Apple May Increase 3G Download Limit To 30MB Due To iPad 3′s Retina Display


Apple May Increase 3G Download Limit To 30MB Due To iPad 3′s Retina Display

The iPad 3 will be announced next week at an event in San Francisco, and all details point to the fact that Apple will finally release an iOS tablet with a Retina Display that will have an amazing resolution of 2,048 x 1,536. Nobody will be able to compete against this tablet because nobody offers a tablet with such an impressive resolution which, by the way, is a sad thing.

Anyway, the fact that the resolution will be so good, will have an impact on app downloads and on developers because most applications will go beyond 20MB. This is the iOS limit for app downloads via 3G in order to make sure that you won’t go over your monthly data plan therefore you’re going to need to be close to a WiFi network all the time.

Most consumers download the apps via 3G so how are you going to download apps with clearer and sharper images if you won’t have access to a WiFi connection? Well, the cheaper iPads don’t have 3G support at all so for the people who buy a WiFi-only iPad 3 this won’t be a problem at all.

The iPad 3 resolution will now be double than the one found in the iPad 2, and if developers don’t release a full HD version of the app, then the applications in question will be very blurry, and the customers will not forgive the devs. This is why many of them have already started working on apps which don’t need photos with too many details, but if you’re going to include high-level details in your app, then you’re pretty much in trouble.

Bjango’s Marc Edwards has built a tool which allows developers to test their Retina Display-ready images on a device that doesn’t have a Retina Display. His app for iPhone and iPad is sized at 18.3 MB, however, if he adds the Retina-ready images to the application, then the package will go up to 35MB.

Most applications are universal programs meaning that there is a single package for both iPhone and the iPad, unlike Tapbots developer Paul Haddad whose Tweetbot for iPad will be offered as a separate download for the iPad 3 so the package size won’t go over 20MB. For the devs who release universal apps, this is going to be a major problems, unless Apple decides to increase the limit for 3G downloads.

Many developers have expressed their discontent at the situation, but Apple will probably call them “lazy” just like it did with Adobe. If it were to ask me, then I’d say that Apple should start working for the best interest of the consumers and developers.

I believe that the limit will be increased to 30MB after the launch of the iPad 3 in a situation similar to what the company has done two years ago when the iPad was launched. Back then, the limit was increased from 10MB to 20MB. Maybe this will be a change limited to iOS 5.1 or above. The iPad 3 is expected to run on iOS 5.1, and the update will be pushed to other devices on March 7th or shortly after the tablet’s launch.

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