Fixing the iOS storage problems that surfaced as soon as iOS 8 was released last fall was one of Apple’s priorities for iOS 9. And Apple largely delivered. The new iOS 9 release requires three times less storage space than iOS 8 freeing up more memory to the user. At the same time, Apple slashed iCloud prices, making cloud storage even more affordable than before, and added a smart iOS feature that lets the device automatically delete apps to make sure a software update can be properly installed. Finally, Apple added a major new app-related feature in iOS 9 to further free up storage space called app thinning.
Combined, all these efforts allowed Apple to continue selling 16GB new iPhones as the lowest tier new iPhone models, rather than bumping up entry-level memory to 32GB of memory. However, in case you own a 16GB iPhone, or just bought one, you’re going to be somewhat disappointed to hear that the app thinning feature isn’t yet rolled out.
Also known as app slicing, the feature basically lets a device download only the app components needed for a certain device. App slicing might prove to be even more important for older iPhone and iPad models, and particularly for 8GB iPhone versions that can run iOS 9. But the feature should also benefit 16GB iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus buyers looking to maximize local storage.
Due to an iCloud issue, app thinning won’t roll out publicly just yet, remaining a feature supported in the TestFlight for the moment.
“App slicing is currently unavailable for iOS 9 apps due to an issue affecting iCloud backups created from iOS 9 where some apps from the App Store would only restore to the same model of iOS device,” the company wrote in a post on the developer center.
“When a customer downloads your iOS 9 app, they will get the Universal version of your app, rather than the variant specific for their device type. TestFlight will continue to deliver variants for your internal testers. App slicing will be reenabled with a future software update. No action is needed by you at this time.”