One of the features that Google promised to bring to the Play Store is “Smart App Updates”, which is basically a term that describes incremental updates to apps. Traditionally, when there is an update for one of the apps that you use on your Android device, the update involves a re-download of the full app plus the new features. Smart App Updates does away with that, and instead, only the new features are downloaded.
Yes; this is good news for people on a limited internet data plan, because app updates will now be smaller – much smaller – than they used to be. From what I hear, Smart App Updates is available to users of Gingerbread and above.
I did check my device, and it seems indeed that this is the case. The Android LinkedIn app, for example, is 7.37MB in size, but the available update is 4.32MB. There’s a Gmail update of 2.72MB, whereas the installed Gmail app is a huge 19.10MB in size. Nice. I get to cut down significantly on the data guzzled for my updates from now on.
Now, please excuse me while I go update those apps. I’ve put off updating them for quite a while now 😉