This Is Why You Should Never Buy the Smallest-Capacity Model of iPhone, iPad or Any Other Device

By Sam Gibbs on at

Apps are getting bigger; there's no two ways about it. Our smartphones are getting more and more powerful, but unfortunately their storage is staying more or less the same. Now a study has shown that, in just six months, iOS apps have gotten 16 per cent bigger, and it's not going to stop any time soon. That 16GB of locked-down storage is looking mighty small right about now.

I first noticed a massive app size increase on my iPhone when the retina iPad was released. All those universal apps that worked great on my iPad 2 and my iPhone 4S with just one, neat file, suddenly ballooned in size as they were updated for that colossal retina screen. My roomy-feeling 16GB iPhone 4S suddenly felt very short on space, which iTunes Match semi-compensated for, but I eventually had to start deleting apps -- limiting myself to those that I used regularly, which really put a dampener on things. I had to ditch that occasional game of Street Fighter because I simply couldn’t afford the space for it.

Since then apps have continued to increase in size, making installing a new app, or downloading a video for the Tube ride home, an active space management decision, which isn't the way it should be.

Right about now, I expect all those wielding Android phones with microSD slots (I envy you) are looking proper smug, but even Android suffers from locked-down storage -- just look at the awesome Nexus 7. So, a word to the wise -- even if it's a little, or sometimes a lot cheaper, don't buy the smallest model. Buy at least 32GB or the biggest that's on offer, and that goes for all those looking eagerly at Apple's incoming iPad mini -- plonk for the 32GB at least if you're going to buy one, or you'll be sorry like I am, because just 16GB of storage isn't enough anymore. [ABI Research via MacRumors]