While some of the apps have received additional features, it seems likely that the increase in size is mainly down to the huge graphics needed to fill the new iPad’s 2048 x 1536 Retina Display. It’s worth remembering that these are only download sizes, and once installed the apps may be even larger.
Not surprising that apps designed to take advantage of 4x the number of pixels on the Retina display in the new iPad will require more resources and end up being bigger. I think this is a great opportunity to practice focused simplicity on the new iPad.
Most of us try out new apps. But what ends up happening is too many pages filled with apps we hardly ever use. We can do that because we can, but we end up with a less-than-ideal experience: When we want to get to a particular app it’s often a laborious task. The extra large Retina-ready apps will force us to delete the apps we seldom use and I think that will improve the overall experience of using the new iPad.
Huge apps forcing simplicity will also have another positive side effect: The best-of-breed apps will be even more valuable. We will no longer tolerate merely good or mediocre apps because we can’t, literally.