagine yourself as a sole provider of any service through an app. How does that feel, amazing right? I mean there would be no question of optimisation and terms like agility and even user experience would be redundant. However, the current scenario of the digital revolution is completely different.

There are thousands of apps competing for even simplest services irrespective of the user devices. And the worst part is that even after spending a considerable amount of time, money and resources into developing an app. Chances are there that the user may perceive it too bulky and can never install it or uninstall after they find the memory it consumes is disproportionate to the value it brings. This problem, in particular, makes IOS and Android both stand on the same page.

It is no coincidence that some of the most popular apps like Facebook and YouTube offer a lite version of their app beside the regular one. Now if you are working with a reliable iOS or Android app development company then I am sure you would understand that the problem isn’t just about those hesitant users, but it’s more about keeping up the performance and even maintaining the large sized apps. So here is a small post that offers a certain range of tools and techniques using which the size of these apps can be reduced.

For iOS

  • App thinning tools – It may interest you to know that Apple offers a host of tools at both levels – store and OS. Other than minimising the size of an app it is also important to leverage device features and accommodate to future updates.
  • Slicing – The tool enables iOS app developers to upload a single full version of their app to the store which is then converted into different varieties and is distributed accordingly to the device.
  • On-demand resources – Instead of packing everything in the initially developed app, it’s always advisable to offer a basic version upon which users can get only those content that they actually want. For instance, if you have an app for a magazine, instead of giving them the full version, offer them the option to download each scenario on the separate basis.
  • Media Optimisation – Images, audio, videos are some of the common media that drive user engagement. They are even responsible for shooting up the size of an app. Which means developers cannot even cut-short the size without compromising on the content quality. With media optimisation, developers can choose to use PNG formats for displaying images, which not only consumes less memory but also generates quality on par with more popular formats like JPEG.
  • Memory allocation manager – Unfortunately, iOS development never had an efficient memory management technique. With appropriate measures, a host of problems can not only resolve a lot of bugs but also free up a lot of memory.

For Android

  • Resource shrinking tools – Such kind of tools can be easily availed from the Android plugin for Gradle, which removes unused resources from the packaged app, including those in the code libraries. And since it works in conjunction with code shrinking tools, as soon as you eliminate some part of the code, the resources corresponding to it gets eliminated as well.
  • Image compressor – Like I said before for iOS, images are also important for Android apps. However, today majority of the content in modern apps are image based, compressing them to consume less memory is one of the simplest steps taken to reduce the app size.
  • Code shrinking tools – Available with ProGuard, the shrinking tool detects and removes unused classes, fields, methods, and attributes from the packaged app including those from code libraries. It even optimises the bytecode, removes unused code instructions, and obfuscates the remaining classes, fields, and methods with short names, which is known to drastically reduce the size of the .apk file.
  • Architecture reduction – Creating an elegant looking app is no less than a work of art for an Android app developer. Although, the mobile application may perform similar tasks but the underlying architecture is something that actually determines the size and consequently their performance.

For Both iOS & Android

  • Static code analyser – The good news is that there are numerous static code analysing tools available for both iOS and Android app development. The moment your app is deployed, the tool can quickly detect any unused functions, variable, logic flaws and so more. Thus, overall size gets reduced automatically.
  • Code recycling – Creating an app is not a one-time feat but more like a continuous process. So if you want your app to preserve its compact size and performance then you must consider recycling the code every chance you get.

While there are no debates over the efficiency and higher adoption of apps with smaller size, all you need to do is make use of sophisticated tools and expertise.

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Rakesh Patel is Marketing Manager at eTatvaSoft - a mobile app development company. He writes about technology trends, leadership and many more things about IT services, enabling people to learn about new technologies through his online contribution.