Back in June during Google IO we heard about an upcoming feature to the Google Play Store that would make users and carriers alike extremely happy. This was called smart app updates. Essentially how this works is when you get an update the Play Store will only download the new bits, rather than the entire application again.

What this means is when you get an update to Asphalt 6, or a large game like ShadowGun that is well over 50MB in size, you won’t be waiting forever to download the update, and you won’t be using up large sums of data either. Instead you’ll only get “incremental” updates of what’s new. For those on small data plans, or in non 3G/4G LTE markets this will come in handy.

Google’s been making tons of changes behind the scenes over the past few days with their Play Store. A new version was pushed out last night, and it looks like they’ll be adding gift cards and wishlists soon. Apparently though that isn’t all because the folks from Android Police noticed these new smart updates happening now.

A great example is the update to Instagram available this morning. It is a 13MB app and usually you have to install the entire thing on updates, but with Google’s smart app updates it only downloads 3MB and sends you on your way. Great stuff Google! I’m extremely excited to finally see this arrive, and I have a feeling carriers will be too.