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In late September, Apple announced that app slicing, an App Thinning feature of iOS 9, was unavailable to developers because of an iCloud backup issue. Apple today updated developers on the status of app slicing, noting that it's once again available for use following the iOS 9.0.2 update and the recent Xcode 7.0.1 update.

appthinning-800x460.jpg
The issue affecting app slicing has been fixed, and device-specific versions of apps will be delivered when downloaded by users running iOS 9.0.2 or later.
App slicing is one facet of App Thinning, an iOS 9 feature designed to decrease the size of iOS apps to save valuable space on devices without a lot of storage space. With app slicing, users only download the app assets created for their particular device rather than a full set of assets for multiple devices. For example, on an iPhone 6s, a user will only need to download iPhone 6s specific files, ignoring both larger iPad artwork and lower quality resources for earlier iOS devices.

To take advantage of the space saving features in app slicing, all iOS 9 users should upgrade to iOS 9.0.2. App slicing is not available in earlier versions of iOS 9 or in iOS 8.

Article Link: iOS 9 App Slicing Feature Once Again Available for Developers
 

sasessiontc

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2009
44
1
Indianapolis
When I updated the Hangouts app this morning, I figured App Slicing was back as the update was almost half (or more) the size of their previous updates.
 
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gaximus

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2011
1,350
2,103
is there an easy way to update already downloaded apps? without deleting and reinstalling?
 
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utwarreng

macrumors 6502
Aug 8, 2009
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is there an easy way to update already downloaded apps? without deleting and reinstalling?

Developers have to add support for it to their apps, and their ability to add that support was just re-added. They'll support it in their upcoming updates. So deleting/re-installing the app today would simply overwrite today's app with another of the same. Once they release an update to support App Slicing, you'll be able to download it.
 
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DaveMcM76

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2012
323
218
Scottish Highlands
I'm assuming that iTunes still downloads the full app bundle as it doesn't know which devices you may then sync it to, so does adding an app via an iTunes sync also filter out the bits you don't need or do you get the full App bundle and thus use up more space on the device than if you downloaded the app straight from the App Store on the device?
 
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cheesyappleuser

macrumors 6502a
Apr 5, 2011
549
182
Portugal
great, glad they ironed this one out. i think this will help a lot of 16gb users
Actually, it is going to help all users - mostly 16Gb ones anyway.
Even not knowing much about the architecture of an app I always thought ridiculous having to download everything. I'm so glad I can use my storage in a more reasonable way now.
 
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Antoni Nygaard

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2009
794
891
Denmark
I hope we will see apples own iWork apps gonna use app thinning soon, maybe that's why we haven't seen any updates on them recently after iOS 9 was released.
 
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KALLT

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2008
5,179
3,227
[So] does adding an app via an iTunes sync also filter out the bits you don't need or do you get the full App bundle and thus use up more space on the device than if you downloaded the app straight from the App Store on the device?

You get the full app. App slicing just means that Apple’s servers host multiple variants of the same app version for different devices instead of just one app like before. Your device isn’t going to ‘slice’ the apps itself, so when you transfer them from iTunes then you won’t get the smaller version. Apple retracted the feature because it interfered with iCloud backups. No word on iTunes backups though, sadly.
 
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dumastudetto

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2013
3,601
4,489
Photo slicing and music slicing will be interesting stripping away the unimportant content and further helping people live within the reasonable storage limits of their device.
 
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DualShock

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
564
120
You get the full app. App slicing just means that Apple’s servers host multiple variants of the same app version for different devices instead of just one app like before. Your device isn’t going to ‘slice’ the apps itself, so when you transfer them from iTunes then you won’t get the smaller version. Apple retracted the feature because it interfered with iCloud backups. No word on iTunes backups though, sadly.

Actually, iTunes does support app slicing:
Note: For iOS apps, sliced apps are supported on the latest iTunes and on devices running iOS 9.0 and later; otherwise, the App Store delivers universal apps to customers.

source: https://developer.apple.com/library...istributionGuide/AppThinning/AppThinning.html
 
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BigMcGuire

Contributor
Jan 10, 2012
7,120
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the Alpha Quadrant
So realistically.... what I'm most interested in --- how long do you think it will take for apps to implement this? Is this something that will happen next year? In the next few months? Weeks? Possibly days?

I may be getting old but I remember the days when apps used to be in the lower MBs - now most apps I use see it as an achievement if they are able to keep it around 100MB.

Those of us who pay for Google Drive and (yes) Apple iCloud storage - would love to be able to utilize some of that storage for app data, apps, and other "storage" items that don't need to be on demand.

Thought it was pretty sweet back in the old days of Android when I could install apps (when I was rooted) to the 32GB SD card. That didn't last too long.
 
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Crazyj414

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2015
245
62
I have plenty of space but am still glad to hear this since my no no junk cleaners will not work on this 6s!
 
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Kajje

macrumors 6502a
Dec 6, 2012
722
958
Asia
There should be a way to update parts of an app. Redownloading a complete +1GB app just for a couple simple bugfix in the program file is ridiculous.

On top of that many developers don't seem to care to clean up their distribution packages, leaving an awful lot of unused clutter and rubbish for us to fill our devices. Once the 100Mb over-air limit cannot be reached anymore, many developers seem to get lazy.
 
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gaximus

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2011
1,350
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Developers have to add support for it to their apps, and their ability to add that support was just re-added. They'll support it in their upcoming updates. So deleting/re-installing the app today would simply overwrite today's app with another of the same. Once they release an update to support App Slicing, you'll be able to download it.

In the App Store, there is a section called Updates. Apps that have available updates will show there.

Yes I understand how updates work. If the developer makes an update that supports the app slicing. When I update it, will it delete the extra files, or will I have to delete the app and reinstall it.
 
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charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,634
815
Los Angeles, CA
I'm assuming that iTunes still downloads the full app bundle as it doesn't know which devices you may then sync it to, so does adding an app via an iTunes sync also filter out the bits you don't need or do you get the full App bundle and thus use up more space on the device than if you downloaded the app straight from the App Store on the device?

That's a very good question. Especially in light of the recent purge of apps. Many folks are now starting to backup all their apps and it would be nice to know if the sliced apps will probably sync over (assuming the developer actually adds the support)
 
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