The real usable space of an iOS device →

Dave Mark responds to Kirk McElhearn’s post which reminds us that the advertised total storage of a device is often perceived to be more than the actual storage, as this space is actually used to hold the device’s operating system as well as apps, leaving you with less space than you had hoped for storing media:

People should simply not buy 16 GB devices any more. Also, to me, it’s photos and media storage that bring me to my device limit, much more so than games.

Is avoiding the 16 GB device really the solution? What about in twenty years? Are we all going to be carrying 1TB iOS devices so we can have every photo and every video we have ever snapped in our pockets?

Whether technology is capable or not, I think a ballooning need for memory is not a reasonable solution to the problem of running out of local space for our media. In fact, it tells the consumer that they can delay learning how to back-up their data — (to the cloud or otherwise) — because when they run out of space, the next device on the market will have even more storage for their digital hoarding habit.

Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and Dropbox should be encouraging users to back-up their data and store it in the cloud for instant access. While the tools are out there, there are not enough people talking about back-up practices for the digital hoarder.

It seems like there is much room for cloud accessibility tools to grow. For example, having an unorganized list of thousands of scrolling pictures to access in Dropbox is just not as friendly as Apple’s built-in photo album organization (grouping photos by collections, year, location, etc).

But, I admit that I haven’t searched for a better tool, as my 64GB iPhone 5S currently holds all of the photos I have taken since purchasing my first iPhone back in 2010. I use the excuse that I need 64GB of storage for recording audio, but the truth is, I am lazy like everyone else, and buying the phone with the most storage gets me out of having to deal with the problem today.

Just the other day, I plugged my iPhone into the wall to charge it, and was prompted with a message telling me that, at 25GB, I no longer have enough space left in my iCloud account for a back-up. Is the best solution to upgrade our iCloud storage every time we run out of space for our automated back-ups? Is it reasonable to always buy the device that offers the most amount of storage? Or should we learn to store and access our media in the cloud, and remove old media from our devices all together, save a few bucks, and stop buying the “largest” device on the market?