While we don’t recommend you buy a 16 GB iPhone, the reality is that it’s by far the most used iPhone variant out there. That means that a majority of users out there use an iPhone that doesn’t have enough storage to hold all their apps, movies, photos and other data. That’s millions or hundreds of millions of users. Ouch.
And this trend isn’t stopping anytime soon. The iPhone 6s still starts at 16 GB.
But there’s some good news. With iOS 9, Apple is adding intelligent features that help you get a lot out of your iPhone’s 16 GB storage.
When iOS 8 came out, there was an outcry because the OS upgrade required around 4-5 GB of free space to be installed. Ain’t nobody got that much free storage lying around.
iOS 9 instead, is much lighter. All it needs is 1.3 GB.
And if you don’t even have that much space, iOS 9 will intelligently delete some apps to make that space up and reinstall them after the update process is complete. All of this happens in the background and it makes the upgrade process much more seamless than before.
Get Excited for App Thinning
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App Thinning isn’t a consumer-facing feature. Heck, it’s designed in a way so that you never even need to think about it. But you’ll be glad to know just what it is.
The gist is this. When you’re downloading a big game or an app, the App Store will only download the parts that you need. Right now, most apps are Universal. Meaning the same app runs on iPhone 5 and the iPad Air 2. That means that one file has to include all the code and assets for all iOS devices.
But if you’re using an iPhone, you clearly don’t need any kind of content that’s related to the iPad.
So now, if the developer supports App Thinning and App Slicing, only the part of the app that’s related to your specific device, will be downloaded.
Another way this works is when you’re downloading a game or a big app, you can start playing the game as soon as the first couple of levels are done downloading. So you don’t need to wait a couple of hours for the 2 GB Infinity Blade to be downloaded.