Doubling Down on iOS 7: to ∞ and Beyond

By Thomas Sommer | September 25th, 2013
Along with the colorful release of iOS 7 and its unprecedented adoption rate, Apple watchers realized that the Cupertino company has doubled the limit on the size of apps and content that users can download when they're not connected to a wifi network on their device; increasing it to 100 MB from the former cap of 50 MB. This does not come as much of a surprise as it has continuously been upgrading this limit; first from 10 to 20 MB, and then from 20 to 50 MB in March 2012.Let's take a quick look at the consequences of this update and place it back into its broader context.Along with the colorful release of iOS 7 and its unprecedented adoption rate, Apple watchers realized that the Cupertino company has doubled the limit on the size of apps and content that users can download when they're not connected to a wifi network on their device; increasing it to 100 MB from the former cap of 50 MB. This does not come as much of a surprise as it has continuously been upgrading this limit; first from 10 to 20 MB, and then from 20 to 50 MB in March 2012.Let's take a quick look at the consequences of this update and place it back into its broader context.Along with the colorful release of iOS 7 and its unprecedented adoption rate, Apple watchers realized that the Cupertino company has doubled the limit on the size of apps and content that users can download when they're not connected to a wifi network on their device; increasing it to 100 MB from the former cap of 50 MB. This does not come as much of a surprise as it has continuously been upgrading this limit; first from 10 to 20 MB, and then from 20 to 50 MB in March 2012.Let's take a quick look at the consequences of this update and place it back into its broader context.Along with the colorful release of iOS 7 and its unprecedented adoption rate, Apple watchers realized that the Cupertino company has doubled the limit on the size of apps and content that users can download when they're not connected to a wifi network on their device; increasing it to 100 MB from the former cap of 50 MB. This does not come as much of a surprise as it has continuously been upgrading this limit; first from 10 to 20 MB, and then from 20 to 50 MB in March 2012.Let's take a quick look at the consequences of this update and place it back into its broader context.

For developers and publishers

If you look a the current distribution of the size of apps on your iPhone, you'll probably notice a bias towards a zone just below 50 MB. This means that a lot of developers have strived to decrease their apps' size to fall below that ceiling. With this new cap, they will no longer need to compromise so much on the quality of their apps and games for their next update in order to comply with the previous limit.

For publishers and advertisers

For advertisers with apps or games already above the 50 MB limit, this means that from now on they will also be able to target users outside of wifi networks. They should however be careful, as slow connection speeds and/or connectivity issues are likely to impact their conversions rates, which in turn will increase the cost of their campaigns.Another point is that a lot of publishers/advertisers relied on a strategy by which they would stay below the limit, but then download additional content within their games after the install. This might be deceptive for the users if they haven't been properly informed beforehand. With the former limit doubled, this strategy will in many cases no longer be needed.

For users (...and Apple)

Beyond these practical points, let's take a look at the broader context of this move.This increase is very likely to test users' data plans, which have unfortunately not been doubled by carriers along Apple's download limit. This push for data consumption could pass off as rather innocent if it didn't come with a couple other changes going in the same direction.
  • With iOS 7, apps are now updated automatically, even outside of wifi networks (this can be disabled, but it's on by default).
  • Another modification which has not been publicized, is the new "Background App Refresh" functionality, which "allows apps to refresh their content when on Wif-Fi or cellular [...] in the background". Again, this function can be turned off, but it's on by default.
See below for screenshots:

IMG_4035                IMG_4034

Now, what to make of this? Well, it could be that Apple is trying to push for more data consumption from its users to please the carriers in charge of selling, subsidizing and promoting their phones. After all, Android has had these functionalities for some time already, so it's also about catching up and, once again, bridging the gap...

For developers and publishers

If you look a the current distribution of the size of apps on your iPhone, you'll probably notice a bias towards a zone just below 50 MB. This means that a lot of developers have strived to decrease their apps' size to fall below that ceiling. With this new cap, they will no longer need to compromise so much on the quality of their apps and games for their next update in order to comply with the previous limit.

For publishers and advertisers

For advertisers with apps or games already above the 50 MB limit, this means that from now on they will also be able to target users outside of wifi networks. They should however be careful, as slow connection speeds and/or connectivity issues are likely to impact their conversions rates, which in turn will increase the cost of their campaigns.Another point is that a lot of publishers/advertisers relied on a strategy by which they would stay below the limit, but then download additional content within their games after the install. This might be deceptive for the users if they haven't been properly informed beforehand. With the former limit doubled, this strategy will in many cases no longer be needed.

For users (...and Apple)

Beyond these practical points, let's take a look at the broader context of this move.This increase is very likely to test users' data plans, which have unfortunately not been doubled by carriers along Apple's download limit. This push for data consumption could pass off as rather innocent if it didn't come with a couple other changes going in the same direction.
  • With iOS 7, apps are now updated automatically, even outside of wifi networks (this can be disabled, but it's on by default).
  • Another modification which has not been publicized, is the new "Background App Refresh" functionality, which "allows apps to refresh their content when on Wif-Fi or cellular [...] in the background". Again, this function can be turned off, but it's on by default.
See below for screenshots:IMG_4035                IMG_4034Now, what to make of this? Well, it could be that Apple is trying to push for more data consumption from its users to please the carriers in charge of selling, subsidizing and promoting their phones. After all, Android has had these functionalities for some time already, so it's also about catching up and, once again, bridging the gap...

For developers and publishers

If you look a the current distribution of the size of apps on your iPhone, you'll probably notice a bias towards a zone just below 50 MB. This means that a lot of developers have strived to decrease their apps' size to fall below that ceiling. With this new cap, they will no longer need to compromise so much on the quality of their apps and games for their next update in order to comply with the previous limit.

For publishers and advertisers

For advertisers with apps or games already above the 50 MB limit, this means that from now on they will also be able to target users outside of wifi networks. They should however be careful, as slow connection speeds and/or connectivity issues are likely to impact their conversions rates, which in turn will increase the cost of their campaigns.Another point is that a lot of publishers/advertisers relied on a strategy by which they would stay below the limit, but then download additional content within their games after the install. This might be deceptive for the users if they haven't been properly informed beforehand. With the former limit doubled, this strategy will in many cases no longer be needed.

For users (...and Apple)

Beyond these practical points, let's take a look at the broader context of this move.This increase is very likely to test users' data plans, which have unfortunately not been doubled by carriers along Apple's download limit. This push for data consumption could pass off as rather innocent if it didn't come with a couple other changes going in the same direction.
  • With iOS 7, apps are now updated automatically, even outside of wifi networks (this can be disabled, but it's on by default).
  • Another modification which has not been publicized, is the new "Background App Refresh" functionality, which "allows apps to refresh their content when on Wif-Fi or cellular [...] in the background". Again, this function can be turned off, but it's on by default.
See below for screenshots:

IMG_4035 IMG_4034

Now, what to make of this? Well, it could be that Apple is trying to push for more data consumption from its users to please the carriers in charge of selling, subsidizing and promoting their phones. After all, Android has had these functionalities for some time already, so it's also about catching up and, once again, bridging the gap...

For developers and publishers

If you look a the current distribution of the size of apps on your iPhone, you'll probably notice a bias towards a zone just below 50 MB. This means that a lot of developers have strived to decrease their apps' size to fall below that ceiling. With this new cap, they will no longer need to compromise so much on the quality of their apps and games for their next update in order to comply with the previous limit.

For publishers and advertisers

For advertisers with apps or games already above the 50 MB limit, this means that from now on they will also be able to target users outside of wifi networks. They should however be careful, as slow connection speeds and/or connectivity issues are likely to impact their conversions rates, which in turn will increase the cost of their campaigns.Another point is that a lot of publishers/advertisers relied on a strategy by which they would stay below the limit, but then download additional content within their games after the install. This might be deceptive for the users if they haven't been properly informed beforehand. With the former limit doubled, this strategy will in many cases no longer be needed.

For users (...and Apple)

Beyond these practical points, let's take a look at the broader context of this move.This increase is very likely to test users' data plans, which have unfortunately not been doubled by carriers along Apple's download limit. This push for data consumption could pass off as rather innocent if it didn't come with a couple other changes going in the same direction.
  • With iOS 7, apps are now updated automatically, even outside of wifi networks (this can be disabled, but it's on by default).
  • Another modification which has not been publicized, is the new "Background App Refresh" functionality, which "allows apps to refresh their content when on Wif-Fi or cellular [...] in the background". Again, this function can be turned off, but it's on by default.
See below for screenshots:

IMG_4035 IMG_4034

Now, what to make of this? Well, it could be that Apple is trying to push for more data consumption from its users to please the carriers in charge of selling, subsidizing and promoting their phones. After all, Android has had these functionalities for some time already, so it's also about catching up and, once again, bridging the gap...

Thomas Sommer
Thomas heads up content marketing at AppLift. As such he’s in charge of sourcing, curating, creating and distributing insightful content to increase visibility and thought leadership for the company. Thomas loves to scrutinize the relentless and trilling developments of the mobile industry. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thomas