It can be frustrating when your beloved iDevice cries that it is full, but what can you do? I check out a new Mac tool called PhoneExpander that claims to easily free up some space.
PhoneExpander is a new tool – still currently in beta – aimed at freeing up space on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. That annoying Other section you see in iTunes that seems to suck precious space is full of messages, app data, cache files, and leftover files -and it is virtually impossible to clean out normally.
Wiping your device and restoring it is one way of regaining some of this space, but it can be a lengthy and painful task.
PhoneExpander takes this task and makes it very easy. Simply connect your iDevice to your Mac, and then run PhoneExpander. It requires using your Mac, because it then allows you access to the hidden files normally not accessible to the general user.
From what I can see, this is a Mac only application.
I gave it go. I connected my iPhone 5, is a 64 GB version running iOS 8. PhoneExpander reported my phone was 50% full.
Clear Temporary Files
The first thing I did was Clear Temporary Files. It scanned my device and showed which apps were holding how much space. In total, my iPhone had 372 MB temporary files – and clearing it took a few minutes.
I then selected the Remove Apps option. I didn’t actually remove anything, but it was great to see in size order which apps were taking up space on my device – I think you will be surprised by the size of some of them. You can then remove apps of choice.
Backup & Remove Old Videos
The final option is Clear Photos. This shows how much space is taken up by photos and videos, and it allows you to back them up to your Mac before clearing them from your device.
A future option is to clear music you haven’t listened too. This would be a great feature for me, as I tend to put a lot of music on and then not listen to most of it. This will be available in future betas or the final release.
When I was finished I only managed to clear 1% from my 64 GB iPhone 5, which is about 600 MB. This might not seem a large amount, however Alan Zisman, a fellow Mac user and Low End Mac writer who pointed me towards PhoneExpander, managed to clear 23% from his 32 GB iPad, which is around 7 GB. That is very impressive.
The beta is currently being offered for free. However, the final version will have a cost, but no clear price has been given.
A tool that seems too good to be true, PhoneExpander actually works. I have run the apps that I cleared temporary files from, and they all work without issues. I know constant use will build up the cache and temporary files again, but they can be cleared again when needed.
I will definitely be keeping an eye on this wonderful tool for future versions.
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