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Apple raises 3G/4G download limit to 50MB

With the launch of the Retina Display iPad, Apple increased the maximum size of content that can be downloaded over a cell connection.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

iOS users who need to download a beefy app over 3G or 4G now have a better shot.

Apple yesterday bumped up the download limit for content over a cell connection to a healthy 50 megabytes. Previously, iOS users were restricted to downloading items no larger than 20MB unless they did so over Wi-Fi.

The 20 MB limit was a potential pitfall for app developers who worried that apps created for the new iPad's Retina Display wouldn't be accessible via 3G/4G. The new 50MB limit applies to any type of content from the App Store or iTunes, including apps, music, videos, and books.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment. But my own testing confirmed the change.

I tried downloading a 37MB app over a 3G connection and received no error message as I would have in the past.

But when I attempted to grab a 100MB app, a message told me that the item was over 50MB, requiring me to use a Wi-Fi network or iTunes on my PC to download it.

By upping the limit, Apple will make it easier for both developers and 3G/4G users eager to try out new apps designed for the iPad's new 2,048-by-1,536-pixel display.