Life with a 16GB iPhone (Not Great, Bob!)

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

I need to vent just a little.

Life with a 16GB iPhone is nearly impossible! Frankly, I don’t know how anyone does it. I have 2 games installed (Alto’s Adventure and Desert Golfing, for those interested) and 48 apps from the App Store. I think that’s a pretty reasonable number of apps to have. All-in-all, the General>Usage tab in says all of my apps (including Photos and Music) is 5.4GB. And yet, my phone is telling me every few hours that I am low on storage.

I have every audio and video app set to stream all media, nothing gets downloaded. Overcast is the only exception, but even it has a mere 4 podcasts currently downloaded. I also have iCloud Photo Library set up to optimize my storage (and presumably save space). I also restored my phone last week in an attempt to regain some free space. This isn’t a phone with years worth of cruft built up, it’s a week old and has been optimized the best I could to be lean and mean.

Issue #1 - Photos aren’t syncing

Photos are no longer syncing to my iCloud library because I don’t have any space. Pictures from my iPhone aren’t uploading, and photos loaded from my Mac aren’t showing up on my phone. So basically, my entire photo backup plan isn’t working.

Issue #2 - iTunes has no idea what’s going on

When I plug my phone into my Mac, iTunes seems to think that I have plenty of space left. So in theory everything’s good.

Issue #3 - I can’t install apps half the time

Since I have no space, I really can’t download anything new. I have uninstalled apps I need in order to get something else.

My real issue - iOS should be taking care of this

If Apple is going to sell a 16GB iPhone, they should ship an operating system that actually works on that amount of storage. I’m going out of my way to try and have a phone that keeps everything in the cloud, and my experience has been maddening.