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Android Application Size Increased to 4.05 GB

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The maximum size of Android applications has been increased significantly. While the core APK is still limited to 50 MB, applications are now allowed to have two extension files of 2 GB each hosted by the Android marketplace. These extension files can use any format, though Google recommends that ZIP files be used.

Extension files are automatically downloaded when the application is installed if the user has WiFi access, otherwise the user has to accept the possible carrier charges. The downloads happen immediately for newer devices, while older phones wait until the application is run for the first time before starting the download.

The standard design pattern for extension files is to use one file for all of the application’s initial download. The second file should be held in reserve for patching individual files, allowing it to be significantly smaller. This is demonstrated in the downloader service example:

Because many developers may not be used to working with one or two large files for all of their secondary content, the example code also includes support for using a Zip file as the secondary file. The Zip example implements a reasonable patching strategy that allows for the main expansion file to “patch” the APK and the patch file to “patch” both the APK and the main expansion file by searching for asset files in all three places, in the order patch->main->APK.

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Community comments

  • Android App SIze

    by Naresh Chintalcheru /

    • Re: Android App SIze

      by Jonathan Allen /

      • Android App SIze

        by Naresh Chintalcheru /

        Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

        Not sure who will use such a large Android App :)

      • Re: Android App SIze

        by Jonathan Allen /

        Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

        I'm thinking it will be used primarily for games and research tools. For example, the Medscape app already downloads their medical encyclopedia to your phone.

        Imagine you are a bird watcher on a nature hike. Cell phone reception is probably going to be spotty or missing entirely, so having all of the descriptions and images pre-loaded on your phone would be essential.

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