One of the most challenging decisions you’ll have to make when buying an iPad is choosing the size of the memory. Which smartphone to choose – with 32 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB of memory? Can you make the most of 256 GB on an iPad? Will an iPad with 32GB of storage be enough for your needs? Does it make sense to save on memory and buy a gadget with a smaller capacity?
There are quite a few factors to consider when deciding on the size of iPad storage, from the habit of downloading everything from the “cloud” or storing your media content there to serious photography or video shooting and much, much more.
Don’t worry, though: we’ll now explain what aspects to consider when deciding how much storage you need on your smartphone or tablet.
Apple has expanded the entry-level iPad storage from 16GB to 32GB. While 16GB was good in the early days, apps now take up a lot more space, and with so many people now using iPads to store photos and videos, 16GB just doesn’t cut it anymore. But is 32 GB enough?
- 1 What to Think About When Choosing an iPad Model
- 2 How to Expand the Storage on Your iPad
- 3 Consider Buying an iPad Storage
What to Think About When Choosing an iPad Model
Here are the main questions you’ll want to ask yourself when choosing an iPad model: How much of my music do I want to play on the iPad? How many films do I want? Do I want to keep my entire photo collection on it? Am I going to travel a lot with this? What games will I play?
The number of apps you want to install on your iPad may be your least worry. While apps can take up most of your PC’s storage space, most iPad apps are relatively small. For example, the Netflix app is only 75 megabytes, which means you can store 400 copies of the app on that 32 GB iPad.
But Netflix is one of the smallest apps, and as the iPad gets more capable, the apps get bigger. Performance apps and modern games tend to take up more space. For example, Microsoft Excel will take up about 440MB of space without any actual spreadsheets stored on the iPad. And if you need Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, you’ll use 1.5 GB of disk space before creating your first document. Games can also take up a lot of space. Even Angry Birds 2 takes up almost half a gigabyte of space, although most casual games take up much less.
That’s why anticipating how you’ll use your iPad is essential in determining the suitable storage space model. And we haven’t even talked about the photos, music, movies, and books you might want to keep on the device.
1. Local or Cloud Storage
iCloud allows you to store unlimited iTunes content for free. Including iBooks, music, movies, TV shows, and apps. You also get 5GB of additional storage for backups, data, and iCloud Photo Library and iCloud Music Library services to store your photos, videos, and music. You can purchase extra iCloud storage.
iCloud integrates with iOS and OS X, keeping content in one place without searching for it. With intelligent content management, iCloud gives you quick access to new and old storage content: click a button and download whatever you need.
If you prefer a different solution, take advantage of native support for Dropbox, One Drive, Google Drive, and other storage services.
But the cloud cannot use instead of internal storage – you cannot shoot video and save it immediately to the cloud – but you can store anything in it.
- If you often use cloud services, 32 GB will be enough for you.
- If not, then it is better to choose 128 GB or 256 GB.
2. Photo and Video Content
Gone are the days when the camera and phone were just two separate devices. iPad features a 12-megapixel camera capable of capturing incredibly detailed photos and videos. However, the increase in detail means the size of the shots, they are now much larger than before, and that’s not even counting Live Photos (a gif-like kind of video taken from high-resolution photos), which can be twice the size of standard photos.
A similar story happened with video: it can shoot 4K videos, which take up much more space than standard 1080p videos. A one-minute 1080p video at 30 fps will take up about 130 MB, while a 4K video at the same 30 fps and the same duration will more than double its size, reaching 350 MB.
Of course, cloud storage can make it easier to store an impressive photo or video library, but this is not ideal, especially if you are passionate about photography and constantly run into a lack of free space right during the shooting.
Do you intend to take many photos or shoot long videos on your iPad? If you take random shots from time to time, 32GB of storage might be enough. But for more than fun selfies, we’d recommend getting a 128GB iPad, or even 256GB if you can, especially if you’re more video-oriented.
3. Media Content
Now let’s talk about the usual ways of viewing.
iTunes offers a wide variety of TV shows, movies, and music. Usually, a standard definition movie from iTunes is about 1-3 GB; a high definition movie can easily reach 6 GB. TV shows are smaller, but the entire release cycle can be much longer depending on the number of episodes available. Of course, music files are tiny compared to this, but a whole music library stored on the gadget can easily fill up the whole memory.
The same is true for apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, other online movie theaters, and Spotify and Apple Music.
While the files themselves can quite “heavy,” those with fast Internet access get the opportunity to view online directly from the “cloud” instead of taking up the memory of a phone or tablet. The benefit is that a fair amount of memory is freed up for applications or other files, although there is a catch.
Namely, you will not have access to your media content without a working Internet; online viewing can eat up a fair amount of Internet traffic if there is no way to connect via Wi-Fi. This will not please the owners of tariffs with a limited amount of traffic, and it can also be very frustrating if, at some point, you do not have a perfect connection.
Are you accustomed to watching TV shows and movies online? If you’re more comfortable doing that rather than downloading and storing it for offline use, 32 GB might be enough for you. Fans of extensive media libraries should take a closer look at models of 128 or even 256 GB, depending on the size of the collection.
4. Applications and Games
Thanks to new technologies such as App Thinning – optimizing and compiling an application depending on the version of the system – Apple and developers create applications and games that take up little space on the device. This means you won’t have to download unnecessary megabytes to your iPad.
However, not all developers use App Thinning technology, and this feature does not apply to all applications. Therefore, if you download tons of games or applications with high-quality graphics, you will need a lot of internal memory.
- If you do not like to clog devices with different programs, 32 GB will be enough for you.
- Get 128 GB or even 256 GB if you use any additional programs.
Do you prefer to be constantly updated on social networks or play on the go? If you want to install a wide range of applications on your iPad, you will need 128 or 256 GB. However, if you only check Facebook occasionally and only play Candy Crush, 32 GB of memory may be enough for you.
How to Expand the Storage on Your iPad
iCloud on Various Apple Devices
The iPad may not let you plug in a flash drive or microSD card to expand your storage, but there are ways to increase the amount of storage available to your iPad. The easiest way to increase your storage capacity is to use the cloud. You can’t store applications in the cloud, but you can store music, movies, photos, and other documents.
External hard drives with an iPad app help expand your storage. These solutions work over Wi-Fi. Like cloud solutions, you can’t use an external drive to store apps, and it might not be a practical way to keep things away from home, but you can use these drives to store music, movies, and other multimedia files that can take up a lot of space.
Use Cases for 32 GB Models
The 32 GB model is perfect for most of us. It can hold most of your music, a large collection of photos, and many applications and games. This model is good if you’re not going to load it with hardcore games, load your entire photo collection, or store many movies.
And the 32GB model doesn’t mean you have to miss out on performance. You have enough space for the entire Microsoft Office suite and enough space to store your documents. Cloud storage is also easy to use alongside Office and other productivity apps, so you don’t have to store everything locally.
Photos and home videos can also take up space. iCloud Photo Library lets you store most of your photos in space, but if you want to use your iPad to edit the home videos you shoot on an iPad, you’re likely to find higher-capacity iPads in the market.
Use Cases for Large Models
The 128GB model is only $100 more than the base price for an iPad, and when you consider that it’s four times the available storage space, it’s a pretty good deal. It’s a great model if you want to download your entire photo collection, download music, don’t worry about deleting old games to make room for new ones, and especially keep videos on your iPad. We may not always have a Wi-Fi connection, and unless you pay for an unlimited data plan, streaming movies over 4G will quickly use up your allotted space. But with 128GB, you can store multiple movies and still have most of your storage space dedicated to other uses.
Gamers may also want to go with a model with more memory. The iPad has come a long way since the original iPad and iPad 2, and it’s fast becoming capable of console-quality graphics. While a 1GB app was rare a few years ago, it’s becoming more common among the more hardcore games on the App Store. Many games even hit the 2GB mark. If you’re planning on playing some of the best games available, you can burn through 32GB faster than you think.
Consider Buying an iPad Storage
Who Should Buy an iPad with 32GB of Storage?
If you’re a quick cloud user, watching movies and streaming music, aren’t interested in installing an insane amount of apps, and don’t need hundreds of photos of every plate of food that appears in front of you, you’ll be likely to be able to get by with the bare minimum memory of 32 GB.
Who Should Buy an iPad with 128GB of Storage?
128 GB will probably be the golden mean for most users. That gives you plenty of room to store music, TV shows, and movies for offline entertainment—and still has room for a bunch of apps and a large photo library. Problems with lack of space should not arise, although they are not completely excluded. It all depends on the size of the media library that you constantly need with you.
Who should Buy an iPad with 256 GB of Storage?
With a maximum storage capacity of 256 GB, you can download or shoot whatever you want, whenever you want, with virtually no fear of running out of space on your iPad. Install hundreds of apps, and you’ll have enough storage to download the latest season of Game of Thrones. The limit, of course, exists here too, but it will be challenging to reach it!