We may be at the gates of 5G, but we must not forget that most of the population still uses very slow Internet connections; And in fact, that is the main obstacle that companies like Google are encountering to expand their platforms.
The problem of apps that take up a lot
Android depends largely on this low-end market, in which it is not always possible to get a Wi-Fi connection, or quality data coverage. In these circumstances, updating our apps may be the least of our concerns; nobody wants to spend all their data just to get new versions that are identical to those we already use with the naked eye.
That is not only a serious security problem, but it fragments the market. Therefore, it is in Google’s best interest and developers create lighter applications; We have seen some "lite" apps that follow that concept, but why not try to make existing apps take up less?
That is the objective of R8, a new compressor presented by Google; this now available in version 3.3 beta of Android Studio, the Android development environment.
Apps that occupy less and compress faster thanks to R8
R8 replaces the previous compressor, Proguard; and therefore, its function is to create APK files that occupy less than before. APKs are the files used to package Android applications; and used by all app stores, including the Play Store, of course.
It's not just a matter of compressing a file, it's how it's done. Google has focused on shortening the code needed to run the apps, either by eliminating unnecessary code or access to resources that are not needed. With R8, this process is more efficient and faster; So developers can save time to devote to other tasks. On average, R8 is about eight seconds faster in compressing applications.
The size has also been improved; R8 achieves a 6% reduction, which translates into about 400 kB; It doesn't seem like much, but multiply that amount by all the apps you have to update each time, and you save valuable MB.
We can expect more improvements in this address from Google and Android.
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