updated 10:15 pm EST, Mon March 5, 2012
APK files still restricted to 50MB
Google has increased the size cap for Android Market titles, enabling developers to offer apps that are up to 4GB in size. The search giant's app portal previously restricted the file sizes to 50MB--a limit that is still in place for the APK itself--though the apps now can be paired with two expansion files that each can be up to 2GB.
Developers have already found ways to work around the previous restriction, though users were forced to download all of the necessary add-on files directly through the app after it is installed and opened.
Google is also now hosting the expansion files, eliminating the need for developers to pay for hosting and servers. On newer devices the files will be installed automatically when the APK is downloaded from the Android Market, however on older devices the expansion files will be downloaded the first time the app runs.
"While you can use the two expansion files any way you wish, we recommend that one serve as the initial download and be rarely if ever updated," Google's Tim Bray wrote in a blog post on the Android developer site. "The second can be smaller and serve as a 'patch carrier,' getting versioned with each major release."