Why are Mac versions of apps larger than the Windows version?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by luminol74, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. luminol74 macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2008
    Not an important question i know but i was downloading some Adobe trials and noticed that all of the Mac versions of the software where about twice as large as the Windows alternative. I've noticed this before but never really questioned it. I assumed it was something to do with the .dmg format but after googling a little i've not found an answer. Out of interest i checked Firefox 3 on OS X and Windows and they were installed at 44 and 27 MBs respectively... So why are Mac apps generally so much larger?
  2. vandozza macrumors 6502a


    Jun 14, 2006
    The application download may contain both PPC and Intel binaries? (Apple describes them as "Universal binaries")

    Both types of code are required so the app will run on PPC and Intel chips.

    Maybe this is a significant part of the reason?
  3. ashjamben macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Shanghai, China
    ye, the universal binary reason might be the one. i use xslimmer to get rid of powerpc code, which sometimes gets rid of more than three quarters of the size, granted it gets rid of uneeded languages too tho.
  4. BlakTornado Guest


    Apr 24, 2007
    Washington, OH
    It's bigger because they put the stuff that makes it actually work properly in the Mac version :p

    Ok, joking aside, it's likely to be the Universal Binaries and Language localizations.
  5. TDM21 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2004
    Having binaries for both PPC and Intel aren't the only reason Mac apps are larger. Firefox for Mac has always been at least 5MB larger then the Windows counterpart; even before it was universal. Other things that play into program size are language packs. The messaging program, Adium, is 53MB after install but 10MB comes from the 23 other languages it supports. There are a number of things that contribute to the file size, but they all equal one thing: not enough hard drive space.
  6. luminol74 thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2008
    I see... Yes that would make sense, no harm no foul. Will just have to suffer the additional download time.
  7. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    windows installer of firefox is compressed with 7zip format, which is more effective than zip format - the default for OSX.

    I agree Universal isn't the only reason, but I do think its most significant reason behind the wasted space of these apps.

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