Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Android and iOS App Sizes on the Rise

By - Source: ABI Research | B 20 comments

Both Apple and Google increased sizes for cell network downloads in March.

A new study has found that average Android and iOS app sizes have risen considerably as a result.

According to new study conducted by ABI Research, the global average iOS app size across all categories stood at 23MB last month, representing a 16 percent increase from March.

As expected, gaming is the most popular app category, with most apps weighing in at 60MB, which is a 42 percent increase over the last six months.

ABI said the third generation iPad's Retina display is one of the reasons for app size increases, in addition to Apple's revised submission policy. Back in March, it increased the size limits on apps downloaded over mobile networks from 20MB to 50MB.

"Their games can now be more complex and graphically polished, while still being able to benefit from the instant gratification of cellular downloads," ABI senior analyst Aapo Markkanen said.

Meanwhile, the average size of an Android app measured in at around 6MB in September, a 10 percent increase from what it was during March. The size of games for the platform, however, nearly quadrupled to 40MB; Google had also increased the size limit of its apps to 4GB.

Despite the fact that app sizes are increasing, storage capacity on both smartphones and tablets are not experiencing the same rate of development.

"Especially the consumers with 16GB devices are likely to become more conscious about what apps to keep and what to uninstall, so the developers' bar to impress will be getting even higher than it is now," Markkanen explained. "This could also speed up the adoption of the mobile cloud as a storage remedy quite significantly."

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Discuss
Ask a Category Expert

Create a new thread in the Streaming Video & TVs forum about this subject

Example: Notebook, Android, SSD hard drive

This thread is closed for comments
  • 6 Hide
    freggo , October 22, 2012 6:13 PM
    Seems like obesity is slowly becoming a problem on the net too :-)
    No wonder; 'apps' always strike me as the fast food of software.


  • 4 Hide
    edlivian , October 22, 2012 6:14 PM
    at least android has allowed the ability for incremental updates, so when apps have updates devs have the ability to just post the patch for the update instead of the whole file. This will not help devices with limited storage, but it will help lower your data plan usage.
  • 1 Hide
    edlivian , October 22, 2012 6:17 PM
    my mistake, apple also supports delta updates as of ios6 i believe
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    icepick314 , October 22, 2012 6:51 PM
    another reason why Apple should have some kind of external storage option on their iDevices...

    what's up with ONLY having 16 or 32 GB when you can add upto 64GB microSD cards on a whim with Android devices?
  • 2 Hide
    olaf , October 22, 2012 7:13 PM
    most Android devices are coming with just 32gb micro SD support in there specs, anything above is a roll of a dice. bright side of all this is that you will follow trough and actually finish a game.
  • 1 Hide
    jakjawagon , October 22, 2012 7:17 PM
    This is where most Android phones have the advantage of the memory card slot (though even with that benefit, I still filled up the 8GB internal storage on my previous phone pretty quickly)
  • 0 Hide
    epobirs , October 22, 2012 8:30 PM
    olafmost Android devices are coming with just 32gb micro SD support in there specs, anything above is a roll of a dice. bright side of all this is that you will follow trough and actually finish a game.


    A lot more devices have the capability of supporting SDXC than list it on their spec sheet. Generally, any hardware designed after 2009 should have it. The bigger issue is whether the support is there for the disk format needed. Microsoft doesn't support FAT-32 volumes over 32 GB in Windows for a reason but they've introduced exFAT, which will work with SDXC to allow cards up to 2 TB if the chips should become available.

    The licensing terms are pretty reasonable for those not insistent on Free OSS everywhere. It's pretty much a given that Windows Phone and Windows RT will have exFAT built-in and handle whatever size cards appear in the next few years.

    For myself, the first thing I did when I got the Galaxy SII in February was add a 32 GB Class 10 microSD card. I've barely put anything on it but it was inexpensive and I could. I'd rather have low cost underused capacity than run out on short notice.
  • 0 Hide
    slickflier , October 22, 2012 8:41 PM
    unfortunately (speaking about the galaxy s3) my s3, 16 gig on droid 4.0.4, with 32 gig class 10 mem card doesn't support apps storage at all on the mem card. The apps HAVE to be stored in the 16 gig internal memory. Actually more like 12 gigs after the os hogs 2 of it. Thus the discussion of apps storage on memory cards is kind of moot point.
  • 0 Hide
    slickflier , October 22, 2012 8:42 PM
    oops my bad, its 14 gigs not 12 as per my previous post.
  • 0 Hide
    epobirs , October 22, 2012 8:50 PM
    slickflierunfortunately (speaking about the galaxy s3) my s3, 16 gig on droid 4.0.4, with 32 gig class 10 mem card doesn't support apps storage at all on the mem card. The apps HAVE to be stored in the 16 gig internal memory. Actually more like 12 gigs after the os hogs 2 of it. Thus the discussion of apps storage on memory cards is kind of moot point.


    Consider where those apps store their data. Do you keep and you audio or video files on your phone? Save games? Documents? It all adds up and having an external storage medium to preserve the base storage for apps helps avoid hitting that wall.

    Eventually I expect we'll see something like the support for USB drives on the Xbox 360. Microsoft did away with the proprietary memory units and instead supports encrypted volumes up to 16 GB on a USB drive. The encryption lets them feel safe having the drive used for app storage. Nintendo has gone through a similar policy change with the 3DS and SD cards, now that they're getting serious about download sales.

    Partitioning a microSD card so one volume is encrypted and used for additional app space while the rest is fully readable shouldn't be especially difficult to implement. The hardest part is getting users who aren;t familiar with the concepts to understand.
  • 0 Hide
    jn77 , October 22, 2012 9:20 PM
    I will not use a mobile cloud. My SG3 has 32gb of internal memory and 64gb in the Card Slot. XFAT will allow me to have up too 2TB in my microdshcxc card. I am waiting for the 128 and 256gb versions of the sandisk cards now.

    In 5 years there will be a new standard to allow more than 2TB on microsdhcxc cards and I will be adopting that standard then.
  • 1 Hide
    jn77 , October 22, 2012 9:21 PM
    freggoSeems like obesity is slowly becoming a problem on the net too :-)No wonder; 'apps' always strike me as the fast food of software.



    I do agree with that, they are putting more bloatware in apps these days.
  • -1 Hide
    jn77 , October 22, 2012 9:23 PM
    slickflierunfortunately (speaking about the galaxy s3) my s3, 16 gig on droid 4.0.4, with 32 gig class 10 mem card doesn't support apps storage at all on the mem card. The apps HAVE to be stored in the 16 gig internal memory. Actually more like 12 gigs after the os hogs 2 of it. Thus the discussion of apps storage on memory cards is kind of moot point.



    Not sure what you are doing wrong, any app that allows me to move it to the card slot I do. I have about 250 apps on my GS3 and most are not installed on the internal memory.
  • -1 Hide
    slickflier , October 22, 2012 10:04 PM
    If you can store the apps on your S3 SD card that doesn't involve butchering... ooops i mean rooting the phone. I like to know. Under settings>Applications manager>click a listed app, the button for moving the app to the sd card is missing for me. It's just a blank space right next to the "Clear data" button. I have seen this move to sd card button on my in laws galaxy note. Mind you i do not know the hardware model number nor the os version. So yes I know it can be done. Are you on an SGH-I747m with droid 4.0.4?
  • 0 Hide
    kryzzay , October 22, 2012 11:37 PM
    Hey you're on to something there slickflier. I can't seem to move anything to SD either. Never thought about it really until now. I've got a I-9300 international model. Time to find out what's up with this......
  • 0 Hide
    kryzzay , October 22, 2012 11:54 PM
    Yep no G3 has the ability to move apps to SD by default.

    Only way to get around it is to root and use the app directory bind.

    The only issue with that is the game/app you move to the ext SD will perform a lot slower.
  • 0 Hide
    pliskin1 , October 23, 2012 12:11 AM
    And our data allowances keep getting smaller.
  • 0 Hide
    slickflier , October 23, 2012 12:42 AM
    Btcstoree11 whats up with the shameless promotional plug? U selling p*nis enlargement pills again? Come on man take it somehwere else.
  • 0 Hide
    epobirs , October 23, 2012 5:01 AM
    kryzzayYep no G3 has the ability to move apps to SD by default. Only way to get around it is to root and use the app directory bind. The only issue with that is the game/app you move to the ext SD will perform a lot slower.


    That is another problem SDXC fixes. It allows for much greater speed, more like that found in SSD units in a PC. You may have noticed a new rating system carried by SCXC cards, UHS. (Ultra High Speed) UHS-II allows for transfer rates up to 314 MB per second. UHS-III is expected to be defined within the next two years, although UHS-II product aren't shipping yet, AFAIK.

    Once the capacity of the average phone is perceived as limiting software sales, expect to see updates to Android that offer more freedom to locate apps. (Likely using encrypted partitions as I described above.) Manufacturers and carriers will want to keep the native capacity low to allow low prices to be advertised at time of sale, leaving it up to the consumer to add capacity as needed.

    Apple is the rare exception in offering multiple capacities per iPhone model but as there are no expansion slots the consumer is forced to make a final decision up front rather than starting off with what is both adequate and affordable and adding more storage later as the need arises.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , October 23, 2012 11:24 AM
    Google actually started removing support for moving apps to protected folders on your sdcard.
    instead the application data and "internal sd" now make use of the same partition.
    Google's idea is that you use internal storage for apps, and cloud/streaming for music, video, photos, and documents.

    I prefer my method though:
    12GB internal storage for extra data for apps, 32GB+ micro SD for documents and media.
    and most manufacturers still agree, so they still include an SDcard slot against Google's advice.
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter