Popular apps are getting bigger and taking up more space when you install them on your iPhone

How much each of the top ten most popular iOS apps have grown in file size since 2013

How much each of the top ten most popular iOS apps have grown in file size since 2013


Sure, the amount of native storage on your iPhone has risen sharply over the years. According to a report from Sensor Tower, the minimum storage available on an iPhone has doubled from the 16GB on 2013's Apple iPhone 5s to the 32GB on last year's Apple iPhone 7. But the truth is that Apple is not keeping up with the huge increase in the file size increases on popular apps. This is why many users of the iPhone are often looking for apps to remove in order to create space for new downloads.

Here is an amazing piece of data that says it all. The top ten most downloaded iPhone apps in the U.S. required just 164MB of space to install in May 2013. Last month, the top ten most popular stateside iPhone apps required a stunning 1.9GB of space to install. That means the storage required to install these ten rose 12-fold in just four years. A big push toward increasing the sizes of third party apps came in 2015. That is when Apple doubled the maximum app cap size from 2GB to 4GB. The limit is based on the initial download size of an app.

Among the top ten most popular iOS apps in the U.S., Snapchat has had the largest increase in file size since 2013, growing an amazing 5100%. Uber is next, rising 22 fold over four years. Even the smallest increase over the last four years, which belonged to music streamer Spotify, resulted in a 600% increase in file size. Games also have the same problem. Candy Crush Saga now takes up 223MB of storage, up from 48MB. That is an increase of 460% since 2013.

To help with this issue, iOS 11 will send out recommendations to users suggesting that rarely used apps be offloaded. This would remove a core app while keeping data and settings in case you want to quickly load the app again. 

source: SensorTower via BGR

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24 Comments

1. Derekjeter

Posts: 1439; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

The next iPhone should have double the memory, besides everyone should already know to get the 128 or the 256gb version.

2. mahima

Posts: 708; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

when everyone moves to 64gb minimum apple will still gives 32gb

15. bucky

Posts: 3771; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

But also offers 128gb for the previous price of the 64gb and 256gb for the previous price of 128gb.

3. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 304; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

All the above apps aren't made by Apple. They should compare apps made by Apple to see if it's just lazy programming from 3rd party developers.

4. SPASE

Posts: 255; Member since: May 03, 2013

Are you being sarcastic? Does apple make any of those apps?

6. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3934; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

He is asking if Apple uses a better compression algorithm than the rest of the developers. Like what if Apple made Snapchat, would the app be smaller and have the same features due to Apple's developers being better at coding for iOS. What he wants to know will never be answered of course, unless Apple buys one of the apps mentioned in this article.

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Compression algorithm? The hell are you talking about? There is no compression of anything after an install, it's all up to the file system. Apple apps have increased just as much in size if not more, just check the iOS install size.

17. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3934; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

When writing code for an app one uses a compression algorithm, the developers would have already done that for you well before you install because there would be no app without compressing the code into one file.

9. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1504; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

I can't speak for all the apps, but Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram have all become much larger due to a ton of new features being added. Not simply lazy programming.

5. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Apple should take actions to compress the app installation size or they should give more storage in their phones. Either way wastage of storage is unacceptable thus all of them need to optimize their apps really well.

8. dimas

Posts: 3240; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

You can compress apps all day but with all the features app makers are doing almost every month, the best solution is still increasing the user's storage. iphone is a pricey device so I think it's fair for apple customers to have 128gb as base storage and ditch 32 and 64gb forever.

20. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

Or maybe since tney can afford it, tbey could be a trend setter and offer 128GB minimum, have 256GB as mid and 512gb as too. They can afford it. The iPhone 7s is likely gonna cost them even less to make after using the same design a 4th time. Samsung at leasts give 64GB. Which is great because we can use sdcards. But im not a hypocrite. Samsung can also give the same 3 options. But, they do offer sdcard option, and i can buy 128 kr 256 for far less than what Apple is gonna charge for it. The difference between greed and substance. Yet you guys flock to Apple like sheep to its Shepard.

7. dimas

Posts: 3240; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

And people laugh and think I am crazy whenever I say that I am wanting a 1tb phone.

11. markobarko

Posts: 176; Member since: Oct 09, 2016

I just put an sd card, use unlimited google photo cloud and the problem is solved

12. xperian

Posts: 416; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

That's not apple's problem, the same happens on android. App developers like bloating their apps with unnecessary features

13. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

But at least, with most Android phones, storage is extensible via SD card, so the increase in apps size is less of a problem.

22. epdm2be

Posts: 815; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

You forget that since Android 4.x you can't install apps on "external storage". Some manufacturers have a workaround like fusion storage (archos) or can move part of apps to SDcard (e.g. samsung). And recently google themselves have introduced Adoptable storage (similar to what archos did) but most manufacturers disable or hide this. So basically you can only store media on it. Which is better than nothing ofcourse.

14. AxelFoley

Posts: 536; Member since: May 30, 2017

With carriers going to unlimited data, at least these apps will be quick to install with 5G speeds coming to all "premium" devices, right?

16. Nopers unregistered

Yeah in 2019 when the first 5G network rolls out.

18. tedkord

Posts: 17047; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Is this actually a surprise to anyone? It mirrors exactly what happened with PCs. Back in the days when you had megabytes of storage and kilobytes of RAM, programs were smaller. As your resources grow, the program's become more complex and take up more space. It's a natural progression.

24. xperian

Posts: 416; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

just because they have more resources, doesn't mean they have to bloat the programs. Why do we need all that snapchat functionality in fb messenger?

19. PrYmCHGOan

Posts: 335; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

The awesomeness of Android. Deop in an SDCard and ypu can move the apps data to it.

23. epdm2be

Posts: 815; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

It's not quite that simple.

21. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

The awesomeness of a education and proof reading.

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