A high-res next iPad could mean trouble for app downloads over 3G

A high-res next iPad could mean trouble for app downloads over 3G
It’s only a matter of days until March 7th, the date when we all expect to see the next iPad by Apple and all rumors point to a higher-res display with possibly 2048x1536 pixels of resolution. This would translate into stunning, crystal clear pictures and graphics, but will face developers with a difficult choice. For many, updating their apps with higher-res images and graphics would push their size to over 20MB.

Not a biggie, right? Not exactly - Apple has imposed a 20MB limit on 3G app downloads. Actually, the limit was even smaller at 10MB before 2010, and it stems from AT&T’s requests to Apple. In either case, developers tried their best to squeeze apps under that limit for a wider audience. Now, if an app goes over 20MB this would mean that you’d need to switch to Wi-Fi to download it, and would prevent many users from downloading it.

The issue seems particularly important for apps that serve both the iPhone and iPad from one binary package on the App Store. Developers would face the lose-lose situation of a potential loss of users who can only use Wi-Fi to download their app, and the potential loss of audience because they split their app in an iPad and iPhone version.

Developers would need larger, more detailed images for the next iPad.
Developers would need larger, more detailed images for the next iPad.

Developers would need larger, more detailed images for the next iPad.

When it comes to the new images required, they will need to quadruple in resolution or risk looking somewhat pixelized. Here’s how an app like Bjango’s Consume would change:

  • iPhone (Retina and non-Retina), iPad (non-Retina) = 18.3MB
  • iPhone (Retina and non-Retina), iPad (Retina and non-Retina) = ~35MB


The easiest way to tackle the issue is if Apple decides to up the 20MB 3G download limit with the announcement of the next iPad (here’s to hoping). Otherwise, developers would need to wrap their heads around this size limit puzzle and try to figure it out on their own.

source: TheNextWeb

Related phones

iPad 3
  • Display 9.7" 2048 x 1536 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A5X, Dual-core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 11560 mAh

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24 Comments

1. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Mmmmmm. Well devs can try finding a way how consumers can download the apps in parts. Just my 2cents! :p

23. Triton

Posts: 24; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

Wifi. .

2. android_hitman unregistered

simple solution.. apple doesn't give a crap, you will have a gorgeous display but you will run apps on half of the resolution...seems legit.. and don't forget to rush into the stores to buy this new beauty

13. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

or we con go get the bust of the Android tablets... for 199 and download 20 versions of angry birds...

19. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

iPad apps are total bs. I had an iPad to try it out and most free apps that I needed to keep my normal everyday functionality were iPhone only apps. Which meant they all looked like s**t.

3. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

The resolution will also create the problem where apps and especially high detail games like those from gameloft will be much much bigger is file size and use much more storage memory. The ipad being made by iron fisted apple will not feature a memory card slot so Ifans will will have to put up with much less storage than there ipad 2. Its makes the ipad 2$ worth all that wasted money for a better screen dont you think!

4. anywherehome

Posts: 971; Member since: Dec 13, 2011

more more more icons on the desktop.....but what about any innovation? widgets, free copying, freedom=free to install from unofficial sources? people want to be led.......the governments are happy we want to be led :)

5. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Meh, Size limit shouldn't even be a problem in the first place. On Android, if it's a big file, it will RECOMMEND you use wifi to download it. iOS just downright slaps you in the face and say "No! You do it my way or not at all". What Apple should do is remove this size limit...Oh wait, then idiots will just click download anyway and waste away their 3G limit and blame Apple for it later, so that's what the limit is for...

22. Triton

Posts: 24; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I just downloaded a 100Mb app using wifi at the library. Why are you lying. O wait. Your just a hater.

6. kshell1

Posts: 1143; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

i think its funny that apple even puts a restriction on app download size while android asks if you want to or not, i always choose no wifi and proceed to download my 30mb game or so then download the files for it like GTA3 which is well over 500mb. another reason why android is better than ios

7. maxican16

Posts: 364; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

More is Less

8. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

if apple is so much easier to use, how comes when there is a large file in the android market, it recommends wifi usage, and will even automatically take you to wifi connections and back.. or you could just eat your data plan and run it on 3g.. all automatically. i guess not having options or automation is what ios people call "easier". lol

9. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

lol I agree. They say iOS have the most user friendly interface, but in reality Apple just strips user options off their products. I'm not saying this is bad, it might be that this is their way of preserving the identity of their products or there might be some novel reason behind it. Anyway, droid boys want full control of their devices, iOS boys wants big daddy to make decisions for them. *Sigh*, iOS and Android, almost exact opposites.

10. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

lol, if they gave them the options, imagine what will be the headlines of PhoneArena. "iPhone user blames Apple for $1000 bill on app download" ^That's why these restrictions exist. A baby can't drink the poison lying around if he can't even get out of his crib first. That's the approach Apple's taking.

11. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Mmmmm. But Android let's you download large files through Wi-Fi if you don't want to do it over 3G. Apple can probably do the same, switch to Wi-Fi if the file is too large (more than 20MB). Or maybe there's a patent for switching from one type of connection to another (in relation to app downloads) and Google owns it??? :p

12. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Yeah, problem is, most iPhone users just blindly download without knowing anything about the 3G limit and would exceed their 3G limit for the month. Even if a warning popped up, most of them would just click continue download or something and later wonder how the billed racked up to such a high number...Remember who is the iPhone's target audience

16. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

lol, yeah you're right. Your argument is definitely valid :p

24. Triton

Posts: 24; Member since: Mar 02, 2012

I work for mobile phone billing company and data overages mostly happens with android power equipment. Yes, the user hits continue to download anyway over 3G or they are running flash. Then I have to backdate a higher data plan to cover the overages. So, on behalf of the communication industry I say. "Andriod is good for business."

14. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

lets hear more excuses fandroids

15. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

thats exactly right?... why is there a problem.. for you fandroids..

17. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Well, it's magical... so you know, it just works.

18. LoneShaolin

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

Sounds like an iPhreak EDIT : Furthermore, why is [i S h e e p] a forbidden word? WTF?!

20. Tux4g63

Posts: 121; Member since: Oct 21, 2011

Apple took out a vague patent where if you put an "i" in front of anything it is automatically their intellectual property, which they of course came up with first, and they will proceed to sue the $hit out of you if you try and use it. That's why.

21. LoneShaolin

Posts: 307; Member since: Jan 14, 2012

But I can type out iCrap. I thought that was their intellectual property too......

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