In a boon for 3D and high-end games, Android and iOS boost app size limits this week

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By Kim-Mai Cutler Comment

Huzzah for higher-end game developers this week. Both Android and iOS raised their app size limits, which will help developers push higher-quality apps to consumers.

Apple today said it will raise its over-the-air limit to 50 megabytes. Previously, if a developer pushed apps with file sizes of more than 20 megabytes, their users would be prompted to use Wi-fi to download them. That caused many would-be users to drop off, so many developers would do everything possible to get their apps under the 20-megabyte limit. It was extremely painful for 3D developers, who have apps or games that usually take up more space.

Apple’s announcement comes just a day after Google said it is increasing the maximum file size from 50 megabytes to 4 gigabytes. Note: That’s not the over-the-air limit. That’s the total size limit.

The size of an Android apps’ original APK file, or “application package file” still has to be under 50 megabytes. However, developers can add expansion files that are up to 2 gigabytes in size. Android Market, also now known as Google Play, will host the files. When users download apps, the expansion files will be downloaded automatically.

Overall, this pushes both ecosystems in the direction of games with higher-production values, a trend we’ve already seen with increased competition over the past year.