Saturday, 3 October 2015

Google increases APK limit to 100MB ahead of Android event

Google will be hosting an event where it's expected we'll see the release of updated Nexus devices from LG and Huawei, the potential of two new Chrome cast products, a surprise 'Pixel' Android tablet, and of course the release of Android Marshmallow to power the exciting new hardware. 

Ahead of the event, the Google Play team has extended the APK file size limit for Android developers from 50MB to 100MB which should provide more room for creating even better user experiences. For comparative purposes, executable files on iOS cannot exceed 60MB 
In a post on the Android Developers Blog, the company warned that you shouldn't always make your app bigger even though you can. Specifically, the Google Play team asks developers to consider the following scenarios which could affect bigger applications: 
  • Mobile data connectivity: Users around the world have varying mobile data connectivity speeds. Particularly in developing countries, many people are coming online with connections slower than those of users in countries like the U.S. and Japan. Users on a slow connection are less likely to install an app or game that is going to take a long time to download. 
  • Mobile data caps: Many mobile networks around the world give users a limited number of MB that they can download each month without incurring additional charges. Users are often wary of downloading large files for fear of exceeding their limits. 
  • App performance: Mobile devices have limited RAM and storage space. The larger your app or game, the slower it may run, particularly on older devices. 
  • Install time: People want to start using your app or game as quickly as possible after tapping the install button. Longer wait times increase the risk they’ll give up. 

We could take the timing to mean that Google is expecting bigger applications post-event. A blurry picture of the new Chromecast has appeared which seems to show a bigger device which could feature improved processors for gaming purposes; a move to rival the latest Apple TV. 
For games, 100MB isn't a lot, but then it could ensure developers focus on casual games for the new Chromecast instead of attempting to fight the console space. Bigger games on Android tend to download the rest of their required files post-install to get around the APK size limit; which is still a workaround likely to be used. 

In the post, Google officially writes: "To support the growing number of developers who are building richer apps and games on Google Play, we are increasing the APK file size limit to 100MB from 50MB. This means developers can publish APKs up to 100MB in size, and users will see a warning only when the app exceeds the 100MB quota and makes use of Expansion Files."

Is Google did right?

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