One problem that Android app developers (specifically game developers) have had to face is the size limit for apps in the Android Market, because up until now it's been a measly 50MB. For most apps that is more than enough, but for others - like graphically intense games, for example - it's not even close, so developers had to jump through hoops and implement downloading of additional resources manually. Remember Spectral Souls with its 1GB of data?

Good news, though - today at I/O, Google announced that as of June 2011, the Market will support apps of up to 4GB (well, 4GB + 50MB) in size, which should be large enough to house just about any game we could possibly want on our devices. This support will come in the form of the same 50MB initial download app limit, except with the addition of up to 2 2GB data files, hosted and managed by the Market itself. This takes the  burden off developers and makes it easy for them to publish gigantic apps and games without worrying about hosting and extra implementations.


The one problem that could arise out of this new bump in app size, however, is the current return policy, as the 15 minute return window begins as soon as your tap the "Buy" button. If a file is a few hundred megs to a few gigs, that could take quite some time to download. Consequently, Google has also tweaked the return policy just a bit to remedy this issue, and the 15 minutes will begin once the download is completed.

I know that a lot of users would like a larger window for returning apps, but overall this is still a big step in the right direction.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • sfsdfsdf

    easy solution:
    - make devs choose the refund window for each of their apps (from 15m to 1day?)
    - introduce function in the market app that checks when app finished download and start counting refund time from that moment ...

    but of course it's only useful for end users who already paid and not many people are interested in helping those

  • BachinPhx

    WOW! 15 whole minutes? How generous of you. I like sfsdfsdf's idea. Let the devs decide how long for their own return policy. This is keeping me from buying certain apps as I am not sure and 15 mins. doesn't really give you enough time to check 'em out.

    • Martin

      If you email the developers they will in most cases refund your purchase. Or at least it hasn't happened to me yet where they denied my request.

      While I agree 15 minutes is still short, it's better than not having anything (like is the case with Apple).

      • Christo Acosta

        This. I was *extremely* worrisome about trying out SPB Shell 3D ($15!), but the devs were willing to guarantee refund within 24 hours, before I bought it...

  • Vince

    Thanks Google for giving us more reasons to pirate the fuck out of your market. What a joke....

    • Martin

      How come? Or did you come here just to troll?

      • SiliconAddict

        Because you damn well can't test a fraking app in 15 minutes. Esp some of the robust ones. Again I dropped $10 on an app that can record calls....except Google voice calls. Oops 15 is up...too bad so sad. Frak you Google.

        • Martin

          Write to the developer and they will in most cases refund it to you. Communication and politeness is the key, although you people seem to be missing the point.

          You're given something that the competition doesn't, but all you can is complain and be ungrateful. Well, how nice.

  • http://lettersfromdave.wordpress.com daveloft

    The APK packages in the market will still be limited to 50MB.

    But Google will also store up to two 2GB additional achieves on their servers which will install to the SD card.

    Nothing will change for the user. But for the developer, especially indie developers, they won't have to set up their own servers to provide the additional files.

    Why did no one go to the Market session? Now everyone is sharing the wrong information.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      You're right, the initial packages will still be limited to 50MB, but the total size of the app is raised to 4GB. I'll update the wording a bit.

      While the same could have been achieved before using your own server and a manual download technique you'd have to code within the app, it'll now be all automated and hosted by the Market.

      • http://lettersfromdave.wordpress.com daveloft

        This will be great for smaller developers who find the task of hosting their own files too daunting.
        I had a conversation with SkyVu the developer of Battle Bears-1 among others. They said they were releasing multiple versions of their games to fit within the 50MB limit and that they didn't want to run a server for the game to download extra data because of piracy.
        They said that there were far more pirated copies and they would all be costing them money using the server to download game files. I guess now it shouldn't be a problem.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      All fixed now, thank you for bringing it to my attention, Dave.

  • SiliconAddict

    Bull****. Frak you Google. This is the first time I've ever wanted to shove my foot up someone's *** at Google for a policy.

  • cruisx

    15 minuets should be enough.....If not suck it up and do a google search on the app for reviews or hit youtube. The 15 minuet return policy is BS and kills developers sales. I hate when people buy my shit, use it real quick to get what they want and return it and get their money back.....Jeez is 0.99$ how cheap to do you have to be to refund that when you know that the app has been helpful to you.

  • Jahf

    @cruisx ... the 15min return policy is why I almost never buy apps. The only apps I have paid for lately are Titanium Backup and ROM Manager, because I have used their free versions for months and gotten a lot of use out of them. $.99 may be cheap ... but it eventually adds up. I have bought maybe 6 apps total since moving to Android. I would have bought easily double that if I had more than a few minutes on the return window. Too many programs seem to work at first but when you get into them they fail at some point. And reading comments is very UNreliable. It definitely works both ways.

  • sgtguthrie

    I didn't like it at first when they cut it back to 15 minutes, but from the developers side it's really only fair. I personally think there should be a monthly limit on refunds to say 3 a month. This is because I've heard of many ppl buying an app, backing it up with titanium or copying with root explorer, then getting a refund and ripping off the hard work of the developer. That is quite frankly bs and the only way to stop it is to set limits. Quite frankly, if you don't like it, stick to the free apps!

    • Christo Acosta

      Actually, there's a much better solution for devs: There is an API call that checks the Market's purchase status. If the user refunds the App, it won't work, even if restored via TB etc...

      I'm actually surprised more devs don't use it... Or maybe they do, and I haven't noticed, lol

  • Recluse

    Have they fixed the problem yet where you have to take your sd card out in order to install some apps? Another problem which has come up recently, despite cleaning out the market cache, is that the app download keeps repeating the download without installing. Big time data waster

  • passerby

    I'm using an unstable GB ROM on my X10 in which the proximity sensor doesn't sense.

    I missed a call that activated the screen, and my leg bought an app.

    Luckily I found out in time, but I raced against the clock to refund it in time.

    Huge sigh of relief at about 13 minutes when I finally got my refund!

  • OFI

    4GB is huge! this is a step in the right direction though, i've had games before which have struggled to download the extra data required shortly after release.
    Nice tweak to the refund window although I still think devs should have the option to override the default 15 minutes with a longer time of their choosing.

    15 minutes is plenty of time to test out most apps but some as I have found just need longer before you realise they have big faults.
    (QuickOffice which eats your memory when opening large PDFs for instance, still unfixed)

  • Pachi

    People stop bitching about the 15 minute return policy...On iOS app store u don't get crap of return policy.

  • Chirmon

    Its been 6 months. Was this just a rumor? I have a 100mb app with almost 1,000 photos, and I was forced to use low-res photos to fit the 50mb limit.

    What other solutions are there to this problem?

    • Cameron Summerson

      "This support will come in the form of the same 50MB initial download app limit, except with the addition of up to 2 2GB data files, hosted and managed by the Market itself."

  • Floy

    Hi . Is there some news about that ? It should be released since a lot of month now ...and still no informations ... I have searched the entire web about the implementation of that feature ...