how far does 32GB stretch?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by nicho, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. nicho macrumors 68020

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #1
    I'm thinking about picking up a 2018 ipad (and apple pencil) for occasional note taking or drawing (I teach in a place we use a lot of PPTs, I think it might make those PPTs better if I can hand draw diagrams etc. to explain things). I don't think the iPad will be my primary device for media consumption, though I might take it on holiday if I go anywhere.

    I've always had the biggest storage capacity devices I could get: my last ipad - a mini 2 which I no longer use - had 64GB, I have a 512GB SSD in my MBP thats been full before now, I had a 128GB iphone 6 and replaced it with a 256GB iphone 7...

    I'm currently using 214GB of my 256GB on my iphone, but I won't need full resolution photos on my ipad (that's a 82.5GB saving, apparently). Another 100GB is videos/apple music i can live without. Office apps are a couple of GB at worst and I don't really play games. Is there anything I've not anticipated? Will 32GB be too small or just fine?
     
  2. Jarrodbcall macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2013
    #2
    I think 32 GB can be fine for a secondary iOS device. The math you used doesn’t get you down to 32, so it may not work for you. I find 32 takes a bit more managing (downloading apps I don’t use every so often), and for me that is worth it. YMMV though. :)
     
  3. nicho thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #3
    Looking again it's 107GB of music and videos (though i might want one or two on there) and a ton of apps in the 250-500MB range i'd probably not need to or be able to use on my ipad (wechat, pages, numbers, banking apps and the like)

    How much usable space does a 32GB device have in your experience?
     
  4. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #4
    Instead of counting what you should remove, set up from new and consider what items you absolutely need on the iPad.

    I typically go for largest capacity, too. I can't get by with 16GB (barely enough for essential apps) but I can actually make do with 32GB (~25-28GB usable) with extensive use of streaming and cloud services.
     
  5. rosyapple macrumors member

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    Mar 25, 2018
    #5
    I have a 128GB iPad. I use about 84GB and I have no personal photos, music or games. I'm in school so I have a lot of textbooks, lecture slides (PDF, PPT and Keynote), notes and recordings. I don't use the cloud because I don't want to be dependent on it when I have to update certain things when I have no internet connection.

    I normally buy an iPad with higher capacity than the basic one, because I know that if I buy the lowest capacity, there's a high chance that I will have to compromise when it comes to space.

    In addition, each iOS update normally takes up more space, so I want to make sure that I can still keep all my files whenever the iOS is updated.
     
  6. Jarrodbcall macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2013
    #6
    I think I am using about 30 GB on my phone without photos now. I agree with the suggestion the best way to try is to start new and see what you need, though that may not be tenable if your phone is your only iOS device. I am actually getting a 32 GB iPad in the next few days, so I will let you know how that goes for me.
     
  7. mk313 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 6, 2012
    #7
    For me, 32 gifs was very tight. I had a 32 gig iPad 4 that I used through grad school. I didn’t store much music or many videos on it, but once I added in the iWork and office suites, blackboard, adobe reader, etc I was always in the high 20s of storage. I had a lot of trouble downloading or streaming movies. Even though I had enough room, the file wouldn’t always download from iTunes. 64 gigs was much better for my uses. I now have a 128 gig iPad mini and a 128 gig iPad Pro. I could get away with 64 gigs if they made them, but I wouldnt downgrade to a 32 gig.
     
  8. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    Oct 31, 2009
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    #8
    It sounds as if the lowest tier will suit your needs just fine.

    I used to have larger storage on my iPads and smaller on my phone but discovered that since I use my phone more regularly, I had it backwards. Haven’t regretted it since.
     
  9. Richard8655 macrumors 6502a

    Richard8655

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    Mar 11, 2009
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    Chicago
    #9
    The cloud is the key here. If used effectively, 32gb is more than adequate.
     
  10. MistrSynistr macrumors 65816

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    May 15, 2014
    #10
    I have a 16gb iPad mini 4 and never had a problem. You gotta be downloading every app in existence to be filling these things up.
     
  11. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

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    #11
    Typically it’s photos, music, and videos using space, I’d imagine—not apps (though some graphics-rich games can weigh in at 1+ GB).
     
  12. nicho thread starter macrumors 68020

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    Feb 15, 2008
    #12
    I've still got the ipad mini 2, I haven't wiped it yet. I'll see if it still works, wipe it, load up ios 11 and see how much space my stuff takes up.
     
  13. Macalicious2011 macrumors 6502a

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    May 15, 2011
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    London
    #13
    For most users, Cloud storage negates the need the big storage. However accessing files from the cloud can be slow if WiFi is unreliable. There's nothing more annoying than bottlenecks that disrupt your work flow and slow you down.

    32GB will not be adequate if you are a power user. Get atleast 64GB which also leaves room to cache movies/video offline should you take the iPad with you on holiday.
     
  14. rui no onna, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #14
    At just 32GB, all music and videos would be streamed, not downloaded.

    One issue is iOS doesn't let you manually clear its cache. It's kinda stupid that iOS allows offloading apps but doesn't allow clearing temporary app cache which often use more storage than the actual app. Then there's "Other". It seems like the higher the storage capacity, the more space that "Other" takes up. I checked once adding up the storage used listed in Storage & iCloud Usage and I believe I had 20-30GB unaccounted for on my 256GB iPad.

    Mind, while I could get by on 32GB, it certainly wouldn't be fun. I use my iPads for comics/manga and back when I only had the 256GB model, I didn't have sufficient free space to store music or videos. Now, I effectively have ~700GB storage (256GB 9.7 for manga, 512GB 12.9 for comics) so I can actually store offline videos on my iPad now. :)
     
  15. Richard8655, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    Richard8655 macrumors 6502a

    Richard8655

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    #15
    Couldn’t your comics be stored in iBooks in the cloud instead of the iPad? I keep everything in the cloud or my Mac and never think about device storage much. But then if traveling and not wanting/able to cloud connect via LTE, it may be a different situation.
     
  16. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #16
    I don't use iBooks. Quite frankly, I find iCloud and iBooks awful for managing storage space since it uses its own logic for what files should be kept or ejected from the device. I use ComicGlass for DRM-free and comiXology for DRM comics.

    I have around 1TB worth of manga. Comics, I have no idea since most are on comiXology but after a few spending sprees with Thanksgiving sales, Amazon Marvel sales and Humble Bundles, I wouldn't be surprised if I've got 1TB worth there, too. The content I put on the iPads is already curated (favorites and TBR pile).

    A single issue comic in HD (usually 20 pages, can be read in 5-10 minutes) is around 40-50MB. These aren't like books that use negligible bandwidth. A single page of comic uses around the same bandwidth as one normal book that can be read for hours. If on LTE (which I often am), downloading comics can use up bandwidth quite quickly since it practically uses as much data as streaming HD video would.
     
  17. Richard8655 macrumors 6502a

    Richard8655

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    #17
    Ok, interesting your needs don’t lend itself well to iBooks and iCloud. I keep all my books and PDF files there, and find it does a great job of managing and downloading as I need or want to read any of them. Dropbox would also be an alternative rather than having to have huge iPad storage, I think. But then you mention the download bandwidth issue, which I see.
     
  18. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

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    Jul 1, 2014
    #18
    As others have mentioned, with some level of active management of the device (ie. using cloud storage, not downloading everything to the device, clearing out items no longer in use/needed), 32GB should be enough.

    That said, I just bought a 2018 iPad and went with 128GB. My old iPad was a 32GB device, not a lot of books, magazines on it. No music or podcasts. One small photo album. I had about 8GB free, which was ok with active management. But thinking was/is that in a year or two, maybe a more bloated OS, more apps, more items I want to put on there (eg. taking a long trip and want to load it up with reading material [magazines seem to eat up 0.5-1GB-ish per issue]) and will be bumping up to the limit. And the higher capacity helps for resale. And since selling old iPad, helps cover the extra cost of the new device. And if selling a recent vintage iPad, might still come out ahead when getting the 128GB model.
     
  19. rui no onna, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018

    rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

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    #19
    The thing is this, my comics are *already* in the cloud - Amazon/comiXology. I can download them whenever I need as long as I have internet connection plus they don't even use up any of my personal cloud storage quotas. There's really no point in moving them to another cloud service that I then need to pay for. The only issue is due to their size, the only practical time to download comics to my devices is when I'm at home and have access to fast, unlimited internet. I frequently use the iPad where I don't have fast, unlimited internet hence I want a lot of local storage.

    By the way, free Dropbox is only 2GB (I have 5GB after some bonuses). Dropbox 1TB is $10 per month or $120 per year. I'd rather use that to upgrade to 128GB. I actually do use Dropbox for my ePub books (~1GB for thousand of books). For regular ebooks, Dropbox or iCloud + 3G or LTE is perfectly fine.
     
  20. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040

    spiderman0616

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    Aug 1, 2010
    #20
    My first iPad Pro was 32 GB and I was constantly having to make decisions on what to delete to put other stuff on it. Ever since having that specific unit, I have always tried to buy as much storage as I could possibly afford. For me, 32 GB is just barely not enough space anymore. I currently have a 64 GB 10.5" iPad Pro and am using just over 32 GB of hard drive.
     
  21. Centris 650 macrumors 6502a

    Centris 650

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    #21
    Depends on what you do. I used Procreate on my 12.9" IPP and those files took a ton of room. I had to routinely offload artwork to free up space. I imagine if I didn't use procreate 32gb would have been fine. But as always YMMV
     
  22. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a

    DoubleFlyaway

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    Nov 16, 2017
    #22
    Even using mostly cloud services, 32 is nowhere near enough for me,even on my phone. 64 is fine for my phone. For an iPad I want more,because I want to download media for long flights. Right now I have 256, which is overkill.
     
  23. ventmore macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #23
    Everyone has different needs, and it’s hard for anybody to say how much storage will satisfy yours.

    I’ve just set up my new iPad with all the apps I currently need, and I’m using 13GB, so the base model is absolute fine for me. However, it sounds like you may find it a little restrictive.
     
  24. cucumberflying macrumors newbie

    cucumberflying

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    Mar 20, 2018
    #24
    Honestly, I would never get 32gb on anything (except on my iPhone, which my mom bought me). I would do as others suggested and get the highest that I can afford. I was thinking about buying a 10.5 with 64gb in June, but I want to have a good bit of storage to last me a long time so 256gb it is for me!
     
  25. mofunk macrumors 68020

    mofunk

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    Americas
    #25

    Same here. I was doing fine until after several Apple Updates. Then I had to make decisions on what to keep. My 32GB doesn't have a lot of photos or pics, just a few Apps. When I travel with it I like to put 2 movies on it which takes forever to download.

    @OP If you are used to having more space on your iOS devices, go with a bigger iPad. Or get a refurb iPad Pro 10.5 64GB
     

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