Google expands Android app size from 50MB to 4GB

Android apps were free to exceed the size limit before, but developers had to host the data on their own.

Google is giving Android app developers a lot more room to work with, expanding the maximum Android app size from 50MB to 4GB.

Although Android apps were free to exceed the size limit before, developers had to host the data on their own. For users, that meant downloading additional files from within the app after installing the core app from the Android Market. The extra downloads were a nuisance and would eat into the 15-minute refund window for Android apps.

Under the new system, Android .APK files will still be limited to 50MB, but Google will host up to two expansion files, each up to 2GB. Most newer devices will download these expansions automatically, and the refund window will not begin until all files are in place.

Some older devices will still have to use a separate downloader, but Google now offers its own developer tool for this purpose. This tool can download files in the background, resume large files safely, pause and resume based on Wi-Fi availability and notify users of estimated completion time. If you've ever put up with extra file downloads in games like Gun Bros. and Asphalt 6, the prospect of a more user-friendly should come as a relief.

In both cases, users will be able to see the total size of the app from within the Android Market, solving another issue with app developers' own download tools.

Although most apps don't have troubling coming in under 50MB, size limits are a big concern for game developers, who need to pack their apps with image and video assets. As phones and tablets move toward higher-resolution displays, the need for larger apps will only grow.

Apple's next iPad may face similar app size issues if developers want to accommodate a 2048-by-1536 pixel display, as expected. The size limit for iOS apps is currently 2GB, but apps downloaded over 3G must be no larger than 20MB.

Follow Jared on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for even more tech news and commentary.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?