Google Raises Android App Size Cap to 4GB

Google's Android Market now accepts app file sizes of up to 4GB, the better to serve users graphics-intensive games and other programs.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) March 5 raised the file size limit for Android Market application submissions to 4GB, an effort to accommodate apps that require more local storage.

Previously, Google allowed apps up to 50 megabytes. However, the proliferation of 3D interactive games and other fat apps geared to run on today's smartphones and tablet computers has forced Google to change its file size dimensions.

The ubiquitous nature of dual-core processors and 4G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) networks will encourage developers to build more resource-intensive apps, making Google's move all the more important.

Google is also limiting the size of developers APK files to 50MB because it said it wants to preserve secure on-device storage. As a compromise, the company is letting programmers attach expansion files to their APK. Each app can be bundled with two expansion files, with each one comprising up to 2GB.

Google, which will now notify app users of apps' download files sizes going forward, will host the files developers upload to the Android Market. Previously, those with content beyond 50MB had to host their own material.

For most newer devices, the expansion files will be downloaded automatically when a user installs an app from the Android Market, and the refund period won€™t start until the expansion files are downloaded.

For older devices, the app will download the expansion files the first time it runs, via a downloader library Google has made available here.

Google's efforts to improve the Android Market experience have been well documented, both for the developers seeking to publish apps there and for the consumers looking to download them.

Google just last week improved application statistics in its Android Market to help publishers get a better handle on how users are accessing and interacting with their applications.

Last month, Google revealed Android Market's Bouncer, a once secret malware-detection service that helps ferret out malicious apps and viruses.