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Fortunately, BAC Solutions provides a free app showing how much storage space is left on Apple TV. Simply open the App Store and install “TV Storage Info”. The app is small, simple and provides the desired information.
Once you’ve installed the app, simply open it and you’ll see how much storage space is used and free. Keep in mind that this app shows how much “disk” space is used. (It’s really a solid state drive, with no spinning disk, but I digress.) If your Apple TV is almost full, you can still install more apps. tvOS will simply free up space by removing additional assets from apps. I would hope this is done based on app usage. For example, if there is a game with 1.5 GB of additional resources that is rarely used, this data should be deleted. But with the Apple TV team, you never know. After all, they forgot to provide storage usage information in the first place.
This app also provides some insight into the overall size of tvOS. I have a 64GB Apple TV, but it only has 59.6 GB of total storage. This means that 4.4 GB is used by tvOS with perhaps some room for virtual memory (swap space) and buffering video content. This means that if you have a 64GB Apple TV, you can only install about 60GB worth of apps. I was actually surprised that I’m using 38.2 GB of space, but I have installed a lot of games.
Make sure to give this app an excellent rating. I gave it 5 stars, because the developer should be rewarded for providing this information at no cost. The app has actually received a few 1 star ratings. My guess is that competitors selling the $20 system information apps aren’t too happy with this app. Sure, this isn’t the most amazing app, but it provides essential information at no cost.
Apple Needs to Provide Storage Usage Information for Apple TV
Although Apple TV storage usage is a bit more complicated than with iOS, there’s simply no excuse for not providing this information. After all, they’re selling this in 32GB and 64GB versions. With previous Apple TVs, storage space could be more abstract. There was no App Store. Instead, Apple released “channels” in conjunction with content providers.
tvOS should have a visual graph of storage usage on the Manage Storage screen. This graph could show free space, used space and reclaimable space. The latter statistic is important, as most users don’t want to spend 30 minutes to re-install assets every time they open a video game. At the very least, they need to show free, used and total storage space, as they do on iOS.
The absence of these statistics is actually par for the course with Apple TV. When the fourth generation model launched, there were high hopes that the device would be enormously successful. Apple’s inability to put together a channel lineup for their new TV device defeated their hopes for widespread adoption. Not all of this is Apple’s fault. Viacom is playing hard ball with all TV device ecosystems. There really aren’t any comprehensive live TV bundles for these devices.
Apple didn’t even mention tvOS at their World Wide Developers Conference. It’s abundantly clear that Apple doesn’t really care much for the device. Apple TV owners can take solace in the fact that the core of tvOS is stable and derived from iOS. Apple TV doesn’t crash or freeze. But it does have a lot of quirks. The lack of storage usage statistics is just one of many Apple TV foibles. It’s a flawed device, but there is room for improvement. It can be enhanced with tvOS updates. We can only hope that Apple finally takes this device seriously and shapes up the tvOS team.