[Geek]-Apple doubles 3G app download limit to 20MB ahead of the iPad launch – Cell Phones & Mobile Device Technology News & Updates | Geek.com

iPhone app 3G download limit raised to 20MB

A 16.2MB app download over 3G.

When Steve Jobs unveiled the App Store as an exclusive one-stop shop for third-party iPhone applications on March 6, 2008, he “forgot” to tell us about a 10MB per-app 3G download limit. We later learned we can download an app of any size over WiFi only. The limitation was initially met with criticism by the media. Users, however, couldn’t care less because most iPhone apps are packaged below 10MB anyway, except high profile games.

We don’t know to date whether Apple imposed the 10MB limit as part of its agreement with carriers or in order to preserve the iPhone’s battery life, considering that 3G downloads consume more power than over WiFi. Whichever the case, the limit has now been doubled to 20MB, probably to prep for iPad apps come this March.

Learning about the change via an AppAdvice post today, I set out to do a test by downloading a lite version of Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies. Indeed, the 16.2MB download went through T-Mobile’s European 3G network without a nagging 10MB limit warning. AppAdvice wrote that developers will be happy with the new 20MB limit:

Many developers told us it is essential for them to have their apps available over 3G, indeed, most apps are actually bought on the move.

Of course, the new 20MB limit will have allowed developers to squeeze more content inside their apps while still enabling impulse purchases on the go. The iPad, as you know, sports a larger 9.7-inch display that runs at 1024×768 pixels. Paired with an Apple-made A4 processor that does some serious number crunching, the iPad enables the kind of apps that weren’t possible on the iPhone before, like content creation programs, juicer games, etc.

iPhone software roadmap (Steve Jobs talks App Store wireless downloads)

The existing iPhone programs will also benefit from the iPad’s faster hardware. What this means is that an average iPad app will weigh in more than its iPhone counterpart due to the use of larger visual assets needed to accommodate the iPad’s big display.

Bitmap graphics, images, illustrations, and what not will be all tailored for the iPad’s 1024×768 display. On top of that, developers can now create so-called Universal Binary, basically a single executable that packs in the code for both the iPhone and iPad. As a result, a single download contains both the iPad- and iPhone-optimized code, also making it heavier than an iPad- or iPhone-only code.

Read more at AppAdvice.

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