Unless you just dropped in from another planet, you probably know about Apple’s announcements yesterday of the release of iOS 5 and iPhone 4S on the 12th and 14th, respectively. You’ve got a week before the update – so know’s the perfect time to clean house and get rid of some dead weight on you iOS device before upgrading. As there will be new features and functions, there’s probably going to be a bigger storage footprint used by the OS, and you might want to make some extra room for it.Or maybe you’ll be upgrading to a spiffy new iPhone 4S and need the extra space for the larger photos and higher-def videos you’ll be capturing.
You’ve probably got some apps that you used once or twice and never used again. I try to move those apps to the last page of my device, then I look it over every month or so. Anything I haven’t used in a while, and I’m not likely to use, I delete from the device. Fortunately, the app will still be on your computer, and can be re-synced later. The next sync you do, iTunes will be smart enough to see you removed the app and uncheck the box on the Apps page so it won’t automatically download again. If you change your mind, just check the box again and you’ll get it back.
What you won’t get back are any documents or settings that were in that app – so be sure before you whack it. For example, the baseball scoring app I use stores all the stats in the app. Whack the app and reinstall, and the stats are gone. Note that if you erase the entire device and do a restore from a backup, you will get all that data back. In the case of iScore, the baseball app, they also allow you to export the data to their servers and re-import it later. So before you trash an app that stores data, take a look and see if there’s some way to back that data up, just in case you change your mind. Unlike your Mac, it’s not as easy to recover just part of the system.
You’ll also be able to re-download the app from the app store, so even if you remove it from your computer, you can get it back. So even if you switch to doing your backups with iCloud instead of iTunes, you’re covered.