Despite lawsuit, Apple's iOS 8 storage is actually far more efficient than Google's Android, Samsung

Posted:
in iPhone edited May 2015
There's something about Apple that makes people lose their minds, particularly people who are journalists. The most likely explanation is that putting "Apple" in a headline is currently the most irresistible clickbait known to mankind. That, and there's no time for fact checking or any sort of basic research in today's BuzzFeed world of made up garbage.

iOS Storage


The latest insanity to explode from every media source is the "news" of a class action lawsuit alleging that Apple defrauded iOS users by releasing free software that--gasp--consumes available storage space.

Plaintiffs Paul Orshan and Christopher Endara insisted in their suit that "reasonable consumers" would not expect more sophisticated software to take up more room. Specifically, they charge that 16GB iPods, iPads and iPhones sacrifice "as much as" 23 percent of their listed storage capacity on system software.

Of all of the news outlets covering the story, few seemed prepared to do any journalistic digging to see if the claims would hold up to a basic sanity test. That includes ABC News, the BBC, the Latin Post, Time, The Independent UK, the International Business Times, the LA Times, CBS News and ZDNet (and that's just the first page of Google's 8.3 million search results).

Particularly bizarre is the fact that within the last year, a widely published report on mobile device capacity found that Apple's iOS devices are leaders among comparable devices in using their storage capacity very efficiently Apple's iOS devices are leaders among comparable devices in using their storage capacity very efficiently.

Which? noted that Apple's 16GB iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s, for example, still left between 12.6GB and 12.2GB available to the user running iOS 7. That's less than Apple's latest 16GB iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models loaded with iOS 8, which the lawsuit condemns as leaving "just" 12.7 to 13GB free.

Rather than suffering a deceptive shock of missing storage, Apple has increased the free space available to users under iOS 8. This is not secret data. Why couldn't the combined efforts of the world's journalists stumble onto such facts?

Further, among Android phones, only Google's anti-bloatware Nexus 5 left more than 12GB free. Sony's Xperia Z1, HTC's One Mini and LG's G2 flagship had between 10.3GB and 11.4GB free, while the most popular Android flagship of the year, Samsung's Galaxy S4, left just 8.56GB free to the user.

That's right: the Galaxy S4 that Samsung advertised as having "16GB" actually left users with just slightly more available space than Apple's low end 8GB iPhone.

Additionally, the lawsuit in question is insisting that it is unusual and unreasonable that 16GB iOS 8 devices "only" have between 12.3GB and 13.1GB available to the user, even though that's 2 to 3GB more than most Android flagships, and around 4GB more than the most popular Samsung phone in the lineup. Blackberry's Z30 similarly left just 11.2GB free to the user.

iOS free storage vs Android, Blackberry

How Android lost its SD Card storage

Now Android fans are probably already thinking, "well with an Android device, I can add an SD Card for more storage!" In fact, that's what Samsung itself recommended Galaxy S4 users do in early 2013 to make up for the fact that Android and bundled apps were wasting nearly half the available advertised storage.

However, SD Cards don't work like built-in storage; they're more like a floppy drive. They offer no security because they use Microsoft's FAT file system, which does not support file or user permissions, enabling any rogue app to read and steal personal data and making it far more difficult for end users or enterprises to secure their devices.

SD Card's lack of file and user account security--along with the related problems of potentially removable storage in a mobile device (there are many)--prompted Apple to never rely upon SD Cards for memory expansion on its iPods and iOS devices, even though it did make it possible to use external SD Cards with iPods, Macs and iOS devices via USB.

Google initially supported internal SD Card slots to help make Android devices cheaper, but the security and usability issues finally prompted Google to remove SD Card support in its 2013 release of Android 4.4 KitKat.

After installing KitKat, Android users found that their SD Cards no longer work, or can only be used in very specific ways, not as general purpose storage for things like apps and the user's photo library. Users who bought a Galaxy S4 and took Samsung's advice to make up for lost storage via SD Cards were subsequently left SD-out of luck.

Remember, this isn't about Google issuing an update that retroactively erased a primary marketing bullet point of Android; this is a lawsuit claiming that Apple was defrauding customers by giving them significantly more free storage compared to Samsung. Not one of the reports linked above even mentioned that fact.

Microsoft is the king of wasted space

Twenty years ago, Microsoft established a reputation for wasting space on PCs with its disk-hogging Windows software and OEM policies that encouraged unbridled third party bloatware. Apple made light of that fact in its "Get a Mac" ads, which poked at the space lost by Windows bloatware and the antivirus software required to prevent PCs from self destructing.



When Apple took computing mobile with iOS starting in 2007, it made a series of engineering design choices that further limited the amount of space that system apps and the OS itself consumed (in addition to developing device storage policies that got it right from the start, rather than offering a cheaply tantalizing solution and then killing it for being poorly thought out).

Google's sloppy Android OS turned back the technology clock on mobile devices, reintroducing many of the mistakes Microsoft had made in the 1990s. That's why Android is a unmitigated security disaster and why Android devices waste so much storage, even if nobody is actually suing any of those who profited from those bad decisions.

However, it's not just Google that had attempted to keep the world's users stuck in the storage bloated, insecure world of poorly thought out PC engineering. Microsoft's response to the iPad, launched in 2012 under the Surface brand, similarly shoehorned bloated 1990s PC ideas into an iPad-like form factor.

Surface


The result: Windows and bundled software consumed as much as 64 percent of available storage on the device, leaving just 36 percent for the user. A Surface Pro with 64GB of advertised storage only leaves users with 23GB of storage.

That wasn't an accidental oversight, as Microsoft warned users on its website that "System software uses significant storage space. Available storage is subject to change based on system software updates and apps usage."

Again, while the suit in question says Apple's 16GB iPad takes up an unreasonable amount of its storage with 78.7 percent of its storage free, Microsoft's "64GB" Surface Pro left only 36 percent free, or less than twice as much space as the entry level 16GB iPad, despite being advertised as having 4 times as much storage.That's worse than Android and Samsung. Bravo, Microsoft.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 137
    r1skor1sko Posts: 30member
    Can someone please sue every automaker for selling 5-passenger cars that can only fit 4 passengers. The 1st person is a driver....
  • Reply 2 of 137
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    There's something about Apple that makes people lose their minds, particularly people who are journalists.

    Both pro, and con.
  • Reply 3 of 137
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by r1sko View Post



    Can someone please sue every automaker for selling 5-passenger cars that can only fit 4 passengers. The 1st person is a driver....

     

    I like that analogy very much.

  • Reply 4 of 137
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 676member
    With so much stupid in the world, I'm not surprised group mentality gravitates toward 'Doom!' so easily and repetitiously.
    Perhaps this court case will result in all devices coming with two storage spaces, maybe like a hybrid drive (thank-you, Apple!)?
  • Reply 5 of 137
    I think they have a point. Although I completely understand that the operating system does take up space and you never have the full 32gb for example, not everybody does. I'm sure the operating systems keep getting bigger in space, as well. I wanted to free up some storage and used detoxmymac.org which worked well and was free. I really can't see this going far in court though... just an additional piece of information to add in the fine print going forward.
  • Reply 6 of 137

    I think they have a point. Although I completely understand that the operating system does take up space and you never have the full 32gb for example, not everybody does. I'm sure the operating systems keep getting bigger in space, as well. I wanted to free up some storage and used detoxmymac(dot)org which worked well and was free. I really can't see this going far in court though... just an additional piece of information to add in the fine print going forward.

  • Reply 7 of 137
    I worked in retail for many of years. I had a theory that anyone walking into the store would be automatically deemed an idiot, until evidence of intelligent life is found.

    This "fiasco" falls in the same realm. If people can honestly believe they will get 100% of anything is ridiculous. With computers this has been an issues for as long as I can remember. Your phone is a computer, there is no difference. The OS takes up space. your the idiot that bought a 16gb, don't blame the company. wether it be APPLE, GOOGLE, MS or anyone else.

    it's for these reason I buy the highest end model. cause I know shit takes up space, and I like to save my pix. hell I even have the 20gb iCloud Drive, 5gb Google Drive, iTunes Match, and my own 4TB home based Cloud storage.
  • Reply 8 of 137
    With all the stupid in the people who look at Apple and ignore the rest this is just one of them, looking at it there could be a revolution of separated drives for OS by first suing Apole then every other software company in the world or it will be ignored, of course ignored.

    Edit:this is by no means a new problem and never secret with some kind of a "actual storage is smaller due to software" label.
  • Reply 9 of 137
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,622member

    Really Mr. Dilger, we don’t need your editorial about this matter. It’s stupid enough as it is. Trying to spin it pro-Apple isn’t necessary. People of reasonable intelligence are already amused by the ignorance of the lawsuit. 

  • Reply 10 of 137
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,349member
    Ironically, he covered this in the first sentence: "There's something about Apple that makes people lose their minds, particularly people who are journalists." [sic]

     

    Dilger is chasing after the Almighty Pageview. He lives for this.

     

    True journalism died in the Nineties. R.I.P.

  • Reply 11 of 137
    tommcintommcin Posts: 108member

    Hopefully the judge will find in Apple's favour and require the classless Class Action lawyers and their simple minded clients liable for Apple's legal costs.  Every dollar that Apple has to spend on these meaningless lawsuits is one dollar less that can be spend of research or dividends.

  • Reply 12 of 137
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    r1sko wrote: »
    Can someone please sue every automaker for selling 5-passenger cars that can only fit 4 passengers. The 1st person is a driver....

    A dead An unconscious body is still technically a passenger and that's packed into the trunk. :p
  • Reply 13 of 137
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,349member

    No, it is not, which is why you can't drive in the carpool lane with a corpse, skeleton, ashes from the crematorium, whatever. Also, pets aren't passengers to the DMV. Your Golden Retriever or parakeet will not allow you to drive in the carpool lane either.

     

    A dead body is an object. It won't show up on the passenger manifest on a commercial airline flight, it's cargo.

     

    Nice try though.

  • Reply 14 of 137
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    Your phone is a computer, there is no difference. The OS takes up space. your the idiot that bought a 16gb, don't blame the company. wether it be APPLE, GOOGLE, MS or anyone else.

    it's for these reason I buy the highest end model. cause I know shit takes up space, and I like to save my pix. hell I even have the 20gb iCloud Drive, 5gb Google Drive, iTunes Match, and my own 4TB home based Cloud storage.

    No argument here, but it would be nice if Apple would also advertise how much free space there is on their devices. By also, I mean listing them as 16GB, 128GB, 512TB, etc., but then also listing how much free space (rounded to the 10th of a GB?) is available on their devices. Customers obviously understand that the operating system takes up space, but most don't live in that world so they never consider it. This benefits Apple because it brings awareness to the customer — which I like — which would also bring awareness to how far behind their competitors are. If Apple did this I bet we would immediately see articles from major newspapers informing you of just how much space you have on your new device.

    Of course, there is a downside here. iOS updates could affect that value, and since SW can be updated it would be easy for a company like Samsung to ship only a very basic TouchWiz which could then install all the other components after the fact when on WiFi.

    lkrupp wrote: »
    Really Mr. Dilger, we don’t need your editorial about this matter. It’s stupid enough as it is. Trying to spin it pro-Apple isn’t necessary. People of reasonable intelligence are already amused by the ignorance of the lawsuit. 

    If there is going to be a lawsuit against a company for something that isn't only ridiculous, but one where they are the best of the bunch, then I say shine a light on their ignorance.
  • Reply 15 of 137
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,634member
    r1sko wrote: »
    Can someone please sue every automaker for selling 5-passenger cars that can only fit 4 passengers. The 1st person is a driver....

    NFL and NBA players should sue. Try fitting 5 NBA players or 5 linemen in a Honda Accord.
  • Reply 16 of 137
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,634member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    No argument here, but it would be nice if Apple would also advertise how much free space there is on their devices when they first opened. By also, I mean listing them as 16GB, 128GB, 512TB, etc., but then also listing how much free space (rounded to the 10th of a GB?) is available on their devices. Customers obviously understand that the operating system takes up space, but most don't live in that world so they never consider it. This benefits Apple because it brings awareness to the customer — which I like — which would also bring awareness to how far behind their competitors are. If Apple did this I bet we would immediately see articles from major newspapers informing you of just how much space you have on your new device.

    There's no benefit to Apple. Unfortunately the average customers just sees numbers with no/little context. It's sad.
  • Reply 17 of 137
    solipsismysolipsismy Posts: 5,099member
    jungmark wrote: »
    There's no benefit to Apple. Unfortunately the average customers just sees numbers with no/little context. It's sad.

    I disagree. I think it would make their competitors look even worse in comparison.
  • Reply 18 of 137
    alfiejralfiejr Posts: 1,524member
    lkrupp wrote: »
    Really Mr. Dilger, we don’t need your editorial about this matter. It’s stupid enough as it is. Trying to spin it pro-Apple isn’t necessary. People of reasonable intelligence are already amused by the ignorance of the lawsuit. 

    geeze, what a grump! did someone put a gun to your head and make you read it? how about let him have his Editorial fun - some other folks enjoy it too - while you just go someplace else ...
  • Reply 19 of 137
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    I disagree. I think it would make their competitors look even worse in comparison.
    Exactly. It may be far fetched but I'd like to think this lawsuit is a shrewd undercover marketing ploy from Apple. A suit like this will indeed shine a favourable light on Apple eventually in which case Apple stands to benefit. As such this ridiculously stupid lawsuit may one day be heralded as marketing genius. :)
  • Reply 20 of 137
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,976member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     

    Really Mr. Dilger, we don’t need your editorial about this matter. It’s stupid enough as it is. Trying to spin it pro-Apple isn’t necessary. People of reasonable intelligence are already amused by the ignorance of the lawsuit. 


    Actually, we do need his editorials because Daniel's editorials make it to many other websites and have the accurate technical documentation the majority of other websites don't. He didn't try and spin it pro-Apple he simply stated the facts, something the idiots suing Apple can't comprehend. Hopefully, the judge will read his editorial and do some digging then throw the lawsuit out the window while also charging the plaintiffs and their lawyers a tidy sum for wasting the courts time. Yes, the lawsuit is stupid but since everything on the internet is true, people will believe what they read until they read something that disproves the original lie. Daniel has to continually educate people who can't educate themselves. Your comment about people having reasonable intelligence is disproved a hundred times over every day when grade school journalists pump out a constant supply of obvious fiction every day and few people challenge them. Everybody knows anything from Fox News is a lie but they usually trust ABC, Time, ZDNet, and other supposedly honorable institutions. As for the BBC, well, others have equated them to Fox News but I'll leave that comparison to the British.

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