Google relaxes size restrictions for Android apps

Posted by Shane McGlaun

When Google's Android Market first launched in 2008, Mountain View slapped a size limit of 50 MB on app developers.

While many apps obviously weigh in well under the 50MB limit, a number of HD 3D titles really
could have used the extra digital space for improved graphics and gameplay.

Fortunately, Google has reconsidered its 50 MB cut-off and significantly upgraded the Market file size limit from 50 MB to 4 GB.

This is clearly a huge increase - and should provide game devs with significantly more leeway to design higher quality titles.

It should be noted, however, that the the size of the HEK file is stil limited to 50 MB in an effort to ensure apps can be easily stored on older devices.

Nevertheless, the app is permitted two expansion files of up to 2 GB each - in whatever format the designers choose.

When users are browsing for the app, the complete download size will be shown. Google does recommend that one of the two expansion files be rarely, if ever, updated - with the second essentially acting as a patch carrier which is updated with each major upgrade.

When a user of a newer Android device downloads one of the larger apps, expansion files are automatically transferred with the original file. On older devices, the app will download the expansion files when it runs for the first time, using a downloader library provided by Google.