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Google Enables Smart App “Delta” Updates in Google Play

A few hours ago, one of our readers noticed that his app updates were happening at a much quicker pace, making us wonder if the new “delta” app updates were live. Previewed back at this year’s Google I/O, smart app updates, otherwise known as “delta” updates were shown off as a way for developers to make the appliction updating process even easier. Instead of users having to download the entire application that includes the update, you only need to download the newest code inside the app. Genius. 

For example, when games like Dead Trigger get updated, you have to re-download 100MB worth of data. With smart app updates, that 100MB can be turned into just 5-10MB, saving tons of data for everyone. As you will see in the video below, Instagram updates after downloading only 2MB or so of the full 13MB file and then installs.

You will notice this feature from now on in Google Play.


Also:  Android Police

Cheers Abesh!

  • Raul

    This update has disabled some “non purchased apps” from my phone, sending just a small data file to the sd card installation. Watch out!

  • Noticed it yesterday and was pleasantly surprised 🙂 I Thought it was a jelly bean specific feature…

  • Skyskioc

    How come I don’t see it ? Where is this located ? It’s not in my play store app

  • JulianZHuang

    love it

  • dylan84

    Awesome feature. Bout time this happens.

  • Josh Fischer

    Anyone have the updated .apk for the new play store. I haven’t received an update yet for mine.

  • smwandrie93

    I had to get a new phone via warrenty replacement and was wondering how all the pre installed apps downloaded in just second, i know verizon 4g is fast, just didnt think it was just the 4g making it that fast lol

  • Lashawn

    Yes It’s working,

  • jakemsyter84

    I also noticed this but didn’t think about this. I reloaded a back up copy of a rom a used to use that was about 3 months old. I was wondering way my 40 apps I had to update took a very small amount of time to update. This new feature is awesome to say the least.

  • Michael Schnider


  • thenew3

    Isn’t this feature suppose to be part of IOS 6? maybe Google should file suit against apple for copying it

    • J. Gilbertson

      Google supports development across all platforms (hence why some apps made by Google are on iPhone).However, Apple supports destroying all competition. You’ll see phone manufacturers like Samsung go to court against others like Apple, but you won’t see Google instigate much.

    • Delta RPMs have been in use with versions of Linux for ages. Not sure who thought of them, but it wasn’t Google.

    • kevinc

      that would be stupid because there is a lot of Windows software that has been doing this for YEARS…

    • guys, i think the second part of his statement was sarcasm.. as in that would be something apple would pull

  • I did notice that today!

  • jjrudey

    So it starts by making you think you have to download all this data when it’s actually not that much. Seems kind of annoying.

  • David Henry

    I agree with @a06c456f81b7e959fd1f8ca5225007d5:disqus

    At the risk of sounding needy (and only slightly off topic) one other thing I want from the store it to be able to revert back to the previous version of an application. Too often I have an app that will break due to an update and it would be amazing to be able to revert back to a working version until the bugs are fixed.

    • James Payne

      That would be awesome! Totally agree

    • paladaxar

      It’s a bit of an advanced procedure, but you can do this easily with backup programs like Titanium Backup.

      PS: I say advanced because you need to have root access to use TiB…but once you have it set up and running, it’s a breeze to revert back to previous versions if you don’t like an update.

      At the same time, I agree with you that it would be a nice feature to have by default in the play store.

    • k_nivesout

      Find the app in settings>applications, then select “uninstall updates”.

      • ERIFNOMI

        That only applies to system apps. Normally you would see uninstall, but since it’s a system app you can at least uninstall updates.

    • feztheforeigner

      In the Developer Console (the place where developers put their apps for the Play Store) Google holds onto every update the application ever receives.

      They store the app’s initial release and every update after that, if it breaks the developer has the option to “reactivate” an older version of the app.

      Sometimes the update may only break on a few devices so yes it would fantastic if the user could do this on their own! I would be totally down for that and it is very easily a possibility!

  • KleenDroid


  • TD

    Pretty sure this is just a differential. Which is wise and should have been used in the first place.