Google Play APK limit doubled to 100MB

Android developers given more control over the quality and complexity of their games

Google has doubled the maximum APK size for Google Play, giving developers more freedom when creating apps and games.

Developers can now publish Android APKs up to 100MB in size, twice the previous 50MB limit. The new limit will apply to apps and games made for Android 4.0 and higher, while APKs targeting Android 3.2 and lower will be held to 50MB.

"We understand that developers are challenged with delivering a delightful user experience that maximizes the hardware of the device, while also ensuring that their users can download, install, and open the app as quickly as possible," Google said in a statement.

"It's a tough balance to strike, especially when you're targeting diverse global audiences."

That point was pushed even further with a series of caveats highlighting the various ways developers could be undermined by their own ambitions. Mobile internet speeds and data caps are still an issue in many parts of the world, as is the capability of affordable phone hardware. Then there's the fickle nature of many smartphone gamers, who might take a longer install time as incentive to move on.

"Even though you can make your app bigger, it doesn't always mean you should," the statement read. "We hope that, in certain circumstances, this file size increase is useful and enables you to build higher quality apps and games that users love."

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Latest comments (8)

Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
Pointless. Timewaster games won't really need it and for larger games it's still nowhere near enough to remove this horrible external download hack.

I actually find it quite disheartening to hear that google thinks this is enough for "a larger game" tbh. It just isn't.
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Steve Ellis Managing Director / Programmer 2 years ago
It's absolutely not pointless. It's useful for developers of games that fall in the 50-100Mb range. I happen to fall within that range, so I welcome this news.

I would argue that many (most?) larger mobile games are larger than they need to be because their developers didn't see app size as something that was worth the effort of optimising. But it is - people have limited space on their devices, and apps shouldn't be wasteful of that space.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
You seem to be assuming a lot. The two games of mine that I have in mind are heavily optimised but still won't fit, for example.

If you have a game that fits into the 50-100 range, before this news, then by your own statement it should've really been dropped down to 50 already.

100Mb over gprs seems excessive to me in any case. I would've preferred them to keep the limit at 50Mb but allow devs to provide wifi-only downloads of unlimited size that "just work" as an alternative. ie similar to what they provide now, but with all the hacking and lack of control taken out.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Paul Johnson on 29th September 2015 5:42pm

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Show all comments (8)
Yann Corno Chief Technical Officer, Days Of Wonder2 years ago
I never understood the point in dividing the package in two chunks, since the Google Play Store downloads everything anyway before starting the game. It always has been a source of headaches and performance issues for us.

It's sure that this move is great for small games, but using a single monolithic APK would work just as well for both small and large games and make everybody happy.

If someone can explain me the reasoning behind Google's multiple packaging system and which point I am missing, I will sleep feeling more intelligent tonight. ;-)
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
The multiple packaging system is from days of yore. There was a time when you uploaded separate binaries for each of the various GPU's available.

Which in turn allowed for the existence of an app called chainfire. The whole point of that app was that a user with mali could lie about having nvidia and therefore download the wrong version and drop the compulsory one star because "the devs can't even be arsed to make it run".

Fun times.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises2 years ago
lol, Paul you should write history books!
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game2 years ago
The way larger apks from Amazon install is problematic. To install walking dead for instance, the game is a bit over 1 gig, but as you need space for the apk, and install, you need 3 gig to install. And if you manage to clear the space, it fails to update. Larger games downloading data sperately seems to work better anyway.
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George Williams Owner 2 years ago
This has made me laugh. Working on my first over 50MB game and was wondering how to approach this limit. With mobile gamers demanding better quality, more powerful mobile devices - it simply makes sense.
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