Tag Archives: app store

Second betas of iOS 9.3.2 and OS X 10.11.5 now available to public testers

Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS and OS X updates to public testers. Folks in the Beta Software Program can now install iOS 9.3.2 via OTA on their iOS devices, and OS X 10.11.5 via the App Store Software Update mechanism. These are the same betas that Apple pushed out to developers […]



How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone (& Never Worry About It Again) (Video)

Since most iPhone users don’t stray from iOS they usually upgrade from an iPhone to a newer iPhone. When they do this, things like photos, app data, and a tons of other things are synced and then transferred directly to the new phone. Combine this with the fact that most users don’t upgrade their storage when buying their next iPhone and you can see how we have a pretty easy recipe for running out of space pretty quickly.

Luckily you can free up space on your iPhone with a few simple steps. Things like making sure you aren’t saving duplicate photos (Instagram is notorious for this), saving photos to the cloud automatically so you can delete old ones from the phone without fear of losing them forever, as well as cleaning up some app data and caches that are just taking up space for no good reason.

So let’s see how we can free up storage space on your iPhone and how we can put things in place to make it far less often you’ll need to do this purging.

How to Free Up Space on the iPhone

Check Storage and Find the Largest Cuplrits

First off, we shouldn’t go into this blindly, right? Let’s see what the biggest storage hogs are, then we can tackle this starting with the biggest culprits and move on.

Thankfully, iOS has a way to check this built it. Head to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage under Storage. From here you’ll see list sorted by the items with the largest size on top.

Now that we can see the biggest culprits eating away at our storage, let’s go through how we can free up the storage they are hogging and also see if we can stop them from taking up so much in the future.

iPhone Storage


After doing the check on the storage, chances are, you’ll most likely see Photos pretty close to the top. Since it is probably the biggest complaint I usually hear about and the one that usually takes up the most data by far, let’s tackle that one first.

Use Google Photos to Automatically Backup All Photos & Videos then Delete Old Ones

Now that we’ve cut down on the duplicates, let’s take care of the big one –your camera roll.

I did an article on this a while ago and named a bunch of ways to backup your photos and you can check that out, but my favorite way is using Google Photos. Essentially, we’re going to use Google Photos, with its free unlimited storage and auto-backup features, to backup all of the photos we have on the phone then delete the ones on the phone since Google Photos allows us to see all of our photos in the Google Photos app without them taking up space on the phone.

Don’t worry, it doesn’t show them to anyone or post them on Google Plus or anything weird like that, and as a bonus, it actually has some cool (slightly freaky?) search features you can then use to find photos once they’re in the app.

Here’s how to use it.

Backup your Photos

Google Photos Backup

  1. Head to the App Store, search for and install Google Photos.
  2. Open it once installed and login/signup (it’s free).
  3. Then click the Settings icon and select to Automatically Backup photos (or select it when prompted during the setup process).
  4. Connect to a Wifi network at this point to speed up the process (and make sure it uploads your videos as well).
  5. Tap the menu icon at the top left and then tap on Assistant and make sure you see it backing up.
  6. Wait. A long time.
  7. Once it says it is done, head to photos.google.com and login with the same credentials you used for the app. Once you do, do a quick scroll through the photos to confirm they all seem to be there (maybe also do some other backup methods just in case as well).

Erase the Camera Roll Photos

Delete Camera Roll

Unfortunately, iOS doesn’t have a way of deleting apps in bulk very easily and would require you to delete them one by one, but thankfully, Google Photos just added the ability to delete them all from inside the app. Here’s how.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Tap the menu icon at the top left then tap Settings.
  3. Under Free up device storage, tap Free Up Space and follow the prompts to finish the job.

From then on, you’ll have reclaimed a ton of storage and still have access to any photo you need from the past by going to the Google Photos app and finding it from there.

Also, from now on, the Google Photos app will always backup your photos and videos if you open the app once in a while while connected to Wifi (it is supposed to do it automatically without having to do that, but I find it doesn’t always so I open it once in a while and let it backup, just to be safe).


Messages on Mac

An app that you wouldn’t really think of hogging a lot of data, but is usually one I see on people’s phones at the top of the storage usage list, is your messages app.

Reason being is that iOS automatically saves all of the photos from your conversations as well as the conversations themselves indefinitely (by default, at least). And since you probably don’t need all of that, let’s change it from Forever to 30 days (the shortest amount it has).

  1. Head to Settings > Messages.
  2. Under Message History, tap Keep Messages and change it from Forever to 30 days


The next biggie for most people is their Music. This usually happens when you have your music actually saved on your phone, say through iTunes, but there’s a better way –streaming.

Use a Streaming Music Service

Spotify Streaming Music

I swap phones so often that I can’t be bothered with putting my music on each one every time so I opted for a streaming service like Spotify instead. You don’t need your entire library on your phone at one time, so instead I save the songs offline from Spotify that I listen to the most often (or know I’m going to want to listen to this week) and then the rest I stream when I feel like I need to hear a specific song. You can download Spotify and pay for the Premium service to be able to do this yourself, or, if you’re engrained in iTunes, you can add iTunes Match to your iTunes to achieve something similar.

Using iTunes Match instead of regular iTunes allows you to keep all your music on your computer, or in the iTunes cloud, and then just download to the phone ones you want to have offline and stream the others like with Spotify. The benefit of this over Spotify is really for those that have their own downloaded music library and want to be able to access it instead of relying on Spotify’s audio library.

To Setup iTunes Match

Sign Up for iTunes Match

  1. On the phone, head to Settings > Music > Subscribe to iTunes Match.
  2. Download and open iTunes on your computer and add your music to it so it can upload it to iCloud.
  3. Once done, head back to the phone and go to Settings > Music > Turn On iTunes Match

Extra Ways to Free Up Space

That probably covers the biggest ones, but there are a few other things to try and reclaim some more storage if you want.

Stop Saving Duplicate Photos

You might not know this, but your phone is saving duplicate photos.

The biggest offenders of this are your normal camera app and Instagram. Your regular camera app does this whenever you take a photo using HDR (which is a software for helping take low-light photos) and Instagram just infamously saves any photo you upload to Instagram as a photo in your camera roll for no reason.

Since neither of these is really very useful in my opinion – use your own judgement though, of course – let’s turn them both off.


Turn Off Keep Normal Photo

  1. Head to Settings > Photos & Camera
  2. Scroll down and turn off Keep Normal Photo under HDR.


Turn Off Instagram Photo Saving

  1. Open the Instagram app.
  2. Tap on your profile then tap the Settings (gear) icon.
  3. Turn off Save Original Photos.

Delete Voicemail Messages

Deleted Voicemails

  1. Head to Phone > Voicemail.
  2. Swipe on each voicemail and tap delete until you delete them all.

Delete Old Podcasts

Podcasts App

  1. Open the Podcast app.
  2. Swipe on each one and tap delete until you delete them all.

Delete Unused Apps

Removing Apps

We all hate to see apps go, but as a last resort, it might be a good idea to check that manage storage list and see which apps use a lot of data that you simply don’t use that often (think video games, apps that do a particular thing you could just as easily do in the browser, or ones you just haven’t touched in forever).

There you go.

Read More: How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone (& Never Worry About It Again) (Video)


Check out this endless runner game you can play from Notification Center

Knowing that Apple has been restrictive in the past on what is and what isn’t allowed to pass in the App Store for a Notification Center widget, it can be fun when little gems find their way into the top charts section and you stumble upon them. While looking through them, I discovered a free […]



iDB app version 1.1 comes with new bookmarking feature, San Francisco font, and more

Version 1.1 of the iDB app was just approved and is now available in the App Store, including the usual round of stability improvements and bug fixes, as well as a couple notable additions. More specifically, we have added a new bookmarking feature as well as support for the San Francisco font, something many of […]



Apple selects sci-fi Wild West shooter Space Marshals as its new Free App of the Week

Like on any given Thursday, Apple today refreshed the App Store to reflect new software arrivals and promotions. In addition to highlighting apps whose proceeds will go to the World Wildlife Fund until April 24 through the new ‘Apps for Earth’ section, Apple’s editors have slashed Pixelbite’s award-winning sci-fi action adventure, Space Marshals, as the App Store’s…



Everything You Need to Know from Facebook F8

Facebook just concluded their developer conference called F8 (is it slightly creepy that that spells fate?). During this event Mark Zuckerberg, laid out Facebook’s 10 year plan for world domination roadmap for the company that showed their products like WhatsApp and Instagram all the way to their VR aspirations and their plans to use drones and other means to make sure everyone can access the internet (and their products, of course).

Facebook F8 Roadmap

Since it is a developer event, Facebook kicked things off with some new developer tools.

Login Tools

Facebook announced a few tools for developers to help with logging into their apps. Sort of makes sense considering Facebook is the most popular login service in the world.

First up, there is Account Kit which developers can use to allow their users to login to their apps using their phone number or email. This came after developers told Facebook users wanted to be able to login without needing a Facebook account.

They also announced a new login for users with Facebook accounts, called Anonymous Login. As the name suggests, you’ll have a new Login Anonymously option in addition to the Login with Facebook option we are used to seeing that will allow you to login to an app using Facebook but without sharing any of your personal info and not letting the app post to your Facebook.

In addition to this new option – that I’m not sure why you would ever not select frankly, but maybe I’m missing something – Facebook also announced line by line controls for the normal Facebook Login. You can actually choose which permissions you want to give the app instead of having to allow all of them in one shot.

Sharing Tools

Next up in the developer tools that’ll probably affect you as an end-user is the new sharing-type tools that Facebook announced.

There is a new quote-sharing tool that developers can put on their sites eventually that’ll let users highlight text on the page and it’ll give users the option to directly quote it and share it to Facebook.

Quote Sharing

There’s also a new Save to Facebook button that developers will also be allowed to embed on their sites to have you save articles, yes, like Pocket or Instapaper, but to your Facebook app for reading later. Once of the nice things that might help this get adopted faster than Pocket or Instapaper is the face it doesn’t strip down the site, so publishers (ehem!) can still have their ads on the page and continue to make revenue. At least, until Facebook strips that out and forces them to use their own ad network, called Audience Network.


The clear star of this event, though, was definitely Messenger.

Just like Microsoft unveiled at their recent event, Facebook is pushing bots. Now in Messenger, you can talk to specific bots and they’ll deliver information to you via conversational text instead of, say using an app. For example, messaging the CNN bot will have it ask you what topics you are interested in and it will then use that info to tell you about the news from those topics, the 1-800-Flowers bot can help you order flowers to someone, etc.

Facebook Messenger Bots

Again, as I’ve said before, these bot things are going to get interesting and they’re a brand new type of App Store that people like Microsoft and Facebook have opened up to developers to create their own (which, I’m sure will eventually be able to be charged for, which Facebook and Microsoft will then take a percentage of à la every app store).

This new bot platform is now ready for development and is dubbed “Messenger Platform”.

Live Streaming API

Another form of communication that Facebook is betting on is live video. With the release of their live video recently, it makes sense that Facebook announced their new Live Streaming API that’ll allow developers to throw live video up on Facebook. So, you know, expect more soon.

Virtual Reality

Being that Facebook owns the popular Oculus VR company, it was expected that there’d be some Virtual Reality news coming out of this event and Facebook didn’t disappoint in that respect: they launched a camera.

Facebook Surround 360

The new Surround 360 camera is capable of shooting 8K video using 17 lens and costs about $30,000. While that may sound like a lot of money, let me assure you that for that resolution and a 360 degree shooting rig with minimal setup needed, it’s not.


And there you go, a quick recap of the things that Facebook announced at F8 this year. Let me know what you guys think in the comments below and I’ll reply ASAP.

Read More: Everything You Need to Know from Facebook F8