Many of us tend to take for granted many aspects of the devices in which most of us use in our day to day lives. I am of course referring to the tiny computer that virtually everyone reading this right now probably has within arms reach right now, the tiny computer called a smartphone. One of the aspects of our smartphones that most of us arguably take for granted the most is internal storage. I say this because such a majority of the population when purchasing a new smartphone, walks into their local carrier store and gets the cheapest version of the device that they want. This practice is especially prevalent with Apple’s iPhone, which Apple still, in 2015, offers a 16GB variant of.
So, what do you do when you find yourself upgrading to the latest and greatest iPhone and your carrier offers you one for only $60 on an upgrade? Most of us would probably take that deal, but wait, there’s a little more to this scenario than that. Your local carrier store representative then throws out there that the $60 iPhone contains only a measly 16GB of internal storage. On top of that, the representative then also informs you that you can get a 64GB iPhone instead for $100 more, at $160. Some of you may be willing to shell out the extra $100 in order to get the 64GB iPhone, but others may not be able to justify spending that much extra dough or maybe just flat-out can’t afford it. Either way, some of you may be stuck with getting just a 16GB iPhone.
That’s exactly the situation that I found myself in a little over a month back when I upgraded to my first iPhone in almost 4 years. Guess what happened? I went with the 16GB iPhone and I have been living with it ever since. One thing I have learned is that managing internal storage on your smartphone can be a little tricky and even overwhelming at times. That’s exactly why I wanted to help those of you out who also found yourself with a 16GB iPhone in your pocket when it comes to managing that ever so precious internal storage. Just remember this, photos, documents, apps, and music. These are all of the things that you want to try to keep stored in the cloud as opposed to your iPhone itself as often as possible.
Nowadays, taking photos and videos with your smartphone is something that everybody who owns one loves to do. Like people like say, the best camera is the one that’s with you. Unfortunately, taking photos and videos on your smartphone can be a bit of a weight on your iPhone’s storage, especially if you are a fan of Apple’s new ‘Live Photos,’ which are essentially .GIFs. But don’t stop taking photos or videos with your iPhone just yet, there are ways around your photos and videos hogging your storage.
The way around this is made possible by the miracle of modern technology called the cloud. There are many services that you can use on your storage impaired iPhone so that when you take a photo or video it will automatically upload it to the cloud. You can then simply delete the locally stored photos and videos from your iPhone and you are good to go! Some of the services you might want to give a try are Google Photos and Apple’s own iCloud. Both of these services and many more like them offer limited storage for free and then allow you to pay little to nothing for more.
Over the course of your iPhone’s lifetime, you will notice that you will be required to save a lot of documents and files to your devices at different times. This can quickly begin to eat through your iPhone’s storage. Thanks to services like Google Docs though, saving these documents and files to your iPhone’s storage is not necessary. All you have to do is download the Google Docs app for example and then you can save document and files, even Word documents, to the cloud. Then when you wish to view these documents at a later time, all you have to do is view the document or file from the cloud. Meaning that the documents and files are never actually stored on your iPhone.
This one is a little more self-explanatory than the others, but managing which apps you keep installed on your iPhone is essential to not running out of storage. I keep myself in check in this department by following this simple rule, if I don’t use the app for week straight then I consider uninstalling it. This will keep unnecessary apps off of your phone, saving you some valuable storage.
Something else in the app department that you really want be aware of is social media apps such as Twitter and Facebook. These apps will quickly build up substantial caches on your device just from daily usage. Just to give you an idea of how big these caches can become, the Twitter app on my iPhone currently has a cache size of 352 MB. But don’t worry, there is a somewhat easy way to clear the cache of any app on your iPhone. You can simply uninstall and the reinstall the app and that apps cache will be cleared. It’s definitely not the most convenient thing to do, but it works.
Just like photos and videos, music is another thing that can eat through storage on your iPhone quicker than you will believe. Thankfully, the solution to saving your storage from your music is the most simple of any we have discussed thus far. Just use a music streaming service. Music streaming services allow you to stream your music as well as keep a personal library of your favorite tracks in the cloud, not on your iPhone itself.
There is a handful of great music streaming services to choose from on iOS. There is of course Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify, and Tidal to choose from. There are others as well, these are just some of the more popular services out there right now. While these music streaming services are great for saving storage on your iPhone, they can also steal your storage right out from underneath you without you even knowing. I am again talking about caches. Music streaming apps love to cache the songs you listen to offline on your iPhone so that you don’t have to stream the songs every single time that you listen to them. While this can be a great feature for some, for others it can be a huge pain-point. The best solution to this is Google Play Music as it lets you disable offline caching of music as well as clear your cache at any time with the tap of a single button.