It’s tough to use lots of good iPad apps optimized for the Retina Display on an iPad with only 16 GB. The gigs run out quickly as you bulk up on apps, high-rez images, HD video, and games.
Because this is a common dilemma for today’s iPad users, I’ve formed a workflow to maintain life on an iPad stuck with 16 GB for the time being.
What I Do to Conserve Space
The iPad comes standard with about 16 different Apple apps. On my iPad I have a little over 90 apps altogether. To do this:
- I have only about 10 music albums on my iPad. I keep most of my music on my iPhone.
- I keep less than 40 photos on the iPad. I keep lots of photos in the cloud using Apple’s free Photostream service with iCloud.
- I have no movies or TV shows on the iPad. If I want to watch something on the iPad, I always stream it. Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, YouTube, and Vimeo have good apps to start with.
- My written docs (letters, articles, and spreadsheets) I keep in cloud computing, like iCloud or Dropbox.
- Anytime an artwork app, such as for sketching, supports a form of cloud storage, I use it.
Perhaps what’s most important is I don’t have a lot of redundancy in my 90-some apps. The apps I do have mostly accomplish unique things in each. For instance, when I end up with two task managers, I ask myself which has got to go, and it goes. There’s no point to two apps that serve one and the same purpose on the device. The one will get used, and the other will gather dust. Well, not in the literal sense…
Where iPad Users Go Wrong
Over time a lot of “window shopping” iPad users buy four or more apps that all basically do the same things, then they keep all of those apps on their iPad. This is the big mistake. This is a poor use of 16 GB of space, and ultimately wasteful of their money and time. There’s no way they use all of those apps effectively. Many of these apps go unused for months at a time.
Why not put them on your computer for when you do intend to use them later? This is what syncing with iTunes on a computer is especially good for. iTunes on your Mac or PC is there to hold all the extra stuff you don’t use but want to keep, like those redundant apps.
The reason this happens and people complain that an iPad doesn’t have enough storage space isn’t Apple’s fault for shorting users of a storage capacity. People ought to be taught how to manage their space on their iPhones and iPads so they will not get burned when they buy the 16 GB model. Users just need to be aware of the consequences of their poor app purchasing decisions.
Is the 16 GB Model Sufficient?
The 16 GB model works good for me, and I watch my available space on the iPad’s drive closely. Even with 90+ apps, I have 2.8 gigs of space left. I keep that around in case I want to design a Keynote presentation (like a PowerPoint, for you Microsoft Office users that don’t know about Keynote) or cut together a home movie with video I capture on the iPad and edit in iMovie (Apple’s iPad video editing app). The 2.8 gigs won’t last long if I start editing a project heavily with lots of high rez photos or HD video.
One more thing: I have about 10 apps on my iPad just for my kids to play. If I didn’t share my iPad with other family members, then space as a whole would be less of an issue for people that use an iPad like I do.