2019 App File Sizes Annual Review - How App sizes are still increasing!
Monday, 11 November 2019
2019 App File Sizes Annual Review - How App sizes are still increasing!

2018 App File Sizes Annual Review

This time of year, soon comes around, we have again researched and evaluated the increase/decrease in App file sizes ...

We have now been carrying out this review, annually since 2014 and for those of you who don't know, here’s a quick summary of what this annual report is and why we do it?

Back in the early days of SMART Phone Apps, it was common place that you would need to remove photos, videos and apps in order to upgrade the devices OS (Operating System) be it Apple’s OS or Google’s Android, it was a regular task that had to be undertaken in order to upgrade. 

2019 App file sizes (MB) review

skignz Founder & CEO Si Brown, when developing the original concept of what is now skignz, decided to dig a little deeper into not only why this was happening, but also what was the knock-on effects? Who in the industry was even considering the impact on developers, consumers, hardware/software suppliers?

The BIG issue for app developers (like skignz), as a result of OS update or release is, they have to ensure their apps are working correctly, so they task their developers to work out the bugs and fix the problems as quickly as possible. The longer it takes, results in increased customer complaints and bad feedback. Today’s society everyone expects everything to 'just work' so they have very little patience if something doesn't do what they want it to do, when they want it done!

This 'quick fix approach' to ensuring apps work immediately after OS updates, means that there is little or no strategy to product development and very little consideration is given to the long-term effects, by the work carried out at these times. For example, imagine when building a 2 story house, the foundations are designed to support only two floors, however then you decide to build a 3rd floor as you need more room, the foundations will be placed under increased stresses that may or may not show immediately. 

A few years later, you decide to add a couple more stories so you can rent out some rooms and increase it to 7-8 floors (essentially, it's now an apartment block), you may try to strengthen the foundations to cope with the extra stresses, however it’s not ideal, cracks may form and over time the whole structure becomes unstable. Now increase the amount of people using the building (considerably increase them) ...  Hopefully you are getting an idea of what this can result in; complete failure of the structure.

Backing up a little though, what constraints do app developers face in keeping their apps working properly for our use & pleasure:
 

  • SMART phones require larger memory in order to cope with increased size of OS, but also the increase in what people were using their phones for; more photos, more videos and plenty more apps, some essential, some that hardly get used. All of which take up space on your SMART phone.
     
  • With the OS increasing in size every time it was given an update or a new release, it raised more questions as to whether the SMART phone manufacturers would provide increased memory and file storage space on your device to cope with the ever growing demand consumers have placed on these little technical marvels.
     
  • When the OS is either updated or a new release, the vast majority of app developers across the globe do not know what the change will mean to their apps, hence you get a request (or automatically in the background) to update their app, the more apps you have the more updates are required.
     
  • Over the last 10 years the number of apps has grown exponentially, meaning that with every update/release of your SMART phone OS, you lose even more space than just what your OS updates has taken. If every single one of your apps has an update, largely they increase in size, maybe slightly but still increase.
     
  • With all of the increases, this compounds up over time (despite memory increases on your device) providing bloated apps, and the erosion of space you have to store your treasured photos, videos and music.
     
  • Cloud computing has provided a certain amount of release, as a lot of your devices photos/video’s etc are now stored in the cloud, alongside music being streamed over the last few years has masked the need for increased device memories.
     
  • Older handsets/devices have more issues with memory size, in addition to software being deprecated, we are forced to upgrade our hardware and software to make sure we can 'maintain our lifestyle’ in today’s world.


Finally back to our app developers who have to take into consideration all of the above, with very short development timescales to 'keep their app up to date', sooner or later they are going to have to completely rebuild their apps from the foundations up, we wonder how many of the apps in our annual review are looking at doing this? 

This year we show the comparisons over the last 12 months and the overall changes since our first review back in 2014.

2019 App File Size with % Increase / Decrease

From a skignz point of view, we took the decision to complete rebuild our whole infrastructure in 2017 and it's been nearly 2 years of constant development in order to replace our current skignz app with a whole new platform approach. 

This took us longer than we had hoped, however with the introduction of Apple’s ARKit, Android’s ARCore and the increased number of satellites, improved hardware (cameras, accelerometers, sensors etc.) meant that our agile approach to development had to be considerably more agile than we ever expected, that said, the new testing of our new platform and apps shows our overall product has improved considerably. 

We are very much looking forward to launching our new FREE IOS/Android Apps in early 2020, however if your brand/organisation (or even one of your cleints) has an app that utilises 'Location Sevices' by providing a Map/List of locations, then skignz new Enterprise SDK/APi will be an incredible yet neccessary addition. Please get in touch to find out more on how the skignz PLAR (Precise Location Augmented Reality) can help address a number of your customers/clients needs that aren't currenlty being met with your exisitng solution.

If you would like to know more about skignz then please do check out the rest of our website www.skignz.com and also follow us across the usual social media Channels @skignz.

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