iOS 8 adoption wasn’t that bad – but it wasn’t as good as it could have been. Though iOS adoption has historically always been better than the latest Android OS updates, many users (particularly those with 16GB devices) complained following the release of iOS 8 last September due to the large amounts of space required to upgrade from iOS 7 – 4.6 GB. Apple has since spent a lot of time figuring out ways to slim down the upgrade, or at least make it easier for users to upgrade, and the latest developer beta of iOS 9 has given a little more indication of how it plans to do that.
When Apple announced iOS 9 a few weeks ago it revealed that it would be using a new technique called ‘App thinning’ which means a user’s device would only download specific files needed for that device. The result would be a reduction to the upgrade resulting in just a 1.3 GB file.
However, in the second beta of iOS 9, released this week, users that try to install the upgrade when the device doesn’t have enough space will get the following message:
The message asks the users if they’re happy having some apps deleted, making enough room for installation. The apps will then be automatically downloaded again.
It’s quite an intuitive solution – though some will wonder if there are easier ways to free up some space, starting with allowing users to delete the stock iPhone apps they don’t use (presumably these won’t fall under the remit of space-freeing app deletion), or even scrapping the 16GB iPhone and starting back at 32GB.
There are concerns elsewhere, too – once the deleted apps are downloaded again, will they retain all the data? And finally, how much control over the apps that will be deleted will be of a concern to some. Could they lose that original version of Flappy Bird they’ve been protecting for well over a year? Will that video game emulator that somehow manage to sneak on to the App Store that time mysteriously disappear? No doubt some users will be wary of giving up this much control, but for the casual user it seems like a decent solution.