Tips to Reduce Android App’s Size and Optimize Performance



Benjamin Fisher

Since the launch of Android in March 2012, the average Android app size has increased unprecedentedly. The increasing functionalities and high graphics are the obvious reasons for this big size.

Simultaneously, the memory on typical Android devices has also increased. But still, the high-definition graphics, innovative features, and rich multimedia content are impacting badly on the whole user experience sometimes. 

They are making app sizes very big and, for that matter, no user wants an app that takes forever to download and occupies a large memory on your phone. 

Now it comes to put decimated reasons behind why the large-sized Android applications exist in the mobility domain.

  • Ever-increasing demand of end-users 
  • Users expectation on functionality and high-end graphics
  • Multiplication of custom Dpl application categories 

Why the large-sized android app creating a lot of issues:

Due to the big size of an app, the app tends to consume a significant amount of internet data. It causes a lot of problems where Wi-Fi hasn’t penetrated largely. Now it comes to specific factors:

  • Large-sized apps causing a lot of issue in a smooth run
  • It occupies a large memory and affects other apps to run smoothly 
  • Ultimately, it slows down your device 

Are you facing the same issues while uploading your android app? Well, struggling to give all the high-end graphics and functionalities in a short-size app is not an easy task. 

So developers need to understand the user’s choice and develop an app that fits their requirement with occupying minimum space.

Read here: 12 Best Android Libraries

Now let’s have a detailed look at the ways to reduce android app size or reduced APK size Android during app development:

  1. Use Proguard

Proguard is considered one of the most significant tools to reduce APK size. It reduces the source code files to a minimum and can reduce the file by up to 90 %.

  • When using “Proguard”, use it effectively with the variants
  • It helps to avoid conflict at the time of APK file generation or bundle if used in all the variants.
  • You just cannot rename ProGuard and remove any fields on these data classes for that matter. It comes with a serialized format so any tweak will ruin the purpose. It is always considered safe to add a @Keep annotation on the whole class or a wildcard rule on all your models.
  1. Use Android Size Analyzer Plugin to reduce apk size Android 

The Android Studio Plugin comes with multiple recommendations to decrease the size of your application.

With the APK Analyzer, you can achieve reduce app size Android the following thing:

  • It allows you to understand the real composition of DEX files. 
  • Through it, one can see the real or relative size of files in the APK, namely as DEX and Android resource files.
  • It gives a lucid understanding of DEX files 
  • It gives a quick view of the final versions of files in the APK, namely as the AndroidManifest.xml file
  • It gives a clear and side-by-side comparison of two APKs

When a project is open, there are three ways to access the APK Analyzer

  • When working in Android Studio, one can drag an APK into the Editor window
  • In the Project Window, just switch to the Project perspective. Then with a matter of double click the APK in the default APKs
  • Just follow the procedure, select Build>Analyze APK in the menu bar, and select your APK.
  1. Optimize your App’s Resources to reduce apk size Android

Just remember one thing, every resource occupies some memory, whether in use or not. So it is really necessary to optimize only those resources which are in use to fix memory use. More succinctly, one should consider and optimize the image before finalizing it. 

  1. Optimize Libraries to reduce app size android

It is a well-known fact that large libraries consume large space. So it is highly advisable to remove parts of it in case they are not needed and it is permitted as per the license. Proguard can assist you in this process of how to reduce app size in Android, but it is not well equipped to remove large internal dependencies. 

  1. Use Vector Graphics Wherever Possible to reduce app size android 

They are possibly sharp and don’t occupy much space as it works on mathematical calculation. They are not having pixels that need to be saved in memory. But, intrinsically, they can’t be used for photography. 

  1. Compress Your Images

There are tools like pngcrush, and they can be used to reduce the file size of PNG images. It is highly advisable to use as the quality of the reduced-sized images remains intact. 

  1. Only Support Specific Densities to reduce app size android

If a small dedicated portion of users uses a specific density, it is better to let-Android to identify and optimize their densities for the users. It paves the way for the reduced APK size. 

Read here: 10 Best Android Frameworks

  1. Use Android App Bundle to Reduce App Size

When generating the release version of your app, developers have the discretion to choose between APK and Android App Bundle. Well, it is highly recommended to use App bundle, as it allows Google Play to generate the APK with user-centric features.

Here what Android App Bundle is:

  • A well-decorated publishing format that contains compiled code and resources of your app. It paves the way for APK generation and signing to Google Play. 
  • With the use of Android App Bundles, the restriction for compressed download size is 150 MB. The app bundle can’t be used with APK expansion files.
  1. Opting for Android Go

To gauge the attention of a new and growing audience, Google launched Android Go. It launched with multiple improvements in performance and storage on the front of Android app size and is destined to provide a seamless and scalable experience on budget-friendly devices, including devices that have less than 1GB of RAM.

However, the users of Android Go can access the whole Google Play Store, but Google tends to identify apps that are dedicated to the Android Go app ecosystem. Amazingly, users can find apps with less than an Android app size of 40 MB on the user’s device.

To develop a dedicated Android Go app, developers need to develop an APK with the same package name and signing certificate as a regular app, but with a different version code.

Parting Words 

As mobile storage space is growing unprecedentedly, users tend to download a large number of apps to meet their demands. But as the app size is also increasing simultaneously, people are struggling to keep all the apps together on their devices. So they tend to keep apps that have multiple functions with less memory consumption. 

We have explained every measure on how to reduce app size Android to achieve the same. Now it is up to the expertise of your developing team that can do it or you go with an android app development company like Mobcoder to do it for you in an expert and professional way.

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