Once upon a time a 50MB mobile app was considered large, huge even. In fact that time wasn’t too long ago, but times have changed, as they always do, and as always, everything is getting bigger. Always one to be accommodating, Google has upped the limit for apps on the Android Market—henceforth known as the Google Play Store—from 50MB to 4GB. The actual .APK files still must adhere to the 50MB limit, however a second pair of attached files may be up to 2GB each.
What this means for us as end users is that we can download an entire 2GB HD game, install it, and still be within the Store’s miniscule 15 minute refund window. Previously, if you wanted an app greater than 50MB, you would download the installer from the market, and then download the actual game from a developer-hosted server. Oftentimes this secondary download would take longer than 15 minutes on its own, effectively negating the refund policy.
This means a whole host of changes to how developers package their applications, and a significant monetary savings to the larger ones as they don’t have to pay for over 100TB—one 2GB file, downloaded 50,000 times—of hosting bandwidth. If we’re lucky, and if the developers feel generous, this may translate into a small amount of savings for us, but I doubt it. Mostly this just means we can see if that $10 HD game will actually work on our device and have a chance to get our money back if it doesn’t, and I’m ok with that.