Google Play is rolling out app install optimization to crowdsource your app use for faster installs

Google Play Store
Google Play Store (Image credit: Android Central)

Update, Apr 23 (5:15 pm ET): The feature is now rolling out in the Play Store

What you need to know

  • Google is preparing the Play Store for "app install optimization."
  • The new feature will collect certain usage data to help speed up app installations.
  • No identifying data will be collected, but users could opt out of the service when it goes live.

Owning an Android smartphone means there's a good chance you know how to install Android apps. It also means that with the more feature-rich apps being developed, installing and getting started on a new app can take a while, especially when using some of the best cheap Android phones. Google has been working on getting users into their favorite apps quicker, and the latest effort could come soon to the Play Store.

9to5Google spotted references in the latest version of the Play Store to a new feature coming to the Play Store called "App install optimization." According to an associated support document, the service will crowdsource data on how users first interact with apps and adapt ways to make the installation process faster.

If app install optimization is turned on, your device tells Google which parts of the app you accessed and in what order when you first open the app after installing. This information is combined with data from other people who use the app to find trends and identify which parts of the app are most important to everyone.

According to Google, this will help apps not only install faster but open and run faster, too, reducing CPU strain on your smartphone. And while the feature may sound invasive, Google ensures that it does not collect specific identifying information about users running this feature. It also won't collect data about other apps or any user-related content, and users will have the option to turn the feature off at any time.

The feature is not live, but the references and the support doc indicate that it may not be long before this feature debuts in the Play Store.

Update, Apr 23 (5:15 pm ET) ― App Install optimization is rolling out on some phones

A Twitter user has informed XDA-Developers that the Play Store app install optimization has started rolling out, according to a notice the user received on their phone. The notice includes a short explanation of the feature and lets users know that it can be turned off in settings:

Source: Twitter via XDA-Developers

The feature doesn't seem to be widely available, but it is likely to start reaching more smartphones in the coming days or weeks. The user uses a Pixel smartphone with Android 12 Developer Preview 3 installed. However, XDA-Developers have not been able to activate the feature on their own Pixel smartphone with DP3, indicating it may be a server-side release.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.