32 GB vs. 64 GB Apple TV 4

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Given that apps take up so little space, it doesn’t make sense to invest in the 64 GB Apple TV 4. Even with the 32 GB model, you will be hard pressed to use all of that storage space. I have about 40 apps on my Apple TV, but I actually use less than 10 of them. I download apps, try them, and don’t use them again. I just leave them installed, thinking I may use them one day. If you buy a 32 GB Apple TV 4 and happen to run out of room, simply uninstall the apps you don’t use to free up space. You can always install them later, even if they are purchased apps. The App Store keeps track of every app you purchase. You can re-install deleted apps, as long as they are still available on the App Store.

One caveat is that some games, such as Asphalt 8, download an extra “bundle” when the game is launched for the first time (and after major updates). These bundles include game-specific data, such as race courses, cars, and other game objects. They do this because of the 200 MB per app size limit. It’s hard to say how big these apps are in their final state. The Manage Storage feature on Apple TV only shows the size of the app, and not its associated data. There isn’t even a feature in tvOS to show how much space you have left on your Apple TV 4. There are a few paid apps that do this. (It just goes to show how half-baked Apple TV is. It’s a new device, but keep in mind, they had years to develop it and they leveraged a lot of existing iOS technology. It’s a bit embarrassing for a company as large and reputable as Apple.)

According to GameLoft’s site, Asphalt 8 takes up 1.8 GB of flash drive space. This is the only app I have installed, out of 40 apps, that takes up any significant amount of space. Most games don’t download resource bundles and are less than 200 MB. tvOS games tend to be “cute” games with blocky pixel graphics, such as Crossy Road. These games don’t take up a lot of space. You can install a lot of apps before you even come close to filling up a 32GB Apple TV 4. If you do fill it up, just delete the ones you don’t use.

Portal Apps are the Future

When the first Apple TVs came out, they came with a few channels. Users had no control over channels, other than showing and hiding them on the main screen. Every few weeks, one would see new channels on the home screen. There wasn’t an App Store. Every network had one or more channels. This is changing, as many new tvOS apps are portals for multiple networks.

Sling TV is a perfect example of a portal app. The app provides a bundle of live TV channels. Instead of having 30 apps (one for each channel), one Sling TV app provides access to multiple channels. This takes up less space on Apple TV. (continue…)

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