Apple bumps up tvOS app size limit

Apple TV

Developers can now offer app bundles up to 4 GB in size for Apple TV owners. Until Apple announced the change on its developer site, initial app downloads were limited to 200 MB. The change in policy means tvOS app binaries are now covered under the same 4 GB limit allowed for iOS apps. So what will this really mean to Apple TV fans who use the App Store?

According to Apple, developers will be able to include more media in their submissions to "provide a complete, rich user experience upon installation." The previous 200 MB limit was in place when the fourth-generation Apple TV was introduced, forcing users of larger apps, such as games to download content almost immediately after installation.

The App Store allows developers to host up to 20 GB of On-Demand Resources, which means some tvOS apps will continue to download additional content at some point after they are installed. On-Demand Resources are typically removed from the device to free up space when they are no longer in use.

In the meantime, the 20X boost to initial app size should improve the user experience, as soon as developers rework their app bundles to take advantage of the change. The Apple TV comes in both 32 GB and 64 GB flavors, so heavy gamers may eventually run up against a wall when it comes to storage. On the plus side, most Apple TV apps do not require anywhere near 4 GB of space to install.

In addition to the old 200 MB size limit, Apple initially required app developers to build Siri Remote control support into their Apple TV games. This requirement has since been dropped, with some tvOS titles requiring a third-party MFi game controller to play.