Android Storage

The new DROID phone only offers 256 MB for app storage, as Taylor Wimberly points out:

The Motorola Droid will be the most powerful Android phone to date when it launches on November 6, 2009. However, the device still features the same shortcomings of all other Android phones. The Droid ships with a 512 MB ROM which contains only 256 MB available for app storage.

Fair enough. From this starting point, the article quickly devolves into speculation and FUD:

Google does not support installing apps to the SD card (and likely never will), so developers are limited in what they can create.

I question the “and likely never will” claim. Google knows about the issue and I believe they will eventually resolve it. It’s been discussed in public Google forums, and I think people on the outside are assuming the worst. I think it is far more plausible that the Android team has limited resources and this is a very hard problem to solve correctly.

Limited In What We Can Create?

I also question the “…so developers are limited in what they can create.” portion of the above claim. He goes on:

Have you seen all the awesome iPhone and iPod Touch games? Hardly any of them would fit on an Android phone. It is not uncommon for popular titles to easily exceed 100 MB. For example, the game Myst takes up a whopping 727MB.

The solution is easy. Make your app small and download textures and graphics separately to the SD card.

In Summary…

  1. We all want the ability to download apps to the SD card
  2. Google knows about the issue and understands its importance
  3. Google has not officially committed to fixing the issue, or declared a timeline
  4. Without an official Google statement, many members of the Android community assume the worst

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