Google Photos Ad Explains Why The Struggle is Real for 16GB iPhone Users [VIDEO]


It’s 2016 and Apple is still selling 16GB storage options for iPhone users. With more and more apps, games, pictures and videos (especially 4K capabilities in the iPhone 6S), 16GB is just not enough anymore.

A new Google Photos ad airing during the Olympics, illustrates the frustrating experiences 16GB iPhone owners face:

The extended 60-second version is below:

The free Google Photos option allows for unlimited image and video storage (photos up to 16MB; videos up to 1080p). There is an option within the Google Photos iOS app to “Free Up Space”, which will delete images and videos from your device that have already backed up to the cloud. I can see many 16GB iPhone users using this feature:

Google photos free up space

Google Photos for iOS was updated last week to support 3D Touch Quick Actions for iPhone 6s users, bringing the free storage shortcut right to the app’s home screen icon.

The 16GB iPhone era could be coming to an end this year though, as the WSJ previously reported next generation models will start with 32GB of storage.

If Google can offer free and unlimited photo storage for everyone–why can’t Apple offer this for its users? iCloud storage limits and paying more for space are limiting factors as to why some people don’t back up their devices over-the-air (iCloud’s automatic backup at night is priceless), but rely on the occasional desktop sync instead.

Click here to download Google Photos for iOS in the App Store.


  • It’s Me

    And the only cost for the “free” service is your personal data.

  • SOB

    Must admit these commercials are pretty funny.

  • Dehop

    This wouldn’t be as big an issue if Apple weren’t didn’t skimp on storage. There’s no valid excuse for still starting iPhone and iPad at 16 GB.

  • It’s Me

    Sure, but there are better solutions than to hand over your personal data to a data mining company. I’ve never bought the lowest option iPhones so hasn’t really been a big issue for me anyway.

  • Brad Fortin

    “This wouldn’t be as big an issue if Apple didn’t skimp on storage.”

    It also wouldn’t be an issue if people bought the amount of storage that best suits their usage, or if people regularly unloaded their old photos from their phone before taking new photos, or if people didn’t ignore the warnings that their device is running low on storage (which can happen with any storage tier, even the 128 GB models).

    “There’s no valid excuse for still starting iPhone and iPad at 16 GB.”

    Yes there is: If Apple notices that most 16 GB users aren’t filling up their storage there’s no reason to needlessly double that storage. That would be a waste of money and natural resources (including the conflict materials needed to make flash memory). But if they notice that the average user of a certain storage size regularly fills it up they’ll double it in the next version, just like they did when they doubled the base storage tier from 4 GB to 8 GB, then from 8 GB to 16 GB, and like they did when they doubled the larger storage tiers from 32 GB and 64 GB to 64 GB and 128 GB, respectively.

  • Dehop

    Yes, because we all know how much storage we’ll need when we buy a device. *Especially* new users who get hooked on things they didn’t know were possible before.

    I’m sure most Mac users don’t do much more than browse the web and work on basic documents. Enjoy the next entry-level Macs, starting at 32 GB, with storage increasing to 128 and 512 GB in $200 increments.

    (At least with Macs, you can easily add external storage accessible by any app.)

  • Brad Fortin

    “Yes, because we all know how much storage we’ll need when we buy a device. *Especially* new users who get hooked on things they didn’t know were possible before.”

    By that logic, if someone bought a sedan and later decided they wanted to tow a large trailer it would be the sedan maker’s fault the engine isn’t powerful enough and chassis not strong enough to tow the trailer, or if a couple with no children bought a small 1-bedroom house and later decided to expand to a family of 6 it would be the builder’s fault or the realtor’s fault that the couple bought such a small house.

    Foresight, it’s not for everyone.

  • Dehop

    The sedan maker isn’t making ads about any activities that will lead to the owner wanting to pull a trailer. Nor is there anything that comes in a 1-bedroom home that would make a couple suddenly want to expand their family size by 4 kids.

    Apple, on the other hand, made a minute-long commercial about the iPhone’s ability to shoot 4K video.