Recently I came across a small problem involving carriers 3G/4G (3G in my case) tier data plans and the way apps/ games are updated on the Android operating system.
Those that browse over the internet using a 3G connection instead of a WiFi connection, probably have the same problem as I do specially if you are on a limited data plan (I’m talking about big sized app/games over 10-20MB that requires an update if you do not have a WiFi connection).
Lets take for example a 3G limited data plan that I’ve got from my local carrier (doesn’t matter which one) of 250MB for 30 days (honestly this traffic plan doesn’t last 1 week on my Galaxy Tab unless I only check for my emails and use instant chats but nothing else, no Youtube videos and no image loading and specially not downloading/u[loading any files).
Alright, so we have this 250MB plan for 30 days and lets say I just bought 3-4 games all of which are over 30-40MB in size, plus you’ll have to pay for that monthly 3G limited plan. We also have to put up with the way Android apps/games receive updates, because instead of receiving the update itself and that update only, you get to download the full game/app again with the update included in the .APK archive (basically you’re re-downloading the whole game once more + the update). Now imagine if you have to re-download 3-4 games with that size in 2 weeks time or less, your data plan jumps over the limit just as fast as you can snap your fingers, emptying your pockets. Because once passed that limited 3G plan you get into a new plan on a different but higher cost for each extra MB over it.
I am not a developer therefore I do not have experience with the way APK files are being developed or updated, but from my point of view I think we need an alternative way for Android APK files, to cut the amount of MB downloaded with each new update and save some extra MB for your daily browsing. When I get prompt for a new update for files that exceed 10-20MB in size I always tend to leave it aside until I find a wireless network connection to update it, don’t you?
The simplest solution to this “problem,”is to reduce the costs of 3G plans, but who in his right mind would want and lose a load of cash, just to keep customers happy (it’s all about the Benji’s $$).
Do you think Android developers should change the way APK files update system runs or carriers should change their data pricing plans? What are your thoughts?