iPad mini 16GB = 11.89GB, what!?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Kevenly, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Kevenly macrumors regular

    Kevenly

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    #1
    I understand overhead and all that, but I was given an iPad Mini 2 for Christmas. The box says 16 GB but iTunes says 11.89 is the capacity.

    I added up the information on Apps in the Storage panel in Settings and it came to just under 3.9 GB, yet it says "6.9 GB Used" and 4.8 GB available. 6.9 used?? I hardly have anything on it, no videos, no music, no photos, and I add up the storage sizes as shown in the unit itself and it only comes to 3.9.

    iTunes says "Other" is taking up 1.75 GB" so I deleted a bunch of apps and data and synced and NOW
    iTunes reports 4.04 GB Used but OTHER has grown to 1.93 GB! So by deleting a bunch of apps and data and adding nothing, "Other" grew by nearly a quarter gig?

    This is like having a Ferrari with a one-gallon gas tank. On top of that the gas tank is "shrinking".

    By contrast by iPod Touch 32GB states that it has an over 29GB capacity. So the overhead on 32GB is less than three GBs but the overhead for 16GB on an iPad is over 4GB?

    This is all maddening and I don't understand what's really going on in there.
     
  2. Kevenly thread starter macrumors regular

    Kevenly

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    #2
    I just wanted to add that I have NO iCloud account or connection going on. No iTunes podcasts/videos/music etc or any other apps activated.
     
  3. TimeAgentGamer macrumors member

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    #3
    Did you set it up as a new device or did you restore from a backup?
     
  4. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

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  5. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #5
    16GB is considered 16,000,000,000 bytes when you are looking at GB for storage. True 16GB would be 17,179,869,184 bytes. Every company considers a GB as 1,000,000,000 bytes. That is how formatted capacity works. Then minus 2.5-3GB for iOS. So 16,000,000,000 bytes = 14.9GB - 3GB iOS = 11.9GB.

    iOS on an iPod Touch takes up much less space than on an iPad. The formatted capacity difference will always be between 7-10%. After the 7-10% taken off, then the rest is iOS size.
     
  6. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #6
    Isn't there a sticky thread like this?

    Available capacity is always lower than unformatted capacity.
     
  7. whi5tler macrumors member

    whi5tler

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    Oct 4, 2012
    #7
    There are several factors at work here.

    First up, as previously noted, some of your device's 16GB is taken up by iOS and the bundled Apple apps that come with the device (Contacts, Safari, Mail, etc.), so the amount of available space on even a freshly initialised device will be less than the advertised capacity. This most likely accounts for the majority of your "missing" GBs.

    The second factor is that for iOS devices the advertised capacity is quoted in decimal gigabytes, i.e. 1GB = 1000^3 or 1,000,000,000 bytes, whereas the operating system always reports capacity in binary gigabytes, where 1GB = 1024^3 or 1,073,741,824 bytes. Thus an iPad that has 16,000,000,000 (16GB decimal) bytes of storage will be reported as having only 14.90 GB of capacity by iOS. Same number of bytes but different number of GB depending on whether you use decimal GB or binary GB. This is not unique to iOS devices, Windows PCs and Android devices work like this too. Macs used to work this way but several releases of OS X ago Apple switched the software to always report capacities in decimal GBs instead. Unfortunately they have yet to do this for iOS.

    And then there is a final factor that affects how many usable GBs you have on any device or hard drive - formatting. Every storage device has to be formatted before it can store data files and the formatting process uses some of the device's storage (the exact amount varies depending on the OS and filesystem in use, it gets quite technical). The storage capacity for iOS devices (like PCs and Macs also) is advertised as unformatted, some quantity of that number will be used by the formatting process and is thus unavailable to the user. This will be the smallest contributor to your "missing GBs" issue, but it will make a small difference in addition to the previously described factors.
     
  8. profets macrumors 68040

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    #8
    Another reason why a 16GB iOS device shouldn't be on the market.
     
  9. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

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    #9
    As has been stated above in comment 5 and 7. I would like to add that the formatting quirk gets worse as you get larger capacity. On my 128GB iPad the capacity is 114GB.

    Now iOS is used as main devices rather than secondary I think the absolute minimum should be 32GB. 16GB is criminal.
     
  10. Performa460 macrumors newbie

    Performa460

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    Dec 19, 2015
    #10
    I understand that the actual user accessible storage is always lower than the advertised amount, but it would be an incredibly easy thing for manufacturers to make sure the stated storage is equivalent to the available amount. For the life of me I don't understand why they don't/won't/can't do this.

    I knew my iPP wouldn't have the FULL 128 GB but it had something like 116 or 119 available, which I think is ridiculous.
     
  11. joeblow7777 macrumors 68040

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    #11
    It may not be as easy as you think. Think about it, doesn't Apple purchase components such as the flash storage from other manufacturers? If said manufacturer makes 16GB units, they're not going to make special (for example) 18.4GB units just to account for Apple formatting, which is going to be slightly different with every version of the OS, and as Apple changes which apps come pre-installed. It's an awkward moving target in an industry where storage components are standardized based on multiples of 8. So Apple (and every other company) tells you that your device has 16GB of storage because that is the capacity of a he storage unit that it contains, but it always says right on the box and on the Apple website that this is not fully available to the end user.
     
  12. Appl3FTW macrumors 601

    Appl3FTW

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    #12
    LOL @ this thread... Ur iPad is fine OP.
     
  13. magbarn macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Don't worry, be happy that APPL padded an extra $5 in their pockets by putting in a 16gb instead of a 32gb flash chip. Your memory level is normal for a 16gb iPad.
     
  14. Mlrollin91 macrumors G4

    Mlrollin91

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    #14
    Remember when people bought a Surface 2 and it was 64GB but was really only 32GB because Windows took up half the space? That's ridiculous. Losing 10GB to OS and formatting is not big deal. I think you are being a little dramatic and overreacting. It's been this way for 20+ years. It's nothing new.
     
  15. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #15
    And your 1TB hard drive is "missing" about 100GB as well.
     
  16. racer1441 macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Wrong. They serve a great purpose. Single use machines, people who only read books and browse the net, ect.

    People's ignorance should be blamed, not the devices.
     
  17. profets macrumors 68040

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #17
    Sure, at the expense of customer satisfaction and experience. Non technical purchasers don't understand what 16GB means. They truly don't know they'll have 12GB useable out of the box.

    I tried to test by temporarily used a 16GB iPad with photos set to optimize,me and very few apps. Took nothing to run into storage issues.
     
  18. Blaze4G macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Wouldn't a 32 GB serve the same purpose? There is no other reason for a 16 GB except for Apple squeezing every penny out of their consumers.
     
  19. Kevenly thread starter macrumors regular

    Kevenly

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    #19
    Thanks for the replies, folks, some of them very informative and helpful. I agree it should not be on the market. It's like a sports car with a two gallon gas tank. It makes no sense. Also, flash storage is pretty cheap, nothing like the hundreds of dollars they charge for insufficient amounts.

    It was a gift, and a very nice and unexpected one, but as a "power user" with computers I'm going to have to rethink what I can do with such a device given its agonizing limitation. A fancy computer capable of so much but lacking the space to do anything but a few small things or one specific thing that doesn't require much.
     
  20. Marshall73 macrumors 6502a

    Marshall73

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    #20
    Politely return it and buy one with more storage.
     
  21. bufffilm macrumors 68040

    bufffilm

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    #21
    That's what I would do.
     
  22. Aydy macrumors member

    Aydy

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    Nov 22, 2015
    #22
    And wait till you start adding apps with No cache managment (official twitter, spotify etc) these two in particular take up a huge chunk of available storage. Although small to begin with, they continually cache refresh data and before you know it they are running into scary storage uptake.
    I know some games can also rack up some serious bytes from your available storage

    TBF you can get the space back by deleting and reinstalling the offending apps every few weeks (or whatever) but i wish there were options to manage cache from within the app or from IOS
     
  23. dazz87 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 24, 2007
    #23
    Think its time for a lawsuit when you purchase a 16GB there should be 16GB available unbelievable ...............
     
  24. joeblow7777 macrumors 68040

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    #24
    I hope you're kidding about the lawsuit because that's definitely taking it too far. Yes, Apple should offer more storage for their entry level devices, but as long as they're not, people need to take some responsibility for the own purchasing decisions. Apple doesn't make any false claims about the storage capacity of their devices, and they offer an adequate return period if you're not satisfied after purchase.
     
  25. apolloa macrumors G3

    apolloa

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    #25
    See if jailbreaking will let you remove some of the Apple apps? Free up some space. Personally I think your storage is reading incorrectly, because other 16GB Apple devices have a lot more spare storage from new with the same apps installed by default. Try doing a fresh install as a brand new device.
     

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