Thursday, March 8, 2012

Android App Size Limit Increased to 4GB

Ever since it first hit the scene, Android has limited its applications to a maximum size of 50MB. Overall this has worked pretty well, with smaller apps obviously having an easier time with the limitations. However, every megabyte you add that gets closer to 50 makes it that much harder for users to download the app and start using it. Other apps, specifically the ones that use high-end 3D graphics, use more local features. With regard to this, Android has decided to increase the Android app size limit from 50MB to 4GB.

Before you go planning the next mega-app, the size of the APK file will still be limited to 50MB to make sure you have secure on-device storage, though you now have the ability to attach expansion files to your APK. The Android Developers Blog listed some features of the new size increase, which includes:

  • Each app can have two expansion files, each one up to 2GB, in whatever format you choose.

  • Android Market will host the files to save you the hassle and cost of file serving.

  • Users will see the total size of your app and all of the downloads before they install/purchase.

A lot of newer mobile devices expansion files will be downloaded automatically as soon as you download the app from the marketplace. The refund period won't start until the expansion files are downloaded. Older devices have your app download the expansion files the first time it runs through a downloader library, which can be found on the blog.

The Android Developers Blog also says that even though you have the option of using the two expansion files however you want, they recommend that you use one as the initial download and only update rarely, if at all. They say you should use the second one as a smaller file to act as a "patch carrier" that will get revised with each major release of the app.

This is definitely going to have some big implications on the app development world and it will be interesting to see how it affects both app developers and users alike. What do you think? If you're an app developer, is this something that you are very interested in or excited about?

Source: Android Developers Blog - Android Apps Break the 50MB Barrier
Engadget - Android Market raises maximum app size to 4GB, APK files still limited to 50MB


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1 comment:

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