Bloated apps or developer diets?

Here’s a thought – have you seen just how much of your phone’s memory is taken up by your apps?  I think you may be staggered to see that it’s a pretty big chunk of your total available memory!  In fact have you noticed how big some of these apps are getting?  Here’s just a selection of the “A” apps on my phone.

  • Adobe Clip – 108MB
  • Amazon Alexa – 271MB
  • Amazon Shopping – 191MB
  • Anchor – 142MB
  • AutoTrader – 95MB

5 apps accounting for 807MB – pretty bad, but it get’s worse, much worse!

  • Chrome – the web browser from Google accounts for 730MB – on it’s own,
  • then there’s Google, the search bit – another 606MB!!
  • But of course the real memory hogger is, yes you’ve guessed it, Facebook:
    • 1.12GB, for the Facebook app itself,
    • 1.38GB for Instagram – and then there’s the separate Messenger app
    • at this point I went ballistic and installed the Messenger Lite version – a mere 43MB – hooray!!

Just doing some research on Google and discovering that back in the deep, dark , past of 2010, (yikes – very much the dark ages!!) most Android apps were approximately 2MB – yes you read that right 2MB!!  It seems that as phones have “improved” over time apps have expanded to take up the available space….

It’s getting crazy and, boy oh boy, the almost continuous updating of apps is sucking up my bandwidth – 23 apps recently updated!  Just look at Facebook’s history – here is its timeline as detailed by Wikipedia – boy was 2017 a busy year, and just checking on my mobile to discover that I’m on version 198.0.0.53.101!!

I wonder if these app developers have a deal with the mobile networks.  you know they get a cut of the data charges!

If they’re not then they’re missing out on a trick AND a load of dosh!  I also find it very interesting that at a time when Google is penalising websites for the time it takes them to load it is also producing massively bloated mobile apps that do just that – take a long time to load!!

I wish….there’s another trend that is irritating and that’s the decision by some of the major device manufacturers to embed some apps into the OS – so you can never fully delete them, only stop them from functioning – they’ll still hog your memory though!  I moved away from Apple ,many years ago because of their walled garden approach but Samsung you’re doing it too now!!

So, is that it?  Are we destined to a life of feature-rich, over-bloated apps that continuously update – or is there another way?  Thankfully there is!!

I’ve already mentioned that I installed the Messenger Lite app – it does the job perfectly well and takes up a fraction  of the memory of the full-fat version.  So when i found this list I thought – yippee…

  • Google Go
  • Gmail Go
  • YouTube Go
  • Files Go
  • Facebook Lite
  • Messenger Lite
  • Skype Lite
  • Twitter Lite
  • LinkedIn Lite

But sadly the Google apps aren’t compatible with my device, in fact none of my devices!  Hmm I smell a rat here- but actually I’m just misinformed – these apps are for Android Go devices – bummer!  If I can run a Facebook or Messenger Lite app on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ why doesn’t google step up?  I think we should be told!!

More digging and finally some progress…here’s a starter for 10 – a browser with a size of just 400-500Kb – sign me up!!  Now I’m on the hunt for a few more small footprint apps…email, other social media apps…. and some more

So now it’s time for a play, to see if any of these small footprint apps can deliver a suitable user experience…

 

 

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