The latest iteration of iPhones have introduced some exciting new features, but they come at a cost if you opt for the unbelievably still available 16GB model. With 10GB of actual available storage if you’re lucky, the new features will undoubtedly fill it up quickly. But if it’s all you can afford or care to spend on the new model, there is still hope.
Turn Off Live Photos
Unless you want to turn your life into a Harry Potter tapestry, you don’t need Apple’s new Live Photos feature in your life. Videos take up much, much more space than videos, and this turns your photos into videos by default. Presumably you’ll have the option to axe it in Settings > Photos & Camera.
Tweak Your HDR
While you’re in your Camera Settings, go ahead adjust your HDR. It combines multiples pictures at different exposures to give you one great shot, which would be great if it didn’t also save the original image. Double photos take double the space. Go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Keep Normal Photo and unselect it.
4K No Way
Just because you can shoot 4K video with the new iPhone doesn’t mean you should. Even if you had unlimited storage at your disposal, it’s unlikely you have a device that can view 4K, or even if you did, that the perceptible difference from a 1080p video would make the added space worth it.
Head for Apple’s Cloud…
The sure-fire solution to your storage woes is to spend your way out. Along with its new iPhones, this week Apple slashed its iCloud pricing to be more in line with its rivals. You can now get 50GB of cloud storage for a 79p a month. Basically, if you’re comfortable keeping the bulk of your photos and music in Apple’s cloud, you can spend £20 over the phone’s two-year cycle for the equivalent storage of a phone that costs £600 or more. Features like iCloud Photo Library also automate the process of saving space. Just go to Settings > Photos & Camera > Optimize Storage, and your phone will store thumbnails of your photos locally instead of full, bulky files.
…Or For Someone Else’s
Apple’s not your only option. Cloud services like Dropbox, Google Photos, and Amazon Prime Photos let you auto-upload your photos the instant you take them, keeping them safe in a digital locker, meaning you can delete as you go. (You can also auto-upload to multiple services, for extra backup). Some, like Carousel, Dropbox’s photo organizer, will automatically go in and delete pics from your phone that it has already backed up. Google Photos is free, Amazon Prime Photos is included in a £99/year Prime membership, and Dropbox starts at 2GB free, up to 1TB for £99/year.
Audit Your Apps
Download whatever apps you want. Go nuts. But check back in every few weeks, and nuke any that you haven’t used in that time. Better still, if you find yourself approaching your 16GB limit, go to Settings > General > Usage > Manage Storage to see which apps are prime offenders. You’ll find that Messages eats up more than you thought (those pics!), as does Podcasts, News, and your music or comic book apps of choice.
Apple are also trying to help with a new feature of iOS 9 which actually lets you know when space is getting a bit tight in there and recommends apps to delete. Clean house; you can always download again when you need it.
Embrace the Upgrade
OK, so this one’s a gimme, but staying current on your OS and app upgrades will help more than it has in years past. In iOS 9, Apple has introduced “app thinning,” a combination of enhancements that amount to apps taking up only as much space as they need in the moment. As long as developers are on board, you’ll see major improvements, especially on multi-level games.