Reducing the size of an ARToolKit for iOS app

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Main Page > ARToolKit Professional > Reducing the size of an ARToolKit for iOS app

It is always desirable to minimize the size of any binary distribution of an ARToolKit-based application, but especially so on iOS. Particularly, any iOS app over 20MB cannot be downloaded via cellular data.

First, determine what is actually taking up space in your final application. Locate the built app, and right-click on it and choose "Show package contents".

ARApp - Show package contents.png

Look at the file sizes in the resulting directory, and particularly at the size of the compiled executable and your data files (models etc.)

Here is a checklist of things you should check when trying to reduce the size of the executable:

  • If you do not need to support iOS devices running iOS versions older than 4.3, you can set IOS_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=4.3 in your application settings, and then set ARCHS=armv7. This will eliminate the armv6 architecture from the file, potentially cutting its size in half.
  • Alternately, you can forgo the optimized armv7 architecture binary, and set ARCHS=armv6 only. All iOS devices support the armv6 instruction set, and the performance loss may be very small.
  • Strip the binary of debugging and internal symbols (build settings STRIP_INSTALLED_PRODUCT=YES, STRIP_STYLE=all). Also, make sure that any embedded debug symbols are removed from copied binaries (build setting COPY_PHASE_STRIP=YES).
  • Make sure dead code (code which is defined but never called) is stripped. Check that build setting DEAD_CODE_STRIPPING=YES.

If trying to reduce the size of data files included with your application, pay particular attention to model files and textures.

  • Keep textures as small as possible. Some textures can be resized down to quite small sizes (e.g. 64x64 pixels) and still look acceptable. If your model format supports it, convert textures to compressed PVRTC format. (Not supported by the glm model loader).
  • Compress all sound files.
  • Reduce number of polygons in models.
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