Android Market apps can now be 4 GB in size, though APKs still need to be 50 MB

Android applications hosted by Google and available in the Android Market normally have to be a maximum of 50 MB in size. Today that changes … kind of. The APK file you upload to the Android Market still has to be 50 MB in size, but now Google is giving developers 4 GB worth (in two 2 GB chunks) of online storage that they can use for their assets. So whereas before a developer could make an “app” that was nothing more than a web installer that grabbed files from a developer’s server, a server that had to maintained out of pocket, now said developer doesn’t have to pay for storage or bandwidth costs. It’s a welcome change, but it still doesn’t fix the broken ecosystem that is Android gaming. Developers today have absolutely no idea what kind of hardware they should be writing their games for, so they usually resort to either supporting the lowest end device or spend more money on creating multiple versions of the same app. We’re waiting for Google to fix that somehow by enforcing at least some hardware standards, à la Microsoft’s Windows Phone.

That’s the real problem here. Forget storage size for a second. Gaming companies have long since figured out how to get around that 50 MB limit. The real problem is making games that take full advantage of the hardware that’s under the hood of a device like the HTC One X. That beast has a 720p HD screen and a quad core processor, yet they’ll both be under utilized. NVIDIA is trying to solve that by hosting their own app store called “Tegra Zone”, but again, that’s just throwing another layer on top of the already bewildering fragmentation issue.

What do you think, should Google take full control of Android in the same way Microsoft takes control of Windows Phone or Apple does of iOS?

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