Do you know with every 6 MB of increase in the size of mobile apps, the chances of app downloads are reducing by 1%?
Yes, that’s true.
Well, if you are wondering for a reason, ask yourself about the first thing you check while downloading any android application in your smartphone. For me, that one factor is the size of an app. If you think that I got an inferior device, then let me tell you that my device is one with 4GB RAM and 64 GB of internal space with the flexibility of adding the storage, but I am still out of memory. And, while surfing for the mobile app on Play Store for utility, I prefer looking for an alternative, if I had to free up some space on my device.
I believe that’s the same story for the majority of you also. That’s why, by considering yourself as the end customer, you must keep the app size in mind. It can help you in a better to serve customers with your Android App Development service.
From android application development to delivering them to the end users, your primary goal is to improve customer engagement, and that means more load, high-quality graphics, and fantastic content. The challenge is to get the reduced app size even with the same quality. I am sharing a few tools that can help you to make your APK leaner.
1. Compress your high-quality graphics:
A. HD image is the ultimate requirement from users, and that is one of the huge contributors of APK size. However, nothing can be better than getting the same quality with the reduced image size. You can try several image compression tools like TinyPNG, OptiPNG, pngcrush, etc.
B. Once done with compressing images, you can move ahead with removing unwanted files and folders from your APK. Note that using such image compressing tools is the manual process, and it will take a bit more time. However, when you are looking for some less time-consuming tool, the content & graphics will get automatically compressed with Android Asset Packaging Tool (AAPT).
C. If you are using Android Studio and your project SDK version is 18 or above, you can try switching to WebP version for images. You can convert JPEG, PNG or BMP version of the pictures and that too without compromising with the quality.
D. If you are opting to draw images or to get the vector versions, you can try with Vector Drawable; you can add quality graphics to your apps and that too in the XML version. The best thing is, you won’t be losing the quality of graphics anyway.
2. Take the assistance of ProGuard to remove unimportant classes & methods:
When designing an android app, there are so many classes and components you need in between. But, not each one of these classes, fields, attributes, and methods are of use at a later stage. However, they are going to eat up space on your device. So, you can use the tools like ProGuard to remove unused classes, fields, and attributes from the application code.
To get the best results, I would recommend you to use the proguard-android-optimize.txt file that performs optimization over your APK. If you are worried about the removal of some vital code during the class removal, you can access them from app/build/outputs/mapping/release/usage.txt file to obtain your prior APK version.
3. Vanish all the Unreferenced resources via Gradle Console:
When you are accessing the libraries, you often get a list of available funds as well. This will eat up space in your device. With the help of Gradle Console, you can relieve some space by opting for resource shrinking.
However, even after the removal of unrequired resources, you can access the list for later reference from the app/build/outputs/mapping/release/resources.txt file. For better understanding, you can Gradle with a combination of Lint. Lint helps you in static scanning of resources based on your code and removes only the unwanted files.
4. Research upon Libraries:
During android app development, don’t only look for the available libraries, instead invest some of your time in researching for the alternative libraries. This can help you further in understanding the long-term impact of the libraries you are using.
With well-researched ideas and third-party or inbuilt libraries, you can save your time of optimizing and reducing the app size at a later stage. Also, your research can save your time of eliminating resources; instead, you can access them as per your required features only.
5. Create multiple APKs:
As a common practice, developers usually push a single APK in the market. And, that very version is provided with a large number of assets. But, breaking a vast APK into the chunks can solve your problem. That turned possible now with Android app bundles and even the newly launched features enable users to download the feature-wise content. You can use Application Binary Interfaces (ABIs) to separate your resource files from the code files; this can be a useful practice for your users.
6. Allow app installation on external storage:
Not everyone is a tech brain, and that’s why many times, users aren’t aware of the reason for not getting the particular app installed. When RAM serves to loads of applications, if you allow the app download in the external storage, you can improve the count of app downloads. So, a notification can ask the user that they don’t have enough internal space and if your application is allowed in external storage (SD card).
How is Google helping you?
When Google Play Store is our go-to for all of the Android applications, they are also helping you in making your services better for the end customer. The launch of the Android app bundles last year marked Google’s efforts in helping you optimize your android application in a better way to approach users.
There was some value adding and profit adding announcement In Google I/O 2019 about the new features Google can help you within this year. It includes dynamic features, built-in app updates, internal testing & enhanced security of app database and improved rating stats. The best thing you are going to like is the pre-registration feature. You can learn about it Innovations at I/O.
I strongly believe that trying the above tactics can improve app installations at a significant rate. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started with making your app user’s choice. If you want to discuss anything about Android application development for your business, feel free to connect with us.