Saturday, June 1, 2019

Apple allows downloading apps up to 200MB over cellular networks

Apple has silently increased the mobile data download limit for App Store to 200MB. Up until now, iPhone and iPad users could only download apps weighing around 150MB from the App Store when they were on a cellular connection.

The per-item 200MB download cap also applies to content hosted on Apple’s other stores, stuff like audio and video podcasts, interactive books, iTunes movies and TV shows and more.

Thanks to app thinning, you might be able to actually download an app like a game that weighs in more than 200MB over cellular.
One important gotcha when testing iOS’ cellular limit is that it’s tested against the thinned, compressed file size. App Store reports app file sizes before they are thinned.
For example, you can now probably successfully download a game over cellular that is listed around 240 MB in size on App Store. This does not mean the cellular limit is 240 MB. What it means is the version of the game that is being downloaded — which has irrelevant assets stripped away, like artwork only used on the iPad version of the game — is below the real 200 MB limit.
Android has no such caps in place so users are free to spend their whole monthly data allotment (many international users are on metered plans) on downloading large apps on the go, should they wish to do so. On iOS, you could never do that due to the download limit, which made sense in the early iPhone days when the whole mobile thing was new to people.

The cap was there to prevent uneducated users from accidentally initiating large app downloads over cellular, helping shield customers from running up overage charges. But this is 2019 — just gives us a toggle in Settings so we could finally turn that stupid download limit for iTunes and App Stores on and off at will and we’ll stop complaining.


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