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Aug 10, 2017 01:59 PM IST | Source:

Give me some space! Is Apple doing anything about its heavy apps and the space crunch?

Though minimum storage capacity of iPhones continue to rise but what's more worrying is the pace at which iOS app sizes have inflated

Moneycontrol News 

An average Apple device user spends more than 10 GB of internet data per month to get apps and updates on their phones, and this size is increasing day by day, as per a report in Gadgets 360.

The useless data consumption has become a part and parcel of an Apple user’s life, who are now complaining that the data size for downloads from the Cupertino-based company’s online store has just been expanding over the years.

For instance, popular downloads such as the Facebook and the Uber app, are listed at over 250 MB on Apple's App Store. And not just that, update sizes, for apps like Facebook stand at 300 MB.

In contrast, a Facebook app downloaded on Android takes about 70 MB of space on the device and the update files are not more than 40 MB. The Uber app itself is a 30 MB download on Google Play.

Read: Trai accuses Apple of 'data colonisation', calls it 'anti-consumer' for not having DND app on iOS

Popular gaming apps such as Pokemon Go also fare in the too-heavy list of apps at 244 MB on the App Store versus under 100 MB size on Android’s Play Store.

When will Apple address the problem?

Apple has not given out any statement on whether it has intentions to compress sizes anytime soon, as per the report.

An employee uses an Apple iPhone to demonstrate to reporters how to pay using the Apple Pay service at an Apple store in Beijing, China, February 17, 2016. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - RTX27FY0

The large app size also hints at hurdles ahead in Apple’s in its way of capturing the Indian market, which by the way has large expansion plans in India

Large apps simply mean that it is more data consumption and less space on your device.

Apple’s large triple-digit MB app download figures matter as far as storage is concerned on your device. On the contrary, Google’s less heavy app downloads make it more appealing for countries like India which are still sensitive to data costs.

Blame Game is futile

According to what developers are saying, playing the Apple versus Google blame game is sometimes futile here. This is because these days with technological advancement and better devices, developers are pushing their limits further in terms of app complexity and thus coming up with apps much larger in size.

Thus a delivery-based focus on part of app developers is thus ignoring the implications of what huge app sizes can have for device users.

An iPhone is seen on display at a kiosk at an Apple reseller store in Mumbai, India, January 12, 2017. Picture taken January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade - RTSW5TZ

One has to also take note of the fact that Google's Android shows how much data you will be using to get the app on your phone, whereas Apple's iOS tells you how much space is needed on your device which matters in case one is running out of storage.

Also Read: New Apple iPhone 7S phones may support wireless charging

Experts point out that programming for apps on the two platforms are procedurally different.

Hence, Apple is not the one to blame completely. The new Swift Language, used for programming in Apple, requires a bunch of components to be embedded each time it is used as the ABI (Applications Binary Interface) — isn’t stable yet.

Therefore, a typical app made on this language requires as many as 30 Swift runtime libraries to be stuffed within the app, thus expanding its size greatly.

Another reason behind the ever increasing size of Apple apps could be the need to contain multiple versions of assets (images, buttons, etc.) built to look their best on different screen sizes or across devices, that is the iPhone or the iPad, which ends up impacting the file size of the application.

Also Read: Apple seeks tax breaks for suppliers to make iPhones in India: Sources

The issue is more worrying here in India as limited data packs and staggering bandwidth speeds are an everyday problem and require speedy and small, but effective downloads.

As Silicon Valley giants rush to offer the most low-bandwidth effective apps (case in point: the series of ‘Lite’ apps, from Microsoft Skype Lite, LinkedIn Lite and even Facebook Lite), is yet to be seen what trick the Cupertino-based giant will pull out from its hat to resolve the problem in one of its five largest markets.
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