iDevices, like computers hard drives have a fixed amount of space. The easy answer to the question of “What Do You Do When Your iPad or iPhone Fills Up?” is to simply off load some of your content (photos, videos, etc.) onto your computer. That’s all fine and good if you actually have a computer. However, remember according to Steve Jobs/Apple we’re entering the “Post PC era” and as hard as it may be for some of you to believe, there will be people out there that don’t actually own a computer. Their iPad or iPhone will be the only device they have. This situation actually happened to a friend of mine. In her house her family has iPads and iPhones, but NO COMPUTER! Nope, no Mac, no PC, just iOS devices. Apple has continued to make it easier to not have a computer. In iOS 5 you can now setup an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch without the use of a computer at all. You can “back it up” to your free iCloud account. You can even setup an AirPort Base Station with the Free AirPort Utility for iOS.
But what do you do when you’ve filled your iPhone up with pictures and video that you’ve taken?
My friend used her iPhone’s camera until one day she couldn’t take any new pictures. The device was full. She messaged me asking for advice and any other time the answer would be simple. Plug it into your comp…. Oh yeah, you don’t have a computer. People will be quick to yell “iCloud”, but iCloud in its current form is for backup! Not for storing stuff from the device and then deleting it from the device. The irony is that MobileMe’s iDisk would serve this purpose well, but that’s about to go away at the end of this month. For now I recommend that she setup a Flickr.com account for the pics and a YouTube account for the videos. With each service you could upload your images/videos directly from the iOS device via their respective apps and then delete them from device to make more room. Also with both Flickr and YouTube you can mark stuff as Private/Unlisted so that only you can see it instead of having to share it with the world. With both services if you ever need to share the content you can and it shouldn’t be too hard to download what you’ve uploaded if you ever do get a computer and want to do that.
Another option is to go with a hard drive that hooks up to the iPad/iPhone to transfer things off that way. Although I’ve seen hard drives that hook up to the iPad to have access to what’s on the drive I don’t think that I’ve seen one that actually lets you copy files from the iPad to the drive. Even if you find a hard drive solution that let’s you copy from the iDevice, I don’t really recommend it because like any hard drive it will eventually fail and that’s a phone call I don’t want to get. If you do go the hard drive route you should plan on getting at least TWO of them!
Yes Dropbox.com comes to mind too, and as much as I love Dropbox it’s really not geared at this point for easy offloading of images/videos from iOS and you only get 2GB for free. Ironically they just gave their desktop app the ability to suck images/video from your memory cards directly to Dropbox.
If you’ve got other suggestions for this small, but potentially growing demographic I’d love to hear them in the comments below.