Google boosts Android app limit to 4GB

Google boosts Android app limit to 4GB
Just in case those of you out there with older devices weren't alienated enough by Ice Cream Sandwich and its hatred of devices with small internal storage capacity, Google is now effectively telling you that if you don't upgrade soon, you're not going to be able to do anything on your device. Today, Google increased the app size limit for the Android Market. 

The old limit had been 50MB, and now Google has boosted that limit all the way to an absurd 4GB limit. This is mostly targeted towards games, where the extra space will allow for bigger games with better texture packs for higher quality graphics. This should also end the awful process of downloading a game only to have to then download a 1GB+ data pack in order to play said game. However, with the new limits, apps will also be able to have 2 expansion packs of up to 2 GB each. 

Of course, if those data packs were to go away, that will kill compatibility of larger games with devices with small internal storage, regardless of if you have an SD card, because your device still needs the internal space to start the install process, even when installing to an SD card. But, the good news for devs is that Google now hosts all of that data, so you don't have to worry as much about server costs. Still, it should make for some pretty nice games. 



1. Chronos

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Such a massive increase. It increase increase would be great for Glu Mobile, Gameloft, and even Gamevil games.

7. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

now we dont have those in game downloads!!

2. Mr.Best

Posts: 79; Member since: Jan 17, 2012

I love it! Bring the titles Gameloft


Posts: 163; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

Well done GOOGLE smart boy

4. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

Fine by me. I happen to prefer devices with a minimum of 16 GB and simultaneously hate those post download data installs.

8. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1273; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

ya... ditto...

5. nnaatthhaannx2

Posts: 820; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

i think games should be made more directly for devices they should limit the supported resolutions and provide a different app for each one. there's too many times that i get that "do you want to zoom or strech this app" becasue its not made for my device. the biggest game (i can think of) is MC3 and thats 1.8gb (something like that) and it requires a silly in game download. google is making the right move here, but they need to buckle down on just a few more things no matter what they think cuz their os is getting a little messed up.

6. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Michael, why is it absurd? Its absurd that they haven't increased it before. It should have coincided with the G-Nexus launch. Sooner or later they are going to start making apps/ games that challenge those 720 (and soon 1080p) screens, quad cores, dual channel memory set ups, and more... they sure as heck are not going to be able to do that on 50mb + a download. Besides, its much more honest now. Many people buy said games thinking its 50mb, then realize they have to DL a lot more that their phone cant handle, which leads to negative reviews for the game that it doesnt deserve. I think the only thing that is truely absurd is people buying a cheap phone and then complaining that it cant do high end things, or holding on to old equipment demanding the same. "High end" in early 2010 is the "low end" of early 2012. The only single core chip still holding above the low end is the Hummingbird in the SGS1 and i4, both which were released later in 2010. If you want the latest and greatest app, you are darn sure going to have to buy new equipment that can handle it. Apps cant move forward until the bulk of the tech that it runs on does. You seem mad about the decision, I applaud it as a long time coming and another forced push for android into better apps and functionality.

26. Forsaken77

Posts: 553; Member since: Jun 09, 2011

While I do agree with what you're saying from my own perspective, there are those that buy new equipment but low-end, with hardly any internal memory. Most people have no clue about a phones' internal memory or whether or not it comes with a built-in SD card. As a person that deals with phone sales on a daily basis, I'm sure you can attest to what I'm saying. Most apps on the Market are trying to be geared towards everyone. The more people it's available to, the more money they can make. I think hardware makers need to include a minimum of 16GB's on even the low-end phones to make app development easier and more universal. Alot of app developers go by the lowest common denominator.

27. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

that's exactly my point about pushing it forward. app development goes where the money is. high end phones won't ever see too many phone busting apps until the average phone spec moves up. thankfully for the bulk of phones, the internal storage has been increasing rapidly. but again if ur on an older or cheap phone u shouldn't expect to be able to use all apps. people that buy cheap phones need to made of their limitations when they buy them. I sure as heck tell them as I try hard to not sell bottom end phones if I can help it. more complaints come from the low end than the high end by far.

9. G2Noobin

Posts: 81; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

Anyone please clarify WTF this article just say... My brain absolutely did not understand this jibberish... Learn how to clarify your point to make a full article not a snippet of nonsense! Don't get me wrong i have only used android... but WTF is going with android and what type of storage do we need and is it stored in the cloud???

10. cellphonator

Posts: 298; Member since: Oct 29, 2011


11. ZEUS.the.thunder.god unregistered

take it easy lol. its gonna be all fine.

13. Chronos

Posts: 258; Member since: Feb 25, 2012

Then reread the article until you understand; it's very simple to understand.

18. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

Translation, Google says enough, too many devices still seating on the shelves. If you want to play, have to purchase a new device. You're suppose to refresh phone every two years, and stop being so damn cheap. :)


Posts: 3131; Member since: Jan 12, 2010

This is awesome, I cannot wait for this games that don't look like they were made for flip phones.

14. bayusuputra

Posts: 963; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

yeah, can't wait for it.. maybe because of this, devs will start optimising multi-cores capability.. but i'm still enjoying my game dev story with its pixelated graphic.. it's so cute! haha!

24. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

A lot of the games were made for iOS then ported to android, without any UI or graphics tweaks, hence their poor graphics and low resolutions (and menu buttons at the top of the screen... hate that!

15. ilia1986 unregistered

"because your device still needs the internal space to start the install process, even when installing to an SD card" Android is open source, Michael. I am certain that somewhere on the web there is a utility which allows one to mount part of an SD card as RAM memory, to which the game can be unpacked - and then installed into the other part of the card.

17. tward291

Posts: 559; Member since: Feb 14, 2012

now we can start getting some better games on the tablets and no more second in game install i hope

19. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

The first paragraph of this article is absurd.. Google isn't effectively telling you anything! Not able to do anything on your device? Really? C'mon Michael.. that's a bit.. doomsday eh? I imagine only a relatively few games will have that large of a download.. as I'm sure it's not exactly in the interest of the developer to create such a HUGE download. Seriously.. who wants to sit and wait for 4 gigs of data to download?? Even on LTE! (oh, and there is the data cap for non-unlimited users) I think users will be just fine.. especially those who don't play a lot of games. I'm betting that these "new" 4 gig games wouldn't be all that compatible with older devices anyway.

20. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

There goes everyone's data...everyone that's got the cheap data plans on Verizon and At&t unless they use WiFi. Also, there goes everyone's phone storage. After a factory wipe/reset, my Evo Shift only has maybe 300Mb of storage and I've only got an 8Gb microSD. The price of microSDs need to come down but the storage needs to increase.

21. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

u can get a 16 gig micro for just a few bux man. how cheap does it need to be? lol

25. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

If a user is dumb enough to not download such a large file (or series of them) over WiFi, they deserve the overage. MicroSDs are always dropping in price. I picked up a 32GB Class 10 a few weeks ago for around $30. Laughed my head off at my friend who bought a 32GB iphone and paid an extra $100 for it

22. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Michael is right. This is just another nail in the coffin to older devices. Some are very capable handsets, but wont be able to play these games because of the requirement of them being installed to the handset instead of having the option to put them on the SD Card. Bad move Google.

23. Ksolaoke

Posts: 9; Member since: Dec 11, 2011

It's a good idea for phones with expandable memory but definitely NOT a good idea for phones like Sony Xperia S, U and worse of all P which are not expandable.

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