Through a post on the official Android Developers blog, Google announced that it is doubling the file size limit of APKs uploaded to the Play Store from 50MB to 100MB.
The blog post said that Google is making the change to be able to support the increasing number of developers that are creating richer apps and games uploaded to the Play Store. The post also voiced its understanding of how hard it is for developers to balance the goal of providing users with an experience that maximizes the capabilities of devices and the requirement of allowing them to download and begin using the app as fast as possible.
The blog post said that the change will now have users receiving warnings only if the app that they want to download from the Play Store is over the quota of 100MB and utilizes expansion files.
"Even though you can make your app bigger, it doesn't always mean you should," the blog post warned to developers, adding that there are four factors that need to be kept in mind when developing apps. These four factors are mobile data connectivity, as users from countries with slow connections are less likely to download apps that will take a long time to install; mobile data caps, as users are wary of using up their data on downloading just one app; app performance, as larger apps could lead to lower performance, especially in older devices; and install time, as users could give up in installing an app if it takes too long to download and install it.
The increase of the file size limit of APKs could be seen as a formality though, as aforementioned expansion files were introduced as a workaround to the limit. While the apps had a file size limit, developers are allowed to package the apps with two expansion files that could be as big as 2GB each. While executable code remained in the APK, other content that could not fit in the core app such as videos and audio could be included in the expansion files.
With the larger APK file size limit, developers would be able to add more content into their apps to possibly eliminate expansion files for some apps, allowing users to only have to go through one download process. The change is also needed because, as devices become more advanced, the apps that take advantage of the additional capabilities are beginning to take up more space.