Downloading apps is commonplace for mobile phone users at this point. As these apps become more and more sophisticated they’re becoming larger in size, which is sad for the end users. Being told to jump on a WiFi connection to download a game while you’re out and about on your mobile device is extremely annoying and the pain might get worse according to an announcement from the Android team at Google.
According to the announcement, developers will now be able to attach two additional extra files to their apps with a filesize limit of 2GB each. Yep, that means that apps could now become as big as 4GB and change. Here’s what the team had to say about the change:
Android applications have historically been limited to a maximum size of 50MB. This works for most apps, and smaller is usually better — every megabyte you add makes it harder for your users to download and get started. However, some types of apps, like high-quality 3D interactive games, require more local resources.
So today, we’re expanding the Android app size limit to 4GB.
The nice part for developers is that Google is offering to host all of the files, taking the burden off of smaller shops who would hemorrhage money if they had to host files of that size.
The Android team hopes that this increase in file size will inspire developers to get more creative with their apps, including things like 3D graphics, audio, and video. Users will be alerted of the filesize on the Android Market before they download the app, so if they have to make sure that they’re on a fast connection, they can choose to download the file later. And of course files will automatically resume if connection is lost, so this just means longer wait times to try out that new app that caught your eye.
Innovation is great, but as long as we’re stuck with the data speeds we have now on our mobile phones, I hope that this doesn’t start a trend of app developers bloating their wares with unnecessary files or skipping out on optimizing files for the best mobile performance. If app developers do start creating larger files as normal practice, our phones are going to need storage upgrades rather quick.