Apple 3rd-party app bloat: 1000 percent in 4 years

“Apple really needs to do something about this.” —John Gruber

From a study posted last week by SensorTower‘s Randy Nelson:

According to Sensor Tower’s analysis of App Intelligence, the total space required by the top 10 most installed U.S. iPhone apps has grown from 164 MB in May 2013 to about 1.8 GB last month, an 11x or approximately 1,000 percent increase in just four years.

Most Growth Has Occurred in the Past Year:

Some Apps Have Grown More Than Others:

most bloat

Click to enlarge. Not seeing? Try the website.

“Apple really needs to do something about this,” writes John Gruber, who linked to Nelson’s findings on his Daring Fireball blog. “It’s not just that these apps are too big, but some of them issue software updates every week (or even more frequently). It’s a huge waste of bandwidth, time, and on-device storage space.”


  1. George Row said:
    I am not sure that the title is appropriate.
    None of these top-ten bloaters is an Apple app.

    Perhaps: “Third Party iPhone app bloat” would be more accurate.

    June 20, 2017
  2. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    How I long for the days of the 80MB HDD. Hey, Microsoft (and Apple), what’s up with that?

    June 20, 2017
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Let’s put this in context.
    With iOS 11, Apple introduces High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) which reduces the size of jpeg’s by 1/2.
    And earlier, while iOS 8 was over 4.5 GB in size, iOS 9 was just 1.3 GB.
    Apple has doubled the size of the entry level iPhone from 16GB to 32GB – about 10X the increase in size due to the top 10 Apps.
    Apple wants to grow services revenue, so they allow larger Apps, and have made much more room for them.

    June 20, 2017
  4. Fred Stein said:
    Doubling down.
    The increase in App size validates Apple’s business model. Apple bets on the device where nearly everyone else (FB, GOOGL, AMZN, Uber, etc.) is cloud based. Large Apps means that business, even cloud based, see the value of putting more function in the device, where Apple has the advantage.

    June 20, 2017

Leave a Reply