Google has announced on their own blog that they have increased the size limit of Android apps from fifty megabytes to a whopping one hundred megabytes. This means that Android apps will be able to occupy twice as much storage space compared to before the announcement.
This means that Google is giving app developers more freedom to build and design their apps. Up until now, app developers only had fifty megabytes to their disposal, which has now been increased to one hundred megabytes.
It should be noted that the size limit increase is only for the apk file of the application or game itself. These files could be considered as containers, which you download from Google Play Store. After you have downloaded an apk file, Android unpacks the container and installs the application or game on your mobile device.
For example, the recently released FIFA 16 mobile game has a size of fifteen hundred megabytes, but this does not mean that you will download the entire game off of Google Play Store. Usually, you only download a small size of a large game, after which you install that portion of the game. Once you start the game for the first time, you will be prompted with a text balloon, telling you that you have to download additional game files. Those game files are usually downloaded game developer’s or publisher’s servers (such as EA Sports).
Even though the size limit for Android games and applications have been doubled, Google has indicated that developers do not have to opt for larger apk files. In many cases, it is better for everyone that the apk file stays as small as possible. When application and game developers start making their apk files as large as possible, it will take more time for the users of Android devices to download them, which generally has negative effects.
Generally speaking, games and applications that have a smaller size are chosen much quicker by users, because of the fact that they will be able to download those games and applications much quicker. Nevertheless, application and game developers are very happy to hear that the size limit has been increased, because extra space never hurts. They will be able to add more features to their apps and games, without having to worry so much about the size anymore.
Google warns users and developers alike
As mentioned above, Google has stated that developers do not have to opt to increase the size of their applications and games. They have stated a couple of reasons why developers should not go overboard when it comes to the size of their games and applications. Google has also warned Android users of the possibility that they will have to download larger files off of Google Play Store from now on, which can have negative effects on their data usage and plan.
Google states that smartphones and tables only have a limited amount of memory and storage space. RAM is not expandable, and the storage capacity is only expandable on certain devices. In general, the rule is that the bigger the application, the slower it runs on older smartphones and tables.
Whenever an application or game is large in size, it also means that it will take longer for users to download and install those apps and games. Some users may opt out of even trying those apps and games, which means that the developers will lose popularity.
Some users have a data limit, which means that they can only use a certain amount of megabytes per month. This limit is reached sooner as apps and games become larger. Downloading applications and games without a Wi-Fi connection can become very costly. It is also a fact that in certain countries, download speeds are limited. This means that people will have to wait a longer time, in order to be able to play a larger game or to use a larger app.
Android apps size limit increase conclusion
I think it is very nice to see Google increasing the size limit of applications and games in Google Play Store. This will give developers more freedom and allow them to be more creative with their games and apps. However, it is up to the developers to keep in mind that not every Android user is well off, has an unlimited data plan and the newest smartphone or tablet. I cannot wait to see which large games and applications will be available to download soon.