/>
X
Home & Office

Android apps get bigger and easier to create

Google has made it possible for Android developers to bundle expansion packs of up to 2GB in size with their applications.Google has raised the size limit on Android apps to 4GB.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor on

Google has made it possible for Android developers to bundle expansion packs of up to 2GB in size with their applications.

Android

Google has raised the size limit on Android apps to 4GB. Image credit: CNET News

The company had previously limited the size of Android applications to 50MB, which meant developers had to pay to host and distribute further data for the apps themselves. On Monday, Google said its new limit for the apps was 4GB, which is twice the maximum size of an iOS app.

"Some types of apps, like high-quality 3D interactive games, require more local resources," Google said in a blog post. "So today, we're expanding the Android app size limit to 4GB. The size of your APK file will still be limited to 50MB to ensure secure on-device storage, but you can now attach expansion files to your APK."

Each app can come with two expansion files, each of which can be up to 2GB in size, Google said, adding that developers could use whatever format they want for the files.

"While you can use the two expansion files any way you wish, we recommend that one serve as the initial download and be rarely if ever updated; the second can be smaller and serve as a 'patch carrier', getting versioned with each major release," Google said.

App Inventor tool

Meanwhile, on Sunday the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) released an 'open beta preview' of its App Inventor tool. The application is for building Android apps in a simple way, using a drag-and-drop user interface.

App Inventor was originally a Google initiative, but Google shut its version of the service down at the end of last year, passing maintenance of the project over to MIT.

An initial version of MIT App Inventor appeared in late January for a closed test, and MIT said on Sunday that it had amassed 5,000 testers.

"Today, we're taking the next step, and opening the MIT App Inventor service to everyone. All you will need is a Google ID for log-in (for example, a Gmail account)," Harold 'Hal' Abelson, one of the founders of the Free Software Foundation and an MIT professor, wrote in a blog post.

Abelson noted that there would be "glitches and minor errors and lots of room for improvement", but said it would be easier to fix the bugs once the service is running at scale.

"Our extreme gratitude and admiration goes to the Google App Inventor team who, even while their project transitions out of Google, have continued to share their expertise and the fruit of their hard work of the past three years," Abelson added.

Editorial standards