Upgrade your iOS device
ou can’t upgrade an iOS device in the same way as you traditionally could with a Mac. You can’t add more RAM, you can’t replace the solid-state storage in an 8GB iPhone 5c to boost its storage to 64GB, and you can’t plug in an external RAID disk to give you space to store more movies and music. But iOS devices can have their hardware upgraded and augmented in ways you might not realise. While some of these solutions aren’t as neat or as cheap as their equivalent internal upgrades you can carry out on a Mac, it’s worth being aware of them – they might just be the thing that gets your iOS device soldiering on until your next upgrade is due.
YWish you’d bought bigger?
If you bought an 8 or 16GB iOS device and have added more than a handful of simple apps or want to carry around more than a couple of movies and albums, it’s likely you wished you’d bought something bigger. Accessories can help.
You can connect your iOS device to an external drive such as the LaCie Fuel. It’s wireless rather than connecting using cables, and it has its own built-in battery – great for kids on long car journeys. If you have a spare 2.5-inch hard disk hanging around, you can put it in a wireless enclosure such as the Macally WiFi-HDD to get the same effect (but cheaper). You can’t use this storage just like the storage inside your iPhone – you can’t run apps from there, for example – but you can use it to store media that you access through a specific app.
Music always with you
One way to reconcile having a big collection of music but only a small iPhone is to subscribe to Apple’s iTunes Match service. For £21.99 a year, Apple will let you stream your music collection from the cloud, and that goes both for music you bought from the iTunes Music Store and by matching tracks on the Store with CDs you’ve imported yourself. And even if Apple doesn’t have any particularly obscure tracks that you imported into your iTunes library, it will upload them from your Mac. Now, you don’t have to have your music library taking up space on your iPhone at all – you can stream it all over Wi-Fi or, so long as you’ve got enough data in your service plan, over 3G, too. (You can also stream movies and TV shows bought from the iTunes Store; like with music purchases made just from the Store, that doesn’t require iTunes Match, but there’s no iTunes Match equivalent for movies you might have ripped into your iTunes Library.)
Of course, none of that is any good if your iOS runs out of juice half way through the day, but happily, you can hugely extend the life of its battery. We’re not just talking external battery packs, either – though of course those are the easiest option and come in sizes even bigger than the internal battery so you can keep going for days – but actually replacing the battery inside an iPhone is easier than you think.
The 4 and 4s are the generations of iPhones with the easiest to replace internal battery; it’s a simple matter of unscrewing the rear cover and popping out the worn cells. Later models need to be pulled apart with sucker cups, but with patience and care it can be done. You can even add extra battery capacity and extra storage at once with the Mophie Space Pack.