2x08: Pique Oil


Hi @Pesasa

most people have some $200–$300 Samsung/HTC/Huawei/Whatever Android-phones and the big problem is that they always run out of storage space. And Google does not help this problem by bloating their own software.

My wife has a 100€ phone, and yes, she might run out of storage space…one has to check from time to time and make sure that whatever can be stored on the SD card is stored on the SD card…but imho it’s quite manageble…and larger SD cards are relatively cheap. So from my personal experience, it does not take a 1k$ phone to be able to install alternative apps.

People are lazy. If they are not offered choices, they don’t choose. Even, if they are given choices, but one is preselected, they refuse to think and change.

I certainly aggree that we are lazy, but I’m wondering what google (which as a side note ofc also consists of people) should concretely do to address the issue. For a given set of features, writing small-sized software is harder than writing bloated software…so what could their incentives be to spend resources into this?


Definitely not the rarest name in the world :slight_smile: I am the Kevin Williams who won. I will be sure to post my thoughts in the forum after I use it for a couple weeks!

Thanks to Jono, Stuart, Jeremy, and Dell for putting on the contest.

Very excited and in need of a new machine!


I don’t buy it.

As an example, a Samsung Galaxy Prime phone is $80 and includes 8GB of space. Given that the average size of an Android app is 6MB (and presuming the OS takes up around 1GB, which is generous), this provides room for 1195 applications.

Storage is not a problem for most people, and most people who use phones are casual users anyway who likely install fewer than 20 apps. So, this is a nonsense argument.

How does this make me an elitist?

This is the definition:

When have I ever suggested that the only people who should lead a society are elites? Or, when have I suggested that the only people who can have phones are people with $1k or that people have to use Pixels?

Either you don’t understand what “elite” means, or you are an asshole. I suspect it is the latter.


An average Android app. But typically Google’s (and Facebook’s) apps are those largest ones that really take much more space than many others. And in most cases The Google’s apps are those that can neither removed nor moved to sdcard. Those can only be downgraded to older versions. And the fact is that all new versions of those take more space and previous and the available space gets smaller. In Samsung phones it often gets even worse, since those often have both Google’s and Samsung’s apps pre-installed for many similar uses. (gallery, email, etc.)

Well, I see the storage maybe as the biggest problem, but people can have different opinions.

Ok. This could be (and most likely is) due to some language barrier in my part and I’m truly sorry. (English isn’t my native language and some “tones” are obviously wrong.) What I really ment, was that in this particular topic your view might be of one that has been used to hardware that is way much better than average devices are. I didn’t mean anything more than that. Sorry! No hard feelings?


Absolutely! No hard feelings. :slight_smile:


It really isn’t.

I have had to teach both my parents about putting in an SD card and moving apps to it, on each of their phones. It is infuriating how little space remains on a low-end phone as sold to the customer. Now, this might finally be being fixed with the latest round of phone models; my mum’s new phone doesn’t have the problem (it’s one of the small Samsung Aces, I think, and has either 8GB or 16GB (!) of storage), but I’m not sure whether that’s because all new phones are finally like this, or whether that one is because I specifically told her to check that particular aspect when she bought a new phone.


As a single anecdotal data point: I’ve certainly seen multiple people in the fairly recent past that ran out of storage on devices I’d consider current. Many apps now aggressively cache data and even casual camera usage adds up quickly. I’d almost consider 32G as a bare minimum these days.



I don’t know the source of those numbers, but they seem low. Looking at a fairly random sampling of apps on my phone, Trello is at the low end at 25M while my two running apps (Strava and Endomondo) are taking up 58M and 46M. Granted those numbers include cache and data, but it seems disingenuous to exclude them as that’s just how the apps work with normal usage. As for the OS, my “System” usage is 4.6G and just Play Services is an additional 800M.



Depends on what you want the storage for. For example I don’t use many Apps but I travel a lot and need to take my music with me. It’s stored on a 32GB SD card and I’m not sure it’s big enough – I have a large and varied music collection.


Internal storage drives me nuts.

My 8GB Moto E 2 was around £80 as well, so this gives us a reasonable actual real low-ish end phone to get numbers from. The phone reports that the OS (Marshmallow, patched to December 2016) occupies 3GB. I’ve no idea whether that is true or not, but that’s the space allocated to it. That leaves 5GB. Currently it is reporting 4.15GB in use, or 83% full. I’ve also got a 16GB SD card in the non-portable mode, whatever it is called.

Looking at the internal storage, it reports 1.95GB being used by apps and 454MB for cached data. There are no other categories. Where is the other 1.75GB? No idea, but something seems to be using it because I do get the “not enough space to update an app” message occasionally. Part of it will be down to app updates for the provided google/motorola apps that can’t be removed - seems like a huge amount to be missing though. Of the 1.95GB that is being used by apps, 1.54GB is related to apps that I’m cannot uninstall or move to external storage (admittedly including lots of things I want like “chrome”, “phone” alongside the stuff I don’t want like play news… :slight_smile: )

The external storage has 630MB of apps plus images, video, audio, other and 130MB cached data. The majority of the apps can’t go on the external storage, I’ve already done as much as I can.

If I installed all of the 38 apps (at an average of 6MB each - that would be 228MB…) that I’ve installed in the internal storage, I’d have used 4.15+0.63+0.13 = 4.91GB and have 90MB spare.

38 may be nearly twice the 20 app bar you set, but the ones that put me into the geek category like google authenticator, andftp, juicessh and remotemouse are all tiny. The apps that the less geeky people are installing are likely to be facebook, instagram, whatsapp and they take up loads of space, so I don’t think I’m that far off from a “normal” user in that regard.

So I put it to the jury that Mr. Bacon is full of bovine do-do.

By the by, mean average isn’t a very useful measure when there are lots of outliers. I’m sure the size distribution of apps will be very skewed towards small apps.

All the best,



and a “Garadget” IoT garage door device was deliberately remotely bricked by the company after a customer left a bad Amazon review1, with worrying implications for the future of dissent…

it just occured to me that by first critizising the user’s “poor impulse control” and then remote-bricking his device, the Garadget guy maybe just could not resist the urge to crack an indeed very nice practical joke.


I sold phones for a living for years, and the bane of my existence wasn’t people complaining about how much room Google apps take, or how much space literally any app took, but rather people who spent a hundred bucks on a phone, then came back because it wasn’t as nice as their (friend, spouse, child, neighbor)'s phone that cost significantly more.

This is bordering on elitism, and I’m cognizant of that, but cheap phones are not made for power users, and wanting to install anything more than Facebook and Instagram may as well qualify as power use. Cheap phones are made to tick boxes, not to be a great device. If you need something better, be prepared to spend a little more. If that’s all you can afford for now, that’s one thing, and I’ll admit it kinda sucks, but there’s a point where it’s akin to complaining your Yugo can’t haul your house.


Jono, you’re using a four and a half year old article as your supporting argument. The number is closer to 15MiB these days, and it’s more likely to be in the 60s or 70s as you go up towards the top downloaded apps, probably higher in some cases. Your 1,195 applications quickly turn into four or five games. If you’re lucky.

Also note that your storage calculations regarding what’s left for a user on an 8 GiB or 16 GiB phone are way off. Photos, music, Spotify caches, all that aside, people have been complaining for years that their storage can get chopped in half the moment they first turn the phone on.

Storage IS a HUGE problem for a lot of people, so much so that vendors have built advertising campaigns around the issue.

You may not be an elitist, but you’re somewhat naive about real-world smartphone issues.


Further data point. I have just run out of space on my phone. Me. Not on some crappy third-world Android 1 device. On my OnePlus X. 11.05GB used of 11.53GB total.

I can obviously fix it – I’ve got an SD card in there and I’ll move some things to it, and I can delete a bunch of apps that I haven’t used in months – but the point remains. Running out of phone space is not a rare or unusual thing.


Here’s something interesting that I thought was a nice follow-up to this discussion: apparently, iOS apps have, on average, increased in size by over 1000% in the last three years. I’d be surprised if Android apps weren’t similarly afflicted.

The days of phones with less than 32GiB storage are numbered.

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