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How to reduce Android/iOS App size during App Development lifecycle?

Are you tired of seeing the message ‘This device does not have enough space to download XYZ app’? This message surely disappoints you after spending a lot of time and data searching for a preferred app. Previously, devices had limited storage space, and thus, this was a common problem that you can relate to. However, things are changing with time and advancement in the app development trend. Today, users expect a lot of features in an application, which affects the App Development lifecycle.

App developers are more focused on integrating numerous impactful features in an application keeping its size small. They use several tools that can reduce the size of an app. Moreover, multiple applications are also prevalent that help developers reduce an application’s size to a great extent. In this article, you will learn why small iOS and Android apps are preferable to large applications. Additionally, this article will also enlighten you on some effective methods that can help you create a small mobile app.

What are the Drawbacks of Large Mobile Applications?

The size of an application increases due to many reasons. One of the main reasons is that developers try to add a lot of features in an app to meet the expectations of users. However, large Android and iOS applications are not always a great option to attract users. These apps have numerous demerits that turn down a user significantly.

If you are an application developer, you will always want your app to become a huge hit amongst mobile device users. But large apps are often a turn down since they consume a lot of internet data. Many people do not have a Wi-Fi internet connection, and apps consuming huge data can bother them. This is why they shift to smaller apps that can run smoothly on limited internet data.

Large mobile apps also exhibit several issues while running on a device. They are not always seamless and can bother the functioning of the device. Moreover, these apps reduce the speed of the smartphone and are quite troublesome at times. They occupy huge space in the internal memory of the device and leave less room for other applications. Therefore, people avoid these applications and look for smaller ones that will not affect the performance of a device.

Are you an Android or iOS application developer and are worried about the large size of your app? Go through this article thoroughly since it will help you with some tricks that can reduce an app’s size during the App Development lifecycle. Therefore, you can create fantastic applications that can run efficiently on Android and iOS devices.

Effective Tips to Reduce the Size of an Application

  • Optimize the Images

As an app developer you will agree that high-resolution images are always your first choice. However, images of higher resolution contribute to the app size significantly. A trick exists to reduce the image size without reducing its resolution. You can change the image format conveniently and obtain top-class images in a small size. All you need to do is convert .jpg and .png images to .webp format. This format will retain the transparency and quality of the picture without increasing the size of your application.

Many tools exist that will help you convert an image’s format. Guetzli and packJPG are the best for compressing .jpg files, and Zopflipng and pngcrush are highly preferable for .png files. You can also deploy vector graphics to develop simple images that do not depend on the resolution. This can solve the problem of consuming excessive space. Vector Drawable objects present in the Android platform enable a 100-byte file to produce sharp and clear images.

  • Eradicate Dead Code

The size of the APK file affects numerous factors such as the loading speed of an application, its memory occupying size, and power consumption. Therefore, you should emphasize developing smaller applications that will consume less space and power and increase the loading speed. However, dead or defective codes increase the size of an app, and you should remove them. If you eradicate dead codes during the App Development lifecycle, your app’s size will remain within the limit.

Defective codes are of no use and occupy excess space in an application. Moreover, removing these codes does not affect the functionality of an app. Contrarily, eliminating these codes can enhance the quality of the source code significantly. Additionally, dead codes attract bugs and removing them can help you create a bug-free application.

  • Remove Useless Codes

Many application developers add extra codes in their apps that are redundant. These codes calculate a value that is already computed or their execution does not impact the app’s operations. Therefore, having these codes in an app only contributes to the size of an app without doing any good to it. An efficient Android App Development Company emphasizes removing these redundant codes from its applications.

If you remove the redundant codes from your application, you will reduce its size and enhance its performance. Moreover, the load of the application will decrease, which will increase its speed. Therefore, you should look for useless codes in your application and eliminate them before launching the app.

  • Reuse Resources

Reusing resources is a great option to reduce the size of your application. This process will help you make the optimum use of the available resources in numerous ways. The scrolling performance of your app will enhance, and eventually, you can maintain its small size. Often developers use resources that are similar to the existing ones. Therefore, they can reuse one resource instead of using two similar ones.

  • Eliminate Enumerations

Enumerations are doubtful, and they can have negative impacts on an application. You can add an enum anywhere between 1 KB to 1.4 KB to the classes.dex file of your app. If your app has a critical framework or shared libraries, then the enumeration can accumulate at a very high speed. This will affect your app’s performance and reduce its loading speed.

Therefore, you should avoid enumeration in the App Development lifecycle. ProGuard and the @IntDef annotation are great tools to convert enumerations into integers. Moreover, this will help you in reducing the size of the application without affecting the enums. So, remember this trick the next time you are stuck with a large app.

  • Provide Numerous APKs

As a user, have you ever wondered if you could download only a specific portion of an app? This is because large apps often leave users in a dilemma whether they should download the entire app or not. However, this is possible, thanks to some efficient tools available on different platforms.

These tools allow Google to optimize the APKs of an app according to the configuration of a device. You can offer multiple APKs for your app instead of one and attract the attention of users. This will allow them to choose the APK compatible with their device’s configuration.

  • Deploy APK Size Analyzer

The APK Size Analyzer offers vital data related to the size of an APK file. You can view the Raw File Size on the screen which resembles the APK on-disk size. This analyzer also shows the Download Size, which notifies users about the amount of internet data required for downloading the app.

You can download the APK Size Analyzer from the plugin marketplace on the Android Studio. It will display all the files and folders present in your application in the descending order of their sizes. This will help you identify the files occupying large space and modify them conveniently. Besides, the APK Size Analyzer also has the Comparison feature. It will help you find out the difference between the new and the existing files.

Final Words

Small applications are always more user-friendly, and thus, users can connect well with them. Studies say that large-sized applications fail to meet market standards and user expectations. This is a prime reason you should reduce the size of your application during the App Development lifecycle. If you cannot understand how to do so, follow the tips given in this article. Experts have tried and tested these tricks, and thus, their effectiveness is guaranteed.

Author Bio:

James Grills is a marketing advisor - currently associated with Cumulations Technologies, a Flutter App Development company. He is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology.

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