Apple gifts developers with bigger iOS app sizes and 'TestFlight' abilities

(Image Credit: iStockPhoto/dem10)

The capabilities of iOS apps are increasing, and therefore app sizes are heading skyward with it. In the last round of iDevice updates there was a lot of anguish at the decision to still offer the 16GB version of the iPhone 6, which just isn't enough for most users despite our increasing move to cloud-based storage and streaming for things like music, videos, and documents.

Since 2008, iOS app sizes have been capped at 2GB. That limit has now been doubled to 4GB to help app and game developers provide even more capable and immersive experiences on Apple's popular platform.

Downloads over 100mb will still require a Wi-Fi network to save your poor cellphone network provider some bandwidth, but the ability to create apps and games with less regard for limits is a great thing and allows us to push those fancy new processors to their limits with higher-resolution textures and nicer sound effects.

(There was of course the workaround of downloading required files after the app install, but you didn't hear that from us and it's nice not to cheat Apple's system to get what we want.)

As for testing these fancy new apps and games, Apple has boosted the abilities of its 'TestFlight' distribution platform to allow easily-managed groups of beta testers. This allows the developer to send different instructions, for example, to each group in order to test different functions or things to look out for in particular.

This new functionality is replacing TestFlight's legacy "distribution lists" which was available before Apple acquired it in February last year, but also adds important features which are available to Android developers using Google's built-in Play Store testing tools.

Hopefully these new additions to Apple's iOS platform will further increase the experiences and polish able to be delivered in distributed applications.

Do you think Apple's increased app size limit and new group testing abilities are a step forward? Let us know in the comments.

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