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16GB devices feel the squeeze as Apple increases maximum app size

Apple is giving app developers more breathing room for their apps by increasing the maximum size of binaries from 2GB to 4GB.

The move comes as devices resolutions have grown, placing greater demands on developers' abilities to stick to the upper size limit.

Increasing the maximum app size to 4GB gives greater scope for including high-resolution images and video, as well as creating larger, more immersive games.

While this is news that will be welcomed by developers and some iOS users, not everyone will be as pleased, as many people with 16GB devices are already struggling to find room (opens in new tab) for apps

This new breed of super-sized apps will have to be downloaded via Wi-Fi as Apple is not increasing the limit on the size of apps that can be downloaded over a data connection. The size increase takes immediate effect, but there's no word on which developer will be first to take advantage of it.

But if apps that break the 2GB barrier start to hit the app store in significant numbers, it is likely that Apple will face renewed calls to ditch 16GB devices.

In a post on the developer blog, Apple said (opens in new tab): "The size limit of an app package submitted through iTunes Connect has increased from 2 GB to 4 GB, so you can include more media in your submission and provide a more complete, rich user experience upon installation.

"Please keep in mind that this change does not affect the cellular network delivery size limit of 100 MB."

The latest breed of hyper-resolution screens will see the main advantages of the extra space thanks to developers' ability to include more, higher resolution media than before - after all, this is enough space to pack in an entire, uncompressed DVD.

But it is games that will really benefit from the increase, and there are sure to be some impressive-looking titles that emerge as a result of this policy change.

Photo credit: Bloomua (opens in new tab) / Shutterstock (opens in new tab)