Sav­ing space with PhoneEx­pan der and iTunes

Mac Format - - IM­PROVE | IOS / MAC APPS -

Us­ing PhoneEx­pander

On launch­ing PhoneEx­pander, you’ll see your de­vice’s name and how full it is. When de­vices get too full they run into prob­lems, such as not be­ing able to down­load and in­stall large apps, and pos­si­bly not be­ing able to up­date iOS. Once you get in the higher end of 90% it’s time start delet­ing things. (Depicted here is Craig’s iPhone af­ter al­ready hav­ing done a cou­ple of rounds of PhoneEx­pander test­ing – it was even more full be­fore!)

Tem­po­rary files

Apps of­ten use tem­po­rary files, to load more quickly or ap­pear more re­spon­sive. Most are small and best left alone. But some apps have mon­ster caches that are worth delet­ing if you’re very tight on space. Be mind­ful caches will likely re­build when you sub­se­quently use an app, and that tem­po­rary files for News­stand apps are mostly mag­a­zines. Delete them and you’ll need to re­down­load.

App re­moval

Apps can be mas­sive, es­pe­cially games and mu­sic ones. The size you see on the App Store is the down­load – apps can then take up sig­nif­i­cantly more space as as­sets ex­pand. Al­though you can of course re­move apps us­ing only your de­vice, PhoneEx­pander is much faster when deal­ing with mul­ti­ple apps – you don’t need to make the icons jig­gle then delete them one by one.

Pho­tos and videos

Newer iOS de­vices have great built-in cam­eras but higher-qual­ity pho­tos, and es­pe­cially videos, rapidly eat into your stor­age space. Reg­u­lar iPhoto (and, we pre­sume, Pho­tos for OS X) im­ports can off­load video, but PhoneEx­pander is fast, quickly re­mov­ing con­tent from your de­vice, and en­abling you to later im­port it into your favoured app. What­ever you do, though, don’t delete videos if you’re tight for space – back them up in­stead.

iTunes back-ups

Al­though we had no prob­lems with PhoneEx­pander, we rec­om­mend you back up your de­vice be­fore us­ing it, just in case. You can back up to iCloud, but since you’re plug­ging in your de­vice via USB any­way, also back up to iTunes. Se­lect your de­vice, click ‘Back Up Now’ and iTunes will get to work. This backup will be stored on your Mac, and can later be used to re­store a de­vice.

See­ing what’s where

An­other rea­son it’s worth check­ing in with iTunes is be­cause it gives you a handy bar chart that out­lines what’s tak­ing up space on your de­vice. If you’ve got few apps but tons of au­dio, it might be worth cut­ting back on al­bums. But if apps or videos are tak­ing up the ma­jor­ity of stor­age, prun­ing them with PhoneEx­pander could be smart. (‘Other’ re­port­edly mostly com­prises tem­po­rary files.)

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