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RESULT Does anybody know why apps are getting fat?

Discussion in 'Apps Chat' started by FundyBrian, 11 May 2017.

  1. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    For those of us on crummy internet service we are always watching how big the apps are before pressing "update". Those over 100MB wait until late at night when the system is less busy. Those over 300MB wait until we are at someplace with proper free high speed internet.
    I remember when Facebook went over 100MB. Now it's at 366MB. Why? Facebook pages manager now at 300MB. iBird Canada now at 1.1GB!
    More and more I see apps getting bloated. What is going on? The apps don't seem that different yet they have become 3x the size.
     
    Last edited: 11 May 2017
  2. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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    My guess would be sensor drivers, data collection, telemetry, advert delivery, 3rd party network access, pluigin browser, user interface bloat, language packs, libraries, codec packs, legacy rubbish, sloppy programming. I imagine the part that does something useful is quite a small proportion of the app.
    There's a website I use called oldversion.com. They have a popular old version of the facebook app for android that weighs in at 13.62Mb.
     
    FundyBrian and zenjenny like this.
  3. terse

    terse MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    In addition to what rizole said, I think that when you develop a new program, you can (if you put the effort in, which not everyone does) make it tight, efficient, well-integrated, however you want to phrase it. But when you start adding upgrades to that original program -- new features, interface updates, etc. -- it gets looser and looser (i.e., fatter and fatter) because you're tacking things onto the existing structure, and you can't -- unless you're rewriting from the ground up -- weave all the new bits in as tightly as the original. Not enough time, not enough money, possibly not enough will. If you start digging into the working parts of a successful program and making changes, you have the opportunity to cause all sorts of havoc. Bugs in a program are a certainty, as are bugs in an update, but adding new bugs to working parts of a program... it upsets people.

    Plus I imagine that maintaining a small app size is not the top priority for some developers, given increases in storage, CPU speed, and network speed for most people.
     
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  4. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I bet the multiple language support adds up to quite a bit of space.
     
  5. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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  6. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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  7. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I appreciate you finding this link for us. It certainly provides more info about what is going on.
    Unfortunately, it also means that switching from 64GB to 128GB doesn't provide as much of a boost as expected.
     
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  8. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    A new conundrum: Fabi and I are sitting side by side at the restaurant using their free wifi to download our app updates. I'm on an iPhone 7 Plus, she has an iPhone 6. My Facebook 98.0 update is 369 MB while hers is 237 MB. What? Her Facebook Messenger 124.0 is 147 MB while mine is 254 MB.
    What accounts for the difference? We are both using iOS 10.3.2. The version numbers of the apps match. So why are my downloads bigger? Something to do with the 7 Plus vs 6? But what?
    Edit: you can see the app size in MB just next to the app icon in the app update window.
     
    Last edited: 29 June 2017
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  9. lisamjw

    lisamjw MobiStaff Site Staff

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    Hmmm...interesting question!
     
  10. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I found the answer! Well, I didn't exactly, but someone on a Tapatalk iPhone forum came up with this:
    ://arstechnica.com/apple/2015/06/app-thinning-will-be-a-major-boon-for-8gb-and-16gb-iphones-and-ipads/

    This is another reason why iTunes stopped saving copies of all your apps on your computer during backups.
    When I first got my 7 Plus I restored it from a backup from my 6 to transfer all my important stuff to save time reloading it all. I remember being puzzled and annoyed that iTunes insisted on reloading all my apps directly from the App Store instead of from the backup. Now I know why.
     
    Last edited: 2 July 2017

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