What got me going and why felt it warranted a dedicated post, is the fact that Gameloft is now using Google Expansion Files. If that makes zero sense to you, you aren’t the only one. So I went and looked it up.
Traditionally an app, or APK, isn’t capable of being over 50MB’s on the Play Store. This particular size has been slowly increasing over the years, but still limits some of what can be done. In the case of many Gameloft games, EA games and other game manufacturers, 50MB’s just isn’t enough to produce a high-quality game. That is where we see a smaller APK size and after installation we are prompted to download the additional assets from the companies servers. This can be a cost burden on the company and any developer who has to host their files separately from the Play Store due to size. NOt to mention the consumer who might being attempting to get a game installed, but runs into server issues or a slow download speed.
Google has a solution that I am sure many of you never knew about. I know we certainly didn’t until now. It is called APK Expansion Files, or Google Expansion Files. This option will let developers, like Gameloft, house the necessary assets through Google and the Play Store rather than on their own servers. They get the option of house up to two expansion files. Each one can be a maximum of 2GB. If you have downloaded some rather large games in the past, then you are sure to have downloaded assets ranging from 500MB’s to 1.5 GB. Developers can use the main expansion file for primary assets and then use the patch expansion file for smaller updates for the main files. A bit confusing right? Basically developers like EA, Gameloft, Madfinger and any of the high-end game companies, or your basic dev who just rocks, will be able to house much larger files through the Play Store that won’t require you to connect to external server of theirs to get the needed files.
For more information on APK Expansion Files feel free to check out the Google Developers page. For everyone else who plans to update their game, make sure you have Wi-Fi connected first.