For many of you iPhone or iPad users out there, you could consider iOS 8 more like Windows 8.1. The issue with iOS 8 is that it requires such a huge chunk of free space on your phone for apps. Traditional OTA (over-the-air) updates would require some 4.6 GB of space to install, that would kill you if you had the 8GB or 16GB iPhone or iPad.
As many of the news sources online are talking about all the “cool” things the new iOS 9 will be doing, there was something that came out and no major media websites are talking about. While they believe you want to know more about their streaming music service and such, a new feature in the new iOS will help you save some space on your device with slimmer OTA updates and something called “app thinning.”
Currently, according to Ars Technica, apps that are loaded onto the App Store, which eventually get downloaded to your device, follow the “3x” asset size. What that means is the apps that you are currently using contain code that works for every Apple device incarnation. Whether you run the 32-bit or 64-bit device, the app will still have code for every supported iOS device whether you device needs it or not.
When iOS 8 was released into the wild last year, many people found that they were unable to download the device OTA due to the large size of the update. The new “app slimming” will allow developers to upload the apps, as they have been doing for the current iOS 8, but when you download the app, it will only give you the bits you need.
The benefit of this “slimming” factor is that you will end up with more free space to take your food pics, selfies or download more apps than you currently have. Apple needed to make a change in their OTA and app sizes as it would force people will smaller storage spaces to upgrade to a larger device or leave Apple all together.
That is one of the huge drawbacks of my current iOS device. I have an 8GB iPhone 6 and many of the apps take up so much space and when an update happens, I need to connect it to my desktop to take the bulk of the download. Apple knows that Android can drop a new OS using only 1GB and they needed to make it work. Less resources used and more space equals happy users. It’s about time.