Update 1 (04/23/2021 @ 04:07 PM ET): Google is now rolling out the new crowd-sourced app install optimization feature. Click here for more information. The article, as published on March 17, 2021, is preserved below.
Back in 2018, Google introduced a new app publishing format called Android App Bundle, helping app developers significantly reduce the APK size and deliver features as and when they needed instead of bundling everything at once at installation time. To improve the app installation experience even further for end-users and reduce the time it takes to download, open and run apps on our Android devices, Google is launching a new initiative called App install optimization.
When the App install optimization (via 9to5Google) feature is turned on, Google will collect data on how you interact with a newly installed app or which parts of the app you accessed when you first open the app. Google will gather this data from a large user base and combine it to find common behaviors and identify which parts of the app are more important. Using this information, Google says it can speed up the installation, opening, and running time for an app.
When you turn on app install optimization, Google can tell which parts of an app you use the first time you open it after installation. When enough people do this, Google can optimize the app to install, open, and run faster for everyone.
Google notes the App install optimization feature doesn’t collect any personal data such as email address, your name, or content stored on your device.
Google says it will use the crowdsourced data to:
Speed up installation for apps from Google PlayReduce the amount of time it takes to open and run appsReduce strain on your device’s CPU, battery, and storage
The App install optimization feature is opt-in and users have the option to turn it on or off from within the Play Store app. Google’s support page notes that even if you disable the feature, you can still benefit from data collected from other users.
At the time being, the feature wasn’t available on our device, running the Play Store version 24.4.23. We’ll keep an eye out on the feature and will sure to let you know when it goes live for everyone. In the meanwhile, here’s an image by Android app developer and reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi of where you will find the option in the Play Store app once it goes live.
Here is a screenshot of where you will find the option ? https://t.co/Fo6aXTsnTx pic.twitter.com/lwENgO5qxc
— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) March 17, 2021
Tipster @AlaSabo3 on Twitter told us that they received a pop-up informing them that “Google is optimizing app installs with your help” when they opened up the Play Store app today. The description reads “Google Play makes apps faster to install, open, and run based on what people are using most. The first time you open an app after installing, Google notes which parts of the app you use. When enough people do this, your apps will install faster. App install optimization is automatically turned on, but you can turn it off in Settings.”
In a separate screenshot the user shared with us, we can see there’s a new “App install optimization” toggle. The toggle was enabled by default for them, as is mentioned in the description.
Our tipster saw this feature on version 24.9.19-21 of the Play Store app on their Pixel device running Android 12 DP3. We do not see the toggle on a Pixel 3 XL running Android 12 DP3 with Google Play Store version 25.0.31-21, suggesting this is a limited server-side rollout.