Currently the iPhone and iPad come in three different sizes. When we say sizes we are speaking of hard drive capacities. The storage on these devices range from 16 GB, 32 GB or 64 GB. Often times we are asked “what size iOS device should I buy”?

We usually start by asking these three questions as follows:

1. Do you have a good backup strategy?
2. How big is your music, video and apps library?

3. How do you manage your media now?

The answers to these questions vary from client to client, however the founding principles are the same. The truth of the matter is that even the most tech enthused can get buy on 16 GB of storage with room to spare and we’ll tell you how.

We will start with managing your backups to save yourself heartache in the future. If you use iCloud to backup your iOS devices you will loose the fear that most people have of thinking they have to keep everything on their device like they would their computer. Using iCloud or other cloud backup technologies like https://www.dropbox.comDrop Box will drastically save space on your devices. These types of services allow for off site storage and backup with ease of access to your data. This means you have it at your finger tips but you aren’t using up all of your available space on your phone or iPad. These services also work well for managing your media as described below. No matter if you use a local iTunes backup or a iCloud strategy its important to know you have to back it up to get it back. Backing up removes the fear that you have lost something. Now we can remove some stuff from your device and start saving you space.

When we ask how big is your music, video and apps library it is not because we want you to fit everything on yet another device. Most of the answers ranged from 100 GB to over a tera bite of movies and music. You can clearly see that even with a 64 GB device that it is not enough room to fit your entire media library on it. The truth is how many songs can you listen to? How many movies can you watch at one time or how many apps can you run? The answers are 1, 1 and 1. You only need what you plan to use for a given period of time and for a given situation and that’s all.

For example if I’m going out of town for a week I will load more movies and music but less apps because I know that I only use a few stock apps and will be listening and watching music and movies. This changes if I know I’m going to be teaching a session and would only need to show one movie clip or play one song for my client in demonstration. These examples allow for me to manage what goes on my device at a given time for a given situation. In part II of this post we will explore how to do this in iTunes.

Lastly we use services like Google Drive and Drop Box along with iCloud to store files that we want to save, share and access easily, but we don’t want them stored locally on the device. These services usually allow for 2 to 5 GB of free space before they require you to upgrade to a paid subscription. These services all have apps that you can download from the App Store and that are accessible to the blind. Using them can greatly offset the amount of storage needed on your device, thus limiting your cost for the device.

Personally I use all 16 GB iOS devices and I have around 20 GB of free, accessible cloud storage between Drop Box, Google Drive and iCloud, so I know it can be done.

What about you? Chime in and comment. Do you prefer 16, 32 or 64 GB on your iOS device?

For those of you who don’t have Drop Box and you would like to get extra free space click here and sign up.