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Apple fixes issue that kept iPhone apps from taking up less space

Developers can now take advantage of iOS 9's app-thinning feature, which cuts down on the initial size of applications on your iPhone and iPad to maximize storage space. Apple initially delayed the option upon the rollout of iOS 9, blaming a bug with iCloud backups for the unexpected pause. But now the company is letting developers know that the issue is fixed, and device-specific "thinned" apps will now be made available to consumers using iOS 9.0.2 or above.

App thinning (or "app slicing") is particularly useful for owners of 16GB iOS products, a capacity that's nowadays far too small for many people. With apps taking up a smaller footprint, those same iPhone and iPad users may begin recovering precious storage — but only if the apps they download take advantage of thinning.

When pressed by Daring Fireball's John Gruber on the subject earlier this year, Apple SVP Phil Schiller tried to argue that cloud services have lessened the need for copious amounts of built-in flash storage. "The belief is more and more as we use iCloud services for documents and our photos and videos and music, that perhaps the most price-conscious customers are able to live in an environment where they don't need gobs of local storage because these services are lightening the load." Some (but not all) leading Android manufacturers have established 32GB as their baseline for storage.