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When it comes to Android App APK size, smaller is always better

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As developers, we usually care about the performance, design and usability of the applications we develop. What we sometimes forget is also the most important feature that decides whether users installs the application and then retain it when their device memory is getting low. It is the 'size' of the app APK.

Nip it in the bud

Users appreciate apps that consume less memory on their devices. A big chunk of users worldwide still use low end configuration devices with limited storage and even 2G or 3G connectivity. So when their devices shout a 'Low Memory Warning', the first thing they will do is clean up apps that are taking up space. And we don't want that for our application, something we worked for, day and night.

I always insist, from the beginning of the application development, that everyone in our team follow rigid protocols when it comes to method count, usage of resource files and libraries.

Given below are some of the things to keep in mind to ensure smaller app size.

  • Monitor the app code/asset sizes regularly
  • Ask yourself - that extra 100kb, is it really useful and necessary?
  • Be wary of the asset size you are adding
  • Check and remove unwanted assets

What else can you do?

  • Use font icons instead of image icons wherever possible.
  • Use SVG by converting them into XML drawable for flat images instead of multi-dimension images
  • Load images from network instead of storing them in local assets (except for splash like images)
  • Shrink resources before app release

Hope you found the information useful. The applications we develop at Ventuno are consistently 300% smaller when compared to the average video streaming app. And that has been our mantra, always - keep them smaller.

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Vijayakumar Moorthy

Vijayakumar Moorthy