It took Apple around three years too long to bump the entry level iPhone up to its current 32GB. Users moaned that they wanted extra space to store all of their pictures, music, and videos – when in reality it might just be the App Store Apps themselves that are the problem.
Apple raised its 2gb App size cap in 2015 to cater for complex applications and games that were pushing the limits of what could be achieved. There are still only a few rare apps now pushing up towards the new limit of 4gb, but the rate of storage needed is increasing at a staggering rate.
According to research by Sensor Tower, the total space required for the top 10 most installed U.S. App Store Apps has grown from 164mb in 2013 to a whopping 1.8gb in May 2017. That’s 11 times the storage needed for just these top 10 Apps or a 1000% increase.
The top ten U.S. App Store Apps monitored are Facebook, Uber, Gmail, Snapchat, Spotify, Messenger, Google Maps, YouTube, Instagram, and Netflix. The individual space required for each app is still only measured in hundreds of megabytes but combined it tells a stark tale which seems to be getting worse.
The report highlights the rapid growth in App size has increased the most since the launch of iOS10 in September 2016, yet the reasons for this burst are hard to pinpoint. Both Spotify and Facebook Messanger grew the least – yet still managed to bloat by 6 times the size they were four years ago. With the worst offender being Snapchat which grew a huge 51x.
So as storage gets cheaper to make, and minimum storage of handsets increases too to does the space developers can and will take advantage of. Apple’s solution may not just be larger storage but smarter storage. IOS11 brings in the ability for the OS to offload seldom used apps the cloud, but keep its data and personalisation preserved. This should massively help those with lower storage models that still want to download lots of apps.