I travel often enough that I decided to activate tethering through AT&T. I'm not on unlimited data, but I do have a fairly high limit now (tethering comes with more bandwidth) I am often downloading new podcast episodes over 3G, but find I am still limited by the 20MB file limit. So I have to tether to my Mac Book Pro to download the podcast (over the iPhone), and then sync it to my iPhone.

I guess the reason for the 20MB limit was when AT&T offered unlimited data, but now it is just annoying as it requires me to take an extra step to download the same 20MB file over the same 3G network.

Short of having another iPhone and tethering them together, is there a way I can download a file over 20MB directly to my iPhone? I'd prefer not to jailbreak it, but I guess I am not completely opposed to it if that is my only solution.


This is a limit imposed by Apple.

Cellular downloads are limited to a file size of 20 MB or smaller.

See comment below, iOS 5.1 has increased this limit to 50 MB.

  • Grumble. I figured. – Jim McKeeth Feb 25 '12 at 19:24
  • I talked to the Apple Geniuses today. They said the limit is imposed by AT&T. So I talked to AT&T and they said it is imposed by Apple. – Jim McKeeth Mar 5 '12 at 19:56
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    Sounds like a reasonable response. :-P – afragen Mar 6 '12 at 0:33
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    From Ars -- The iOS 5.1 update includes two additional features we didn't see listed in Apple's release notes. After installing, iOS will allow downloads from the iTunes Store (including apps and music) up to 50MB over 3G/4G networks. That limit is up from the previous 20MB cap, ostensibly to allow more apps with Retina graphics or perhaps 1080p video to download over-the-air. – afragen Mar 9 '12 at 21:19
  • Good to know! Might add that to your answer. Thanks! – Jim McKeeth Mar 12 '12 at 4:54

A practical solution to your stated problem would be to use Instacast as a podcast manager. You can download large episodes using 3G. You may also stream episodes if that is your preference.

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