Apple confirmed on Tuesday it’s enabled app slicing for iOS that tailors software delivery according to the user’s specific device.
It’s essentially a space-saving process that should prove particularly useful for anyone with a 16GB iDevice where storage space is more precious, as well as those with older devices. Besides saving storage space, download times should also be quicker for some users.
The app slicing system enables the app store to recognize the specific iOS version and mobile device that’s downloading the software, allowing it to deliver code specific to that device. Code relevant to other versions of iOS or different iDevices is withheld, resulting in saved space and faster download times.
This means, for example, large graphics for devices with bigger displays like the iPad Air or Mini will be repackaged for, say, the iPhone 5S and iPod Touch, which have the smallest displays of Apple’s current mobile line-up.
Fortunately for developers the system still means they only have to create and upload one full version of their app, as it’s Apple slicing process that does the work to create and deliver variants of the software based on the devices that the app supports.
This neat feature was set to launch last month with iOS 9, but an issue linked to iCloud sent it back to the workshop for a little more tinkering.
As we understand it, iOS users who update to v.9.0.2 will now be able to benefit from app slicing so long as an app’s developer has included support for the feature, with optimized software gradually making its way to devices through future updates.