If you’ve found your iPhone running out of space recently, it could be due to some of your apps taking up more and more storage space update-by-update over the past few years.
Apps like Facebook, Uber, Gmail, and Snapchat have ballooned in size in the past four years, a new analysis from Sensor Tower, an app data and analytics firm, found.
Here’s one example: Facebook’s core app, which you probably have on your phone, only took up 32 megabytes of space in May 2013. Now the Facebook app for iPhones takes up 388MB — 12 times as much as it did only a few years ago. Snapchat is a 203MB app now but it was only 4MB in 2013, which works out to a 4,975% increase in app size (no, that’s not a typo).
This trend holds across all 10 top US iOS apps, Sensor Tower found in its research. The research firm links the trend to a decision that Apple made in 2015 to raise the maximum app size to 4GB.
Some Apple commenters have noticed how apps — specifically Facebook — have recently been growing, including blogger and podcaster John Gruber. “Imagine how much collective bandwidth and storage Facebook is wasting here,” he wrote in April.
It goes to show you that if you give developers space, their software will expand to take up all the available space, like a gas.
Apple is working on new features in the latest version of iOS that should help users dealing with app bulge.