Best Ways to Reduce Android App Size in the App Development Lifecycle

In this Article, These are some of the best ways to help reduce your app size to develop while aiming for small-sized feature-rich and interactive apps.

img August 03, 2022 | img 15 | img Mobile App Development

The average Android app size varies from one app to another or purpose for adaption. However, in Mobile Application Development when it comes to the critical elements of the app development lifecycle, app developers are more concerned with fine-tuning their apps.

As usual different segments of users or target markets will always drive app developers to innovate add new and interesting interactive aspects into their apps. This naturally expands or increases the overall size of the apps. And large size apps often create performance-related issues like sluggishness or shortage of storage space on mobile devices. Lack of storage space leads to slowdown or irregular response in device operation. Thats why, it is vital and imperative to have portable small apps that are responsive, interactive and adaptive to most mobile devices and take up less storage space. These are some of the best ways to reduce android app size during the app development lifecycle.

Ways to Minimize Size App in App Development

 1. Eliminate Idle Resources and Code

In the app development process, the lint tool helps developers detect resources in the res/ folder that your code doesnt reference. It also only detects unused resources. There are options to reuse resources rather than going for new or different resources, using a single resource helps limit space usage and app size.  There is the possibility to enable resource and code shrinking using several online app development tools. This means there are open source and paid tools readily accessible to make apps more app store, market and user-friendly with ease.

2. Delete Dead Code

Apparently, APK file size is reflected in the app load speed, used memory, and power used. Any defective code or dead code deletion is vital for app performance. This doesnt affect app functionality as the codes are non-functional anyway. Thus, deleting enhances source code quality and removes the need to keep code size.  Moreover, most bugs happen because of the presence of defective or dead code thus deleting dead code stops or blocks any entry point for bugs into the apps. This keeps the apps bug-free and fully secured from malicious attacks.

3. Optimizing of App Images

Images and videos or graphics in apps will take up huge storage space. That naturally affects the speed and responsiveness, especially when working on tasks that require speed or faster processing. It is possible to optimize or reduce the size of images minus the impact on image clarity or resolution. Optimizing images is a great way to reduce app size, enhance app performance and responsiveness as users treasure the highly interactive and responsive apps. On average according to Google, apps with more than 150MB have low download and installation ratios compared to apps below this average. High definition and ultra-high definition file formats can be reduced in size minus impacting their quality. There are several tools online that help change image file size professionally.

4. Employ Android App Bundle

From the Android App Studio before deploying the app, the App Bundle is a publishing format to build and deliver great Android apps in the right sizes. Before publishing your app, reducing APK file size by 35% is a requisite. When apps are uploaded as .aab files, Google Play generates a base APK with the app code and resources necessary for delivery base functionality. Moreover, it has several configuration APKs, designed for various device configurations. Since devices differ these are necessary steps to suit device and storage capacity differences. The Android App Bundle serves only the code and resources users need to run the app on their devices. There are two specific mediums. These are:

(a). Configuration APK

When .aab app file formats are uploaded, Google Play generates the single Base APK and multiple Configuration APK. The Base APK shows all the apps code and resources vital for app base functions. Users often receive the configuration APK and then other APK file generation depends on this.

(b) Multiple Configuration APK

Then Google Play scans the device configuration to generate the multiple Configuration APK. When the app is downloaded, the configuration scan and Dynamic Delivery are used. Specific configuration APK is downloaded onto the device concerning its configuration which means less space is needed for the app.

(c). On-Demand Features

In case a developer is making a modular app, some features in the app are irrelevant to other users they need to download the vital features. It is vital to split app features into dynamic feature modules that reduce APK file size thus having dynamic Android apps. This technically reduces the size of the apps drastically. Dynamic delivery is a unique feature that ensures device configuration is set for that particular feature.

5. Reduce Resources from Libraries

Essentially, external libraries are adapted in Android app development. Therefore, app usability and versatility are always availed and delivered in the Android apps to the best extent possible. All these libraries offer essential services to Android App Developers. There are essential or basic types of such libraries like Google Play Services and Android Support Library. The libraries are made for servers or desktops and have several methods and objects that are of no use to the apps. However, the files can be edited and only vital parts relevant to the app kept needs modification permissions. It is also advisable to use the mobile-friendly library for specific app functionality.

6. Compress both native Java codebase size

App code is always going to take up space if not revised and compressed. It is possible to reduce codebase size. This can be achieved in several ways that include: eliminating or erasing excess and redundant code generated is a positive step. More so, avoiding all enumerations, and reducing the native binary size by removing debug symbols and avoiding extracting native libraries are sure steps in compressing codebase size.

7. Optimize and Measure App Size

On the Google Play console, there are multiple benchmarks developers can adopt and follow to minimize the size of their apps.  As usual, when compared, smaller apps install fast, have high install ratios compared to large apps. That is why optimizing and measuring the size of the apps against other apps is fundamental to increase their success in the play store and with users. How do you do it? It is good to benchmark and compares against other apps that perform well and learn from them especially concerning the reasons for their success with users and in the play store. There is always something special and unique to pick up from others concerning app functionality and features.

8. Download and Use APK Analyzer

All mobile apps have APK files that avail data on the size of the apps. So it is also possible to know the size of the mobile app by checking it out through the APK Analyzer that offers vital data on the apps APK file. The analyzer shows the several aspects of the apps that include: code resource entities, download size, view DEX files, view file and size data, etc. and therefore a user knows the time it will take and the required internet data to download the app.

The APK Analyzer plugin app development tool is available on the Android Studio. This is one advanced tool app developers find fascinating as it shows all the files and folders in the android app according to size. Thus its easy to locate files using large device space. The APK Analyzer comparison feature helps find differences between the new and the old files.

9. Less Focus on Screen Densities

Most app developers make apps that run well on all devices. As such they have to enhance their efforts in taking all screen densities in-app pictures. Though it is not that highly important since it is also possible to survey and find out the percentage of users with devices having specific densities they are after. That is why its not that vital to bother about the screen density with less or lower figures. After all, Android usually enters automatically to scale the available resources associated with other densities. This means excessive focus and concentration on screen density doesnt yield much in return.

10. Avoid Enumerations

Enumerations as they add extra data to app files especially with shared libraries or complex systems. It is, therefore, better, wise and smart to totally avoid enumerations. This is achievable by professional app development tools that will change enumerations into integers. Essentially that means fewer enumerations sizes. Anything that keeps app size under check at all times is a positive step to achieving small, functional and interactive apps.


These are some of the best ways to help reduce your app size to develop while aiming for small-sized feature-rich and interactive apps. Any Mobile App Development Company will strive to make apps that are interactive, portable and user-friendly for sustained user interest. Small apps are user-friendly, responsive and users easily prefer them over large file apps. Moreover, often large-size apps arent market competitive as they create other operational challenges. Therefore, reducing app size in the app development lifecycle is a positive step.

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