iPad 32gb Is It Enough Space?

Hardware and Accessories

Hi I'm a new account here but have been reading everything on here for years, I have a question and I'm not sure where to post it but I'm trying to talk my mum into helping me buy the 9.7-inch 32GB 2018 iPad (came out March 2018) for Christmas and I wonder if it's worth buying, I do have vision (I'm legally blind) and am learning braille so it would need to work with my Edge 40 braille display.

I would use the iPad for Netflix, YouTube, Microsoft Word, Twitter, Facebook, reading, writing in the Notes app and I would put my favourite movie on it as well, and I know 32GB isn't that much when it comes to storage since we don't actually get 32GB to play with it's more like 26GB I think, but would that be enough space to last for years? I know the ios gets updates and the new ones come out every September and I wonder would it make it only 2 or 3 years before it can't handle anything any more? I don't want to buy it for $485 after taxes (in Canada) if it will only last me a year and a bit I'd like it for as long as it can go.



Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hi. How exciting! A new iPad!

I owned an apple 2E desktop in the late 1970's. It had a floppy disk drive that could store 10mb (or was it 1mb?) per floppy. There were no such things as hard drives back then.

Over the course of decades, I gradually moved up in storage space. In the 1980's, I was awestruck to be able to store 500mb. in the 1990's I moved into gigabyte territory. Back then, I foolishly started small and quickly had to figure out how to make more space.

When I bought my iPhone 5s, I went whole hog and got 64gb. I quickly ran out of space.

Three years ago, when I bought my iPhone 6s, it had 128gb. I thought that would be way way more than enough. For the last two years, however, I was constantly trying to figure out what to get rid of to make more room.

I now have an iPhone Xs with 512gb, an iMac Pro with 2tb and a MacBook Pro with 2tb, and they're all just about half full. I also have 50gb iCloud and the equivalent in Drop Box. Will it be enough? I seriously doubt it. It's enough for right now, but my history doesn't leave much room for hope

Be aware that once you buy your product, you are stuck with however much storage space it came with. The storage space cannot be increased on iPads. You would have to buy a whole other iPad with more storage space if more storage is what you want.

In sum, I am afraid, my new friend, that your storage space may never be enough if you are anything like me. Really, for me, the only question is, how long will it be before I will have to start deleting stuff to make room for more important stuff?

Hope this helps.


Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Just the other day I learned there is a new product that allows the use of memory sticks with (if I remember correctly) iPads and iPhones. If so, you could add 64gb, for example, for relatively little cost.



Submitted by PinkNBlind on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

In reply to by Bruce Harrell

That all does help I'll look into that memory stick and see if that would make more sense then spending the $620 for the 128GB option which is a crazy price wow. Thanks!

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Wednesday, October 10, 2018


There are multiple factors that go into which storage configuration of iPad to buy. Personally, i have a 128gb iPad, and i have used up a little more than 20gb on it. I don’t use the camera a lot, but i download tons of apps, (i have around 100 installed at the moment), and i use iMessage a lot, so i have a ton of saved messages.

All braille display drivers are included in iOS itself, so you don’t need to worry about installing drivers like you would have to do on Windows. Therefore, this will not affect the amount of store space you have.

I noticed that you say that you will use your iPad with a lot of different services. Lots of services translate to lots of apps. And lots of apps translates to lots of storage used. An app usually takes up more an 100mb, so keep that in mind.

Taking all of this into consideration, i recommend you should go for the higher storage option if you can afford it, with your mom’s willing assistance. You can always wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, (big sales, in store or online), or you can try some shopping right before the holidays, when prices are slashed for lots of stuff. Overall, i think that a 128gb iPad would suit you better, judging by what you intend to use it for. But if you can’t get the monetary assistance from your mom, and you can’t pay for it on your own, you can survive with 32gb. Just keep in mind that you have to micro-manage your stuff extensively, which might be very inconvenient.

Hope this helps. Sorry for the extremely long last paragraph xD.


Submitted by Jeff on Wednesday, October 10, 2018

I'd strongly advise against getting just 32 GB of storage. Since you're interested in movies and videos, they require quite a bit of storage. Then there's audiobooks and podcasts, not to mention music. Granted, most of those media can be streamed, but you may wish you could have some media downloaded to your iPad for offline consumption. Like others have mentioned, I think you'd find yourself juggling apps and content constantly if you only had 32 GB of storage. And as others pointed out, there's no real practical way to expand the storage other than to upgrade to a new device.

Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Thursday, October 11, 2018

I've got an iPad with 32gb of storage. I've had it for a couple of years now, and it's worked fine for my case.
IF you're planning to put movies on their. I'd advise getting at least 64gb if it's possible. IF not than get what ever you can afford. There may be other iPads that aren't this years model, but will still last you for a couple of years.
mOvies on their own will take up quite some space, and as one person already mentioned many apps are around 100mb or higher. So movies, and apps will eat that storage pretty fast.

Submitted by PinkNBlind on Thursday, October 11, 2018

In reply to by Ishkabibble

Reading all of these comments is really helping me, I've been trying to do the math and after trying to get a case, a screen protector (needed for when my young cousins are around) and a 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Storage for iPhone/iPad I'd really only be saving $68 or something close to that, by getting the 32GB iPad. Yea I'll keep an eye out for the sales this year for sure. Thanks everyone!

Submitted by jrjolley (not verified) on Thursday, October 11, 2018

I think for your use case, 64 or 128 GB should be enough. I personally have the original 128 GB iPad pro, a 256 GB iPhone 8 plus and don't have storage problems. If you are very cloud focused as I am these days, storage is less of a factor because documents can be transfered and manipulated away from the physical storage of the device. You did say that you would like to store movies on there - personally I stream everything but again it is up to yourself.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Friday, October 12, 2018

I was considering this when deciding whether or not to upgrade my iPhone a couple of weeks ago. I knew I didn't want a X style phone because I don't like the lack of a home button yet, even though I know that's where things are going. So I could either go with a 7 or an 8.

I started looking at storage options. My cheapest option would've been the 32 gig 7 or pay a little bit more and get 128 gig. Or I could stay where I am at 64 gig and get an 8. So I went into my phone storage and was shocked to find how little I've used. I've only used 24.5 gigs, and that could be cut down because the biggest thing in there is an iTunes movie, which iOS recommends I delete and just stream if I need the space. I don't have a lot of photos or a lot of big games. I delete books from bard after I'm done reading them. I stream almost all my stuff from Apple Music (though I'd love to find a way to have it auto download a preset storage subset of my library). So for me, I could probably get by with 32 gig if I had to. It seems like Apple doesn't give you the goldy lox sweet spot of storage anymore -- you either get what you think will probably be too little, or too much. 512 gig on an iPhone just blows my mind. W

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, October 12, 2018

Brian, if you add your predefined subset of music to a playlist, you can have that playlist downloaded to your phone. That would probably give you reason for more storage. :)