Image Credits: Purdue University
Have you ever skipped downloading an application or a game on your device only because you do not have enough storage? Well, there is a solution coming out. An Indian led team has developed a revolutionary software that decreases the storage requirements by at least, yes! At Least, 85% on an Android Phone.
The software, called, AppStreamer, “streams” data and code resources to any application from a dedicated cloud server whenever required, which means that the app will only use a said amount of space on your phone to run.
Saurabh Bagchi, an alumnus of IIT Kharagpur and Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering Computer Science and Director of CRISP Center at Purdue University, Indiana, US say “It’s like how Netflix movies aren’t actually stored on a computer. They are streamed to you as you are watching them” about the AppStreamer software.
He adds “Here the application components, like heavy video or graphics or code paths, are streaming instantly despite the errors and slowdowns that are possible on a cellular network”.
In a study, Bagchi and his team showed that the software, AppStreamer, can reduce the storage requirement of gaming apps on Android by at least 85%.
The software has the ability to switch between the app and the cloud server which hampering the user experience of the game. Majority of the participants in the study could not notice any difference in the gaming experience when the app was using the software, AppStreamer, and when the app was not.
Bagchi said though the software was developed with space-hungry apps in mind, it can also be used for applications which demand less storage space. The software also aids the app itself to download faster onto a phone.
The researchers will be presenting their findings at the 17th International Conference on Embedded Wireless Systems and Networks (EWSN) in Lyon, France, on the 18th of February 2020.
AppStreamer is a software that falls in the category of Middleware. They are located in between the applications on a device and the Operating System. Which means it is neither an OS not an application.
The Middleware forecasts when the data has to be fetched from a cloud server, automatically.
It is being said that AppStreamer will help phones accommodate better to the 5G connectivity. 5G network is said to be way faster than the current 4G network. In theory, it is being said that 4G can reach a maximum surfing speed of 1GB per second, whereas 5G will be able to reach speeds of 10GB per second.
In a test done by Lifewire a 3GB movie file took 27 minutes to download on the 4G LTE network, whereas it only took 35 seconds on the 5G network. That is over 4600% faster.
This means that, while using AppStreamer on a 5G network, the apps will download instantly, and will take the storage of next to nothing of its actual size.
In addition, the developers have designed AppStreamer in such a way that it can use “edge computing” which sends and stores the data from edge servers. These servers are placed in places like cellphone towers, which are closer to the device when compared to a cloud server, thus, as the distance is shorter, the data download time is also reduced.
The developers believe that AppStreamer can be used in other places as well, for instance, in self-driving cars, where the car will have to fetch data in a matter of milliseconds from their servers in order to maintain the safe driving. AppStreamer will be able to do this much faster with the help of 5G network and “edge computing”.