This new feature could speed up app installations on all new Android phones

Google Pixel 5
Google Pixel 5 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • XDA Developers spotted a new feature that will could help speed up app installations on a new smartphone.
  • The feature will prioritize apps into categories, or tags, to determine which to apps install first.
  • These tags could be based on how often a user uses certain apps.

Switching over to a new smartphone can be a cumbersome process, whether it's iOS or Android. Migrating data from one device to another takes time, especially if they're different devices and even more so if switching between OSes. Companies have varying ways to move data between devices during the setup process, like Smart Switch which is used on Samsung's Galaxy smartphones. But lately Google has been taking steps to make the process simpler when signing into your Google account. The latest insights points to Google seeking to speed up app installation.

XDA Developers have sighted a new "install scenario" that has appeared on the Android Open Source Project. The feature, currently dubbed "install hints", is described as such:

Adds an "install scenario" field to the appropriate datastructures. This CL adds an "install scenario" field to several data structures used by the Package Manager. This value will be used by a following CL to adjust the invocation of dexopt based on the indicated use case.

"Dexopt" works to optimize files that Android Runtime uses to help speed up the install process from sources like the Play Store. According to the description, the new feature will essentially use different values, such as a user's most frequently used apps, to prioritize the apps to be installed on a new device. Four different urgency tags will be given: DEFAULT, FAST, BULK_CRITICAL, and BULK_NON_CRITICAL.

Why does this matter? Well, based on the tags, it's suggested that apps that fall under BULK_CRITICAL, for example, will be given priority over other applications. So, if you use Facebook or Twitter more often than other apps, they would be among the first to be installed on your device. With future versions of Android, this would potentially cut down the time you'd have to wait to dive into your favorite apps while your new phone is still being setup.

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.