Google knows it has some work to do if it wants to catch Apple in the app race. While the search giant certainly has had no problem in attracting consumers to its Android mobile platform, its app market is another story. In order to increase the appeal of Android to developers, Google recently announced that it raised the maximum file size for Android app submissions from 50GB to the current limit of 4GB.
Google’s move is a smart one, as developers can now submit beefier apps that are characterized by the need for more local storage. Of course, with the constant stream of new smartphones and tablets hitting the market, increasing the app file size limit was inevitable. New and improved functionalities are being integrated into mobile devices such as dual-core processors, 3D, 4G LTE, and the list goes on. With that being the case, many developers have started creating more robust apps and games to take advantage of the enhanced device capabilities. Still, whether it was inevitable or not, Google does deserve credit for its efforts to appease developers and increase Android’s appeal.
Beyond the app size limit increase to 4GB, Google also announced that developers’ APK files would be limited to 50MB. The reasoning behind the limit is to preserve secure on-device storage. On a positive note, Google did say that developers will be able to attach two expansion files to their APK. Each expansion file carries a limit of 2GB. The downloading of expansion files will differ according to each user’s device. Newer devices will download the expansion files automatically when the app is installed. Once the expansion files are downloaded, the refund period will officially commence. As for older devices, they will download the expansion files through a downloader library the very first time the app runs.
Also noteworthy is Google’s announcement that it will host files uploaded by developers. Under the company’s prior setup, any developers with content exceeding 50MB had to rely on their own hosting. Lastly, Android users will be notified of app file sizes before they download and install them.
The increased file size limit is just one recent example of how Google is doing its best to boost the Android app experience for both developers and consumers. The company recently improved its application tracking statistics to improve developer insight, and it even integrated the Android Market into a new comprehensive content solution dubbed Google Play. Google also has taken measures to clean up its app market by introducing the Android Market Bouncer to detect phony apps as well as viruses.