Aug 17 AT 10:28 AM Nick Gray 29 Comments

New Google Play Store delta updates now enabled to save you time and data


If you’re like me, you probably have over 80 application installed on your Android device. If you have the space, why not use it? But there is a down side to having that many applications installed – regular app updates from developers who are constantly tweaking their apps to make them better. Whenever a developer releases an update to an app, users are notified and are asked to re-download and install the entire app even if the developer only tweaked one line of code.

Fortunately, Google has just enabled its new delta update feature on the Play Store, allowing users to download a portion of the code rather than the entire application. Most apps vary in size between 2-10MB, but games can be much larger and can take upwards of 10 minutes to download and install. If you’re among those who love having all the latest and greatest apps and games, this new tweak can save you valuable time and a whole lot that precious data that seems to get more expensive with every month that passes.

The Play Store delta updates are invisible to users. When updating an app, you will still see the full size of the original  application. But if the developer has taken the time to implement the delta update feature, the application will start the install process before the full update is downloaded.

Check out the video below to see the delta update feature in action with the latest Google Maps update.

How much data do you think you’ll have each month thanks to the new delta updates on the Google Play Store?

Source: Android Police

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • redraider133

    Hope many devs get behind this. Great move On googles part.

    • Clark Wimberly

      Curious if users will start demanding this. Like back in the day when every review said “APPS 2 SD PLEASE!”

      • herbivore83

        I remember when every review said “WHERE’S MY CUPCAKE?!” Then some cheeky dev put out some forum app called Cupcake and a ton of people downloaded it not realizing it was a joke (the description said “You can shut up now, here’s your cupcake”).

      • Id

        Easy. It is only a server side thing, app devs do NOT need to change anything :)

    • Æ’0rc3

      Apple invented the â–² updates, they were the leaders.

      Now google jumps on the bandwagon, we have to be very thankful for Apples innovations, folks.

      • Nick Gray

        Actually, delta updates have been around for years on desktop computers. Apple simply was the first to implement it on a mobile device.

        • Homncruse

          And as we all know, implementing an existing feature on a mobile device is completely different from implementing in any other form factor. It’s like inventing the wheel all over again. You can’t make any assumptions, no matter how rounded.

        • BigRedd

          And they still haven’t implemented them for iTunes on Windows.

      • clocinnorcal

        Thank you so much for clearing this up, I will now throw away all my Google products because they are just bandwagon jumpers. Again, you are a God send. What would we have done without your comment?

      • julian

        An obvious troll is obvious. Please don’t reply.

    • Jon Garrett

      I hope Google has a patent on this.

    • jrichardsMav

      I wonder what’s involved to include this. They should have a serious tutorial explaining how to implement this.

  • Shay D. Life

    I saw it with my own eyes yesterday, but not with the dead trigger update this morning. Must be something the developer has to initiate.

    • Gee

      Yup, the big dead trigger update wasn’t a delta update.

  • MoSDeeb

    I kinda liked downloading alot of data to stick it to Verizon haha. Have to make the most out of my unlimited plan before they nerf it.

    This is good news still, will save many people from worrying about data overages.

  • alexanderharri3

    This morning an update initially read as it would download 26MB, but in reality it switched to only download 2.8. With the aging status of my Thunderbolt – LTE downloads slow the phone to a standstill when transferring lots of data in the poor throughput LTE network here in State College, PA (Verizon cannot install tall towers – all 2-4 story building mounted towers). Less data is welcomed to reduce the time it takes to install these updates.

  • Andrew Jones

    For Android devices with the Google Play, we launched the following at Google I/O today:
    Smart app updates: For Android 2.3, Gingerbread devices and up, when there is a new version of an app in Google Play, only the parts of the app that changed are downloaded to users’ devices. On average, a smart app update is a third the size of a full apk update. This means your users save bandwidth and battery and the best part? You don’t have to do a thing. This is automatically enabled for all apps downloaded from Google Play.


    ie – Developers don’t have to enable it – it will be automatic.

  • txbluesman

    I haven’t received my Play update yet. I am ready to check it out though.

  • Nathan D.

    Finally, no more long update for my games that are 500+ mb big.

    • Gee

      well, the dead trigger 160mb update was in full…

  • vforvortex

    what is the google play version # that has the delta enabled? I currently have 3.7.15 installed.

    • Id

      it is a server feature, you might not need an update

  • nuri

    This is a really awesome feature, as ATT, VZW and the like migrate to “shared” data plans, bandwidth savers like this help so much.

  • Mohamed

    Delta best airline

  • WlfHart

    Sounds amazing! Definitely hope devs jump on this.

  • ruaifa

    To download free n full cracked version games VISIT:



  • Id

    Google actually said developerss don’t have to do anything, it’s only on the server side. Think binary patch a’la SVN etc.

    • Id

      AndroidAndMe: please name your source for this part, if you’re right, it would be interesting to know.

  • thechad

    google play is the best