HOW TO: Save Storage Space on Mobile Device

It’s a well known fact that almost everyone carries a gadget with them nowdays. And i am pretty sure that most of you reading this article are reading it either from a smartphone, laptop or something portable. Because of the wide availability of internet everywhere, and popularity of connected media, mobile device manufacturers are trying to reduce the manufacturing costs by trying to make users user the cloud instead of local storage. Most new devices getting released in the market either have limited storage capacity which is generally enough for most people, or have a small amount of internal memory and a large cloud storage space bundled with them.
clouds-300x198I am currently using a HTC One S as my primary smartphone. It is a fantastic device, but the only problem i have with it is the limited storage option. Mine has 16 gigabytes of internal storage, but i quickly filled that up by throwing my music library, a bunch of picture, a bunch of games i like and few other stuff. It came with 25 gigabytes of free cloud storage with Dropbox, but i was not using it at all. Then i started looking for ways to free up storage on my phone. I was pretty bummed at first that i paid almost $550 on a phone that doesn’t even have enough space for my needs, and felt like i should have gotten a phone with expandable storage with SD Card support. But since i had already bought the phone and the phone itself was pretty good, i thought i would just look up some stuff and i came up with a bunch of stuff that freed up a lot of space on my phone without changing much of my smartphone usage habits. And if you are in the same boat as me, here are some things that i did to achieve what i wanted:

Use Cloud Music Services: You might think that this is a really stupid idea, but trust me, using online services to store and play your music is not that bad at all. The first thing i did to free up space is start using Google Music. Google Music is a service that lets you upload your music to Google’s cloud servers and play it back from the cloud using your phone. Since i had a unlimited data plan with T-Mobile, and i am connected to the internet most of the time, i thought why not just use the cloud to play my music. Then i signed up for Google Music, downloaded a tiny little app that is available for pretty much all operating systems, uploaded all my music which took me about 30 minutes, and boom — that was the best descision ever. Now not only my music was available from my phone, laptop, desktop and pretty much everywhere, i saved whopping 7.6 gigabytes of storage, and i didn’t have to worry about syncing my music on the phone.

  1. Google Music would automatically upload any music i put on my music folder, and i didn’t have to worry about plugging in my phone, copying everything over, and going through all that trouble. And it would also act as a backup for my music collection, and i would not have to worry about losing all my songs (that happened to me once, lost almost 1500 songs). I know this could be a little bit difficult if you do not have an unlimited data plan, but don’t worry, Google Music also has a feature where it can store the songs that you listen to most frequently on your phone, so that you can play it even when you do not have active internet connection, or you have poor network signal. There are some other alternatives to Google Music like Mashup, but i like Google Music because if it’s simplicity.
  2. Use Automatic Photo Upload Software: Pictures are probably the second most space consuming things on your mobile device after your music collection. My phone has a 8 mega pixel camera, and if i use the highest resolution and quality to take my pictures, each picture ends up being about 5 megabytes. Multiply that by a couple hundreds of pictures and you should end up with multiple gigabytes of your precious storage space occupied with pictures. I had to figure out a way to free up all this space, and my first thought was to copy all photos to my MacBook and delete them from my phone like everyone else does. But that would prevent me from opening up a picture on my phone if i have to show something to someone real quick. After a little bit of Googling, i found some awesome ways to save photo space.

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  1. The solution was using cloud photo storage services. Dropbox is one of the best cloud storage options available to anyone, and if you have enough tech knowledge to be reading this article, you have heard about it before. Dropbox’s mobile app, available for all major mobile operating systems that includes Android and iOS, has a feature that allows you to automatically upload the picture to Dropbox after its taken. After setting this up, you can periodically delete your photos from your local storage after it has been uploaded to the cloud. And you can also open any image anytime by going to the Dropbox app.SugarSync is another great alternative which i think works as good as Dropbox, and it also offers the same amount of free storage as dropbox (5 GB). There are other alternatives to the apps i mentioned above like Apple iCloud, and i am pretty sure you will find a lot more if you do a quick google search. This helped me save about 3 gigabytes of photos. This also not only helps you save space, it also backs up your pictures to the cloud.
  2. Use Google Docs For Documents: This might sound stupid, and you might be thinking how much space you could save by moving documents that are like 300 kilobytes each to the cloud. But the truth is, you don’t realize how much space you save until you actually start using it. While normal word documents are only few hundred kilobytes in size, other documents like PDF files and Powerpoint Presentations are quite big in size. I was able to save about 700 megabytes after moving all my documents from my phone to the cloud (I put a copy of all the documents i use on my phone so that i can review them on the go). And Google Docs also enables you to edit and modify documents from pretty much anything that is connected to the internet. And honestly, instead of paying hundreds for expensive office software like Microsoft Office, i find using Google Docs much easier, faster and reliable.
  3. Delete Those Old Apps That You No Longer Use: This sounds simple, but will end up saving a lot of space. The easiest way is to go through your each of your apps and games individually and delete anything that you dont use anymore. I deleted Asphalt 7, a game that i had already completed, and it was taking about 1.3 gigabytes of my storage. After deleting a bunch of apps that i was no longer using, i freed up like 2 gigabytes total.

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After doing all of that, i was able to free quite a lot of space, which i could use to install new apps and games. And my music and pictures were safe in the cloud. I hope you guys were able to save some space. Let me know if you have other techniques in the comments.

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